While breast implants are long-lasting, they are not meant to last a lifetime. Whether due to a change in cosmetic taste or a condition like capsular contracture, many women choose to undergo breast revision surgery at some point after their initial augmentation.
Breast revision is a procedure that involves replacing the breast implants or correcting complications and physical irregularities that have developed. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Tim Sayed has performed thousands of these highly specialized procedures to help women feel comfortable with the appearance of their breasts again. Below we’ll be exploring some of the most common reasons why women replace their implants.
Although it’s relatively rare, capsular contracture is a complication that can develop after breast augmentation. Following breast surgery, a capsule of scar tissue naturally forms around the implants. The formation of scar tissue is not necessarily a cause for concern since this is just the body’s natural response to the placement of a foreign object. However, in some cases, the capsule of scar tissue contracts too tightly around the implant. As a result, the breasts become hard and may look irregular.
Capsular contracture can be quite painful. This condition does not resolve on its own and requires surgical release of the scar tissue. After the scar tissue has been surgically removed, many women choose to have a new set of implants placed to maintain their preferred aesthetic.
Implant rupture occurs when the implant develops a tear or hole due to physical trauma, normal aging of the implant, compression during a mammogram, damage during a medical procedure, and other factors. When a rupture occurs with a saline implant, the breast will quickly look “deflated,” but the saline can safely be absorbed by the body.
In the case of silicone gel implants, a rupture might not be detected for quite some time because the implants are form stable and maintain their shape. Once a rupture has been confirmed, silicone gel implants must be removed as soon as possible. There is not the same urgency for replacing ruptured saline implants, but since they cause the breasts to rapidly lose volume, most women opt to have them replaced as soon as possible.
During breast revision surgery, Dr. Sayed will remove the ruptured implants from the implant pocket and surrounding tissue. After the breast pocket is cleaned and reshaped, a new set of implants can be placed.
Breast Asymmetry and Other Physical Changes
Aging, pregnancy, and breastfeeding can all cause the breasts to physically change, even if you have implants. These changes may result in breast asymmetry and sagging. Dr. Sayed can treat these changes with a breast revision and lift to restore a balanced, symmetrical appearance to your figure.
In some cases, the old implants can be left in, but most women opt to have a new set of implants placed at the time of their breast lift. Together, a breast revision and lift can fully rejuvenate the breasts and correct the changes caused by aging or pregnancy.
Aging Implants or Change in Taste
As breast implant technology continues to advance, many women are choosing to replace their aging implants. While women were mostly limited to saline implants years ago, today’s options include cohesive silicone gel and contoured implants, which have become popular due to their natural look and feel. Older implants also carry a higher risk of rupturing, which drives some patients to take advantage of improved implant technology. There is no expiration date for breast implants, but it’s generally recommended that patients replace them every ten years or so.
Some women decide to exchange their implants simply because their cosmetic tastes have evolved over time. Your ideal aesthetic in your 20s may no longer reflect your current taste. Breast augmentation is highly customizable, allowing women to attain an appearance that matches their tastes as they age.
When is it Time to Replace Your Implants?
Every patient is different, but you may want to consider changing your implants if you:
- Are developing symptoms of capsular contracture, including hardened breasts, breasts that are painful to the touch or have an abnormal appearance
- Suspect your implants have ruptured
- Have developed implant malposition
- Have developed breast asymmetry after pregnancy, aging, or other factors
- Are no longer happy with the type of implants you have
- Want to change the size, shape, or volume of your breasts
If you’re considering a breast revision in the San Diego or Newport Beach areas, contact Dr. Tim Sayed to schedule your personal consultation. Whether you’d like to change the size of your implants or you’ve developed a complication following breast augmentation, Dr. Sayed can create a personalized treatment plan customized to your needs.