In addition to primary breast augmentation, Irvine plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Smith performs revision surgery for women who want or need changes at some point after their initial breast augmentation. Revision surgery is typically more involved than the initial procedure, and should be undertaken only by a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in complex breast surgeries. As a renowned breast augmentation and reconstruction specialist in Orange County, Dr. Smith has more than 15 years of practicing the intricate surgical techniques required for successful breast revision procedures.
If you live in Riverside or Orange County and need revision breast augmentation, request a FREE surgical consultation online to meet with Dr. Smith in Irvine, Corona, or Huntington Beach, CA. You can also call his office at (949) 653-7000 to schedule an appointment.
When you choose Dr. Smith, you’re choosing a breast specialist who
- Is the Chief of the Subsection of Plastic Surgery at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center
- Is one of the top surgeons in Orange County for complex breast revisions and reconstructions
- Has performed thousands of breast surgeries during his 15+ years of surgical experience
Choosing Breast Augmentation Revision
Most women are happy with their breast augmentation results, especially when they choose a board-certified plastic surgeon. Unfortunately, some are dissatisfied or experience complications. Others simply experience changes over time that prompt them to seek a revision procedure. For women who believe they need secondary surgery, choosing a qualified revision surgeon is the first step toward a beautiful result.
Reasons for Revision
Elective Implant Exchange
It’s not uncommon for a woman to decide to change the size, type, or shape of her breast implants. Dr. Smith’s patients often cite changes in their bodies or lifestyles when deciding to go with a different implant. The most recent cohesive silicone gel implants come with significant benefits compared with older implants, such as looking and feeling more like natural breast tissue. Implant placement may also be changed during the exchange procedure. For example, a patient who wants to exchange breast implants that are above the muscle may want the new implants inserted behind the muscle for aesthetic reasons. Read more about elective implant exchange.
Women are often referred to Dr. Smith when their original surgery did not produce the results they wanted. Common complaints include breasts that are too high, asymmetrical, widely set, saggy, or lacking upper pole fullness. In some cases, Dr. Smith may make the revisions using the same implants. But most of his patients choose to replace their existing implants with newer ones — especially when they want to exchange older saline implants for the advanced cohesive silicone gel implants now available.
This is the most common complication addressed through revision surgery. When the scar tissue around a breast implant hardens and contracts, it can distort the appearance and sometimes cause discomfort. Most of Dr. Smith’s patients elect to replace their implants with cohesive silicone gel implants, which have been shown to minimize the risks of developing capsular contracture. Dr. Smith also takes every possible precaution during the revision surgery to help prevent the condition from recurring. Read more about capsular contracture.
Improper or inadequate surgical techniques can cause visible deformities that appear over time or immediately after breast augmentation. These include bottoming out, symmastia (uniboob), a “Snoopy” appearance, and the double-bubble deformity. If the patient’s breast implants remain structurally sound, she may choose to keep them. But many of Dr. Smith’s patients may use the revision surgery as an opportunity to select newer cohesive silicone gel implants that look and feel more like natural breast tissue.
Ruptured or Deflated Implant
When a saline implant ruptures, it deflates very quickly and the result is noticeable. When a silicone gel implant ruptures, it may go undetected for months or years, which is why imaging tests are important. When one or both implants are no longer intact, women undergo implant replacement surgery. In some cases Dr. Smith’s patients choose not to replace their implants if one or both have ruptured. As a plastic surgeon with expertise in breast revision surgery, Dr. Smith is an excellent resource for women who are trying to decide whether they should replace their implants. He can explain the benefits of the latest generation of cohesive silicone gel implants and help you make your decision. Read more about ruptured breast implants.
Most patients who undergo breast augmentation will need revision surgery at some point. Statistics indicate implants usually need to be replaced after 10 to 15 years, although some women will have their implants for 25 years or more.
Why Choose Dr. Smith for Implant Revision Surgery
Each patient’s reason for choosing breast implant revision surgery is as unique as each woman herself. But no matter her motivation, every woman should choose a skilled plastic surgeon with extensive experience using the advanced techniques involved in the procedure.
Dr. Smith is not only one of the leading breast augmentation specialists in Orange County, but he is also known internationally for his expertise in breast implant revision procedures and understands that each case presents truly unique surgical demands. Patients who consult with Dr. Smith about revision have many questions, ranging from issues such as cost to concerns about risks and potential complications. Dr. Smith’s patients appreciate his ability to answer their questions in a clear and straightforward manner.
Your Breast Augmentation Revision Procedure
Breast augmentation revision is more complex than an initial breast augmentation procedure, due to issues produced by previous surgery. These include scar tissue, stretched or thin skin, damaged or displaced chest muscles, compromised blood supply, or even silicone gel that has bled from an older, ruptured implant.
Not all plastic surgeons perform revision surgery because it is a technically demanding operation that requires a unique set of skills. Dr. Smith draws from his extensive experience with complex breast reconstruction cases when performing revision breast augmentation. Techniques include:
- Changing subglandular implant placement to a submuscular or a dual-plane placement. This helps with visible rippling or wrinkling, and may be a better option for those prone to capsular contracture.
- Repairing or re-creating the implant pocket either with internal sutures, an acellular dermal matrix, or both. This corrects visible implant displacement, and provides better support and coverage for the implants.
- Changing the size or type of implant to accommodate a patient’s preference. Many women in recent years have exchanged their saline implants for the newer silicone gel implants. It is also not uncommon for women to decide that they’d like either larger or smaller implants. Other choices include round or anatomically shaped implants, textured or smooth, and many different implant profiles (projections).
In some cases, a breast lift is needed to improve the position of the breasts and nipples.
Although the surgery is more complicated than primary breast augmentation, it is still typically an outpatient procedure. The recovery process is often a bit longer than after the initial surgery, and Dr. Smith recommends that patients wait 2 weeks before participating in any strenuous activity.