Millions of women have had breast implant surgery. Whether or not a woman has breast implants, over time she will see changes in her breasts related to pregnancy, weight change, and the effects of age and gravity. Women seeking breast implant revision may seek to counteract these effects, or they may wish to alter the size, shape or placement of their implants. Often, a breast implant revision will also incorporate a breast lift or reduction. Women who require a breast implant revision may also seek to repair leaking implants, capsular contracture (scarring around the implant), or changes in breast implant position. Many other patients simply want their implants removed without replacement. In this case, Dr. Kim will remove the patient’s implants and improve their breast using their own existing tissue.
Women seeking breast implant revision surgery should have well-defined goals for their surgery. These goals might include replacing leaking implants, making changes to size and shape, or the removal of scar tissue.
Breast implant revision surgery may incorporate several smaller procedures, depending on the patient’s revision goals. Revision is performed while the patient is under IV-sedation or general anesthesia. The best incision for removing implants is in the inframammary fold (breast crease), but Dr. Kim can often use existing incisions to avoid creating new scars. During the surgery, the implants are removed with or without the existing scar capsule. At this point, Dr. Kim can alter the position of the implant. Once the breast implant has been placed in the desired position, changes to the patient’s natural breast tissue can be performed as needed to further improve the shape and fullness of the breasts.
The recovery time for breast implant revision surgery is often shorter than the original placement of the implants, as often the breast pocket and muscles are already stretched. Changes to implant position, breast lifts, and breast reductions will require additional time to heal. Most patients are back to work and driving within one or two weeks.Within six weeks, most patients can return to an active lifestyle and unlimited exercise using arms and chest muscles.
Which Implant is Right For Me?
A woman seeking a breast revision may find herself overwhelmed by the many types of breast implants available to her. She may find herself asking questions: What are the differences between saline and silicone implants? Which implants are best for me? Dr. Kim is experienced with all types of breast implants and will answer any questions you might have. During your consultation, he will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each type of implant, so that you can make an informed decision on the implant best suited to your needs.
Saline implants are filled with a saltwater intravenous fluid. They are frequently used in breast revision surgery and have been available for decades. The advantages of saline implants include a smaller incision when placing the implant and no need for long-term follow up or medical monitoring. When saline implants leak, the sterile salt water is absorbed by the body. A leak in a saline implant will be obvious to the patient, as the affected breast will become smaller over a few days, so she will know to have her implants reevaluated by Dr. Kim. The disadvantages of saline implants include a firmer feel and increased rippling.
Silicone implants are very popular implants for breast revisions, and there are many types available. The most common types of silicone implants used in cosmetic breast surgery are smooth, round implants. The type of silicone gel within your implant can vary in consistency, based on the patient’s needs and preferences. Each type of silicone gel has advantages and disadvantages, which Dr. Kim will discuss with you. Traditional silicone implants have a thinner, softer gel while cohesive gel implants, commonly known as gummy bear implants, contain a more stable silicone. Gummy bear implants are firmer than traditional silicone gel implants, and this firmness allows for less rippling. Some gummy bear implants are round, while others are teardrop-shaped to give the breast a more natural appearance. However, some women find that the teardrop-shaped implants provide less cleavage and upper fullness than is desired. In addition, shaped implants require texturing on the surface of the implant that does not allow them to move inside the breast pocket as much as smooth implants.
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