“You did my implants over 10 years ago—what should I do now?” is a question I get almost every day now! And the answer is not a cookie cutter response since A LOT has happened to us and to the technology we use in breast augmentation revision at our Columbus, Ohio, practice in the last decade!
Start With a Visit to Aesthetica
The best course of action is to come in for a personal consultation of course, and bring your old records in your “red folder” if you have it. If you don’t have your red folder, don’t worry. I can usually tell at the physical exam what I need to know. So to get you thinking about what the options will be, I have a couple of categories of revisions.
Revision Types Based on a Previous Implant Type
Broadly, this refers to the type of implant that is currently there—either saline or silicone gel. In addition to this information, the other piece of information that is helpful is whether the implant surface was smooth or textured. This detail is important when it comes to deciding what to do about the implant capsule.
Revision Types Based on Your Body Changes
Believe it or not, there are some patients who have saline implants that are still intact, and their body has not changed significantly. And at the other end of the spectrum is the person who has had any number of body changes including weight gain or loss, pregnancy (sometimes multiple), breastfeeding for varied amounts of time, and trauma to the breasts. Sometimes the saline implants become deflated and the patient does not even know since they have gained some weight.
Often one side will have deflated, but the timing was not right for the patient and they have waited to begin the process.
10 Years and a Different Body Today
It is amazing how fast 10 or more years can fly by! And so much is happening to our bodies over this time frame. For the breast augmentation revision, we need to determine if the volume of your own breast tissue has increased due to weight gain; or maybe the breast tissue is smaller because of weight loss and postpartum changes. This is one of the biggest variables and will impact the revision type.
Saline Implant Revision
The most straightforward revision is a previous saline implant patient with no issues: They can basically “rotate the tires”—whoops, I mean implants—and upgrade to the new technology: Gel implants!
But patients with saline implants issues such as body contour changes due to weight gain, multiple pregnancies, or implants that feel firmer or sit higher—will need a more complex solution. In such cases, the capsule or scar tissue around the implant will need some type of touch-up.
Silicone Gel Implant Revision
The patient who previously had silicone gel implants with no issues can also—like someone with saline implants—upgrade to the new gel implants. When the capsule is soft and the breast has a natural feel, it is possible to simply change out the implants. But if the patient has had the capsule tighten, a condition we call capsular contracture, this is the most complicated revision. In this case, part or all of the capsule needs to be removed. The answer here depends on more factors—and sometimes the best option is to remove the implants and do a lift instead.
Surgeon Experience Matters
It is crucial to find a surgeon who has experience in both primary and revision cases as you start on this journey. For my previous breast augmentation patients and for the new patients at our practice, we will work together to deliver the very best options and results. Based on my 23 years of experience, I can advise you on the best path forward. To learn more, contact us online or call the office at (614) 569-2649.
We hope to see you soon! BREAST WISHES!