Breast Implant Revision
It's Never Too Late to Opt for a Change or Removal in the Philadelphia, PA, Area
Some women are surprised to learn that they can change their breast implants, whether they want to get a new size or shape, they want to extend the longevity of their augmentation, or they simply no longer want the implants at all. When it comes to breast implant revision or removal, the Philadelphia area's Dr. Kevin Cross works directly with each patient to ensure she is getting the look she desires and feels comfortable and secure with her long-term health.
Women who first got their implants years ago should know that surgery has changed in the time since thanks to medical and scientific advances. Dr. Cross and his team now use a recently developed protocol designed to encourage faster recovery from the effects of anesthesia and lower risk of post-procedure nausea after breast implant revision and other surgeries.
Why Do Women Choose Breast Implant Revision or Removal?
While breast implants are designed to be sturdy and safe, they are not lifetime devices. Over time, changes to the body and the implants themselves can lead to a shift in the look and feel of the breasts. These changes may include sagging due to loss of skin elasticity and the constant downward pull of heavier implants or the development of complications, such as capsular contracture. Risk of rupture also increases by roughly 1 percent for every year breast implants are in place. Women may opt for breast implant revision due to any of these reasons—or out of a desire to trade up or down a size. Some women ultimately decide that they want their implants removed and not replaced.
Breast Implant Revision for a New Look
Dr. Cross uses Vectra 3D imaging to give his patients a realistic virtual preview of their surgical results. Women who were not able to take advantage of this technology in the past may have found themselves wishing they had opted for a different size—whether larger or smaller—for their breast augmentation. Other women find that their personal preference for their breast size and shape has changed along with fashion and style trends. Still others are unhappy with how their breasts have aged. Breast implants will often move or migrate to positions that give them a less attractive appearance. Breast implant revision can be a solution for any of these problems, since it allows for a "restart." Big implants can be swapped out for smaller ones, or vice-versa. Dr. Cross can also perform revision surgery that involves a breast lift or breast reduction in order to address age-related changes to the skin and breast tissues. The result is a natural-looking breast proportioned the way the patient wants.
Breast Implant Revision to Address Ruptures
If a saline implant ruptures, the resulting deflation should be visibly noticeable. As sterile salt water leaks out, the implant will lose volume, causing the breast to change size and shape. Silicone ruptures are not typically as easily detected, due to the thicker consistency of the material inside. Women with silicone implants are encouraged to get routine screenings to check for ruptures. In the event of a leaking or damaged implant, Dr. Cross can perform a breast revision to remove the implant in question, then replace it with a new one. Maintaining symmetry is crucial to a natural-looking chest, so both breasts may require new implants in order to appear the same size and shape after the breast implant revision surgery.
MEET DR. KEVIN J. CROSS
Dr. Cross is a board-certified plastic surgeon. His philosophy is to develop an individualized treatment plan for each of his patients while using his breadth of experience to ensure that his patients receive long-lasting, natural appearing results that reach their aesthetic goals.
Breast Implant Revision to Correct Complications
Capsular contracture is a condition that arises when the pocket holding an implant develops tough scar tissue that gradually tightens and squeezes the implant. When the implant becomes significantly distorted, the breast will become distorted, too. Capsular contracture can also cause discomfort and make the breast feel hard to the touch. Breast revision surgery in this case involves removing the implant and scar tissue, then replacing it with a new implant, often with the new implant pocket being placed in a more suitable position.
BIA-ALCL AND TEXTURED IMPLANTS
Another complication that has made headlines is breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma—or BIA-ALCL. This rare cancer impacts the immune system, but has been found to be associated with certain types of textured implants. Women who are diagnosed with BIA-ALCL can have their implants and related scar tissue removed. Breast implant removal and revision is also possible for women who have textured implants and want to make a precautionary change. In both cases, not only the implant, but also the surrounding breast implant capsule must be removed and sent to the pathologist to ensure that the patient does not have early, unnoticed BIA-ALCL. Removing the capsule is also important to help reduce the chances of developing BIA-ALCL in the future in the old capsule that was in contact with the textured implant.
BREAST IMPLANT ILLNESS
While breast implants successfully enhance the wellbeing of many women, some women find that the presence of their implants is associated with a number of symptoms. Known as Breast Implant Illness, these symptoms may include rashes, fatigue, joint pain, swelling, or other immune system-related changes. For women with Breast Implant Illness, removing the implant as well as the surrounding capsule in a way that prevents further contamination during implant removal is crucial. Once the implant and capsule are removed together, known as an "en bloc resection", the tissues are photographed for documentation, sent for pathologic exam, and cultured to check for a number of pathologies that may be hiding in the tissues.
Breast Implant Removal Without Replacement
Breast implant removal is also known as an "explant" procedure. This is not so much breast implant revision surgery, since no new implants are being put in place of the devices being removed. Women may choose to have their implants removed for cosmetic reasons, health reasons, or both. Removing excess skin is sometimes a necessary element of this surgery as well, since the weight of implants can stretch out ligaments that will not fully retract once the implants are out.
Fat grafting, or fat transplantation, is an option for breast revision surgery patients who want some volume added back to their breast after an explant surgery. For this procedure, Dr. Cross removes healthy fat cells from the thighs, buttocks, or other suitable donor area elsewhere on the body, then purifies the fat and injects it into the breasts to add volume. The results are less dramatic than augmentation with implants, but the enhancement feels and looks particularly natural—because it is.
What Are Breast Implant Revision Procedure Details?
Each breast implant revision surgery is unique, with specifics depending upon the size, shape, and type of the existing implants; details of the original surgery, including incision locations and scarring; and what will happen next after the unwanted implants are removed.
Dr. Cross makes incisions as small and unobtrusive as possible for each breast implant revision procedure, so that they are practically imperceptible once they heal.
Post-breast implant revision recovery is similar to post-augmentation recovery: Patients can expect minimal to moderate pain and discomfort. Downtime for healing should not be less than a few days, while normal activities and physical exertion can resume about two weeks after breast implant revision surgery is completed.
More Contouring Options
Removing or downsizing breast implants can change the proportions of the body by causing other areas to appear out of balance. Liposuction is ideal for removing stubborn pockets of fat and sculpting contours on the belly, sides, back, and elsewhere. Other procedures that can potentially accompany breast implant revision surgery include tummy tuck, arm lift, thigh lift, buttock lift, and lower body lift.