04 Jan Breast Surgery Revision: Should You Remove Or Downsize Your Breast Implant?
Time For An Implant Change?
Breast implants provide fantastic, life-changing benefits to the thousands of women who undergo the procedure yearly. Today’s breast implants can last well beyond 10 years. However, breast surgery revision may be necessary before that time. Some women may be dissatisfied with the size or shape of the implant. Others require surgery due to symptoms from a complication like capsular contracture. Whatever the reason, the patient can choose to remove or downsize the implant.
Removing the implant
Breast surgery revision is a subsequent surgical procedure to make an optional or necessary change to the implant. In some cases, a woman may opt to remove the implants altogether. Removals usually stem from dissatisfaction with the breast’s size, shape, or position. Medical reasons for removal include bottoming out, capsular contracture, or rupture of the implant shell. A board-certified plastic surgeon will remove the implant using the previous incision.
What happens after implant removal?
After the breast implants are removed, some women may need additional interventions to address the surrounding scar tissue or other issues caused by the implants. Capsulectomy, nipple reconstruction, fat grafting, or mastopexy are possible procedures that may be required. A woman may also choose to have her implants replaced during the breast surgery revision procedure to restore volume or correct other issues. The patient usually keeps the same size but can correct any problems causing discomfort.
Less is more
Breast surgery revision sometimes means installing a smaller implant or changing to a different material. Downsizing implants is the most common reason women change implants before 10 years. Some feel that the implants are too large for their body or have changes in style or beliefs. Others may require a downsize due to weight gain, back pain, trouble sleeping, or limited physical activities.
What happens after downsizing?
The patient and doctor will choose the best implant size and material during the consultation. Like implant removal, the surgeon will use previous incisions to replace the implant. The patient will need to wait 4-6 weeks to see the new breast size and shape take form. During recovery, a special support bra is worn, and small tubes are placed underneath the skin to drain excess blood or fluid. These drains usually come out after a few days. Most patients can resume normal activities 2 weeks after the surgery.
Choosing to remove or downsize
Breast implants aren’t a one-time procedure. Most patients establish periodic checks with the surgeon for future revisions. The decision to remove or downsize should not be taken lightly. Downsizing is best for women who still want the benefits of implants but are going through a different stage of life. Removals are helpful when medical concerns impact the quality of life. Before deciding on a specific breast surgery revision, the surgeon will discuss the benefits and risks and suggest the best option.