With breast augmentation as the number one surgical procedure performed in the United States last year according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, it’s makes sense that not all of the results lived up to patients’ expectations. When the outcome of an earlier procedure doesn’t deliver the look you hoped for, breast surgery revision can help. How can you tell if you’re a candidate?
The Challenge of Choosing the Right Size
The size of your implants is one of the defining qualities of a positive outcome. Yet, it can feel very intimidating choosing your implant size and shape, even with the expert guidance of a board certified plastic surgeon. For one thing, breast implants are measured in volume rather than by cup size, which can be confusing for many women. For another, it’s hard to imagine how an implant will look once it’s actually in place compared to looking at sizes before surgery.
Some women take the more conservative approach when it comes to picking out implants, while others subscribe to the “bigger is better” philosophy. Either way, perspectives frequently change after surgery. Women who went smaller to start with may feel that they didn’t commit to a big enough change, while women who choose larger implants may find that they feel more self-conscious than they counted on. In either case, making an adjustment in size, either up or down, is one of the primary qualifiers for breast surgery revision candidates.
Settling and Position
Prior to breast augmentation, many patients don’t realize that the way their body heals can impact their final results. During the surgery itself, a special pocket is created either behind the chest muscles or between the muscle wall and the existing breast tissue. During healing, the implants settle into the surgical pockets for a natural look and placement.
Women whose implants didn’t settle as anticipated, staying either too high or bottoming out, are excellent candidates for breast surgery revision. During the revision surgery, the pockets are adjusted smaller or larger as necessary, allowing the implants to become positioned evenly and symmetrically.
Correcting Scar Tissue
Finally, women who notice a problem with scar tissue are also prime candidates for breast surgery revision. The body forms a scar tissue capsule around the implants during the natural healing response. However, in some cases, the body overreacts and excessive scar tissue develops that can become hardened and even painful. This is referred to capsular contracture, and is the number one reason why women request breast surgery revision.
During the breast surgery revision, the scar capsule can be removed entirely, or may be resized to help the patient feel more comfortable again. Sometimes, this process can include implant replacement as well, although each case is different.
Planning for Success
While these are the three most common separate qualities that make women good candidates for breast surgery revision, all candidates share one characteristic that is the most important qualification: unhappiness with an earlier augmentation procedure. Women who aren’t happy for any reason with their breast augmentation may be great candidates for revision.
While getting implants seems fairly straightforward, the truth is that breast augmentation in and of itself is a very subjective surgery, and what seems like a successful outcome to your surgeon may not translate into meeting your personal hopes and expectations for surgery. Breast surgery revision can help you feel more positive about your new look, and restore confidence in your figure again.
Dr. David Sayah is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who specializes in natural plastic surgery results. His practice is devoted to providing excellent care using innovative techniques in plastic surgery such as endoscopic breast augmentation, state of the art lasers and minimally invasive facelifts. He believes that a healthy lifestyle involves diet, exercise, and preventive medicine including skincare measures. This multidisciplinary approach involves in-house internal medicine physician, nutritionist, exercise physiologist, and lifestyle coach who together with Dr. Sayah develop total beauty and health in his patients.