Capsular Contracture and Other Reasons for Revision
- Posted on: Jul 15 2018
The average lifespan of breast implants is around a decade. Because of that most women assume breast implant surgery isn’t a one-time event. But what is unexpected are various cases where implants require revision surgery.
There are different reasons for revision surgery. Some patients decide to change implant size. In other cases revision is necessary. No matter what the reason, revision surgery with Dr. Lipton is usually an easier procedure and recovery than original breast augmentation.
Here are the most common reasons Dr. Lipton performs implant revision surgery, along with the approach taken for each.
When a foreign object, such as an artificial knee or an implant, is placed into the human body, the body responds by surrounding it with scar tissue. This reaction is called the “capsule” and it is made up of calcified cells and scar tissue. If this capsule becomes very thick and causes the implant to shift or the breast to feel very firm, or if there is pain from the constricting scar tissue, this is called capsular contracture. Besides rupturing of the implant, this is the main side effect of breast augmentation. When this occurs, surgery is usually required. If the capsule is very calcified, Dr. Lipton will remove it along with the implant. If there is a rupture of a silicone implant, the capsule may contain silicone shell fragments, silicone gel, and inflammatory cells that all need to be removed prior to placing new implants.
Changing the implant size
Sometimes a woman decides she would like a different size implant. This isn’t a decision that should be made soon after surgery, however. Dr. Lipton advises his patients to wait one full year before deciding to change implant size. This will allow the implants to fully settle into their final position, and any residual swelling will have passed by then. If the patient still wants to change her implant size, Dr. Lipton will enter through the original incision. If a larger implant is desired, he will increase the size of the pocket, the space in the breast to hold the implant. If the patient seeks smaller implants, the size of the pocket is reduced with sutures to fit the smaller implants. In cases of reduction, a breast lift may be done in conjunction with the implant revision to remove any sagging tissue and possibly relocate the nipples.
Sometimes Dr. Lipton will see cases where another surgeon has placed the implant pockets either too close together or too far apart, creating an unnatural separation of the breasts. In these cases, the scar tissue from the capsule can be used to reconstruct new pockets in better positions.
Implant rippling is usually a result of saline implants that have been placed atop the chest muscle. There isn’t enough skin and tissue to cover the implant, and rippling occurs. Sometimes the edge of the implant may even be able to be felt. Dr. Lipton enters through the original incisions and replaces the implants with better muscle coverage. This may involve switching implant types and/or placing them in new breast pockets. Silicone gel implants have less occurrence of rippling than saline.
When a patient decides she no longer wants to have her implants, they are removed through the same incisions. Dr. Lipton will also remove the capsule if it is calcified and thick. In most cases of implant removal, he will recommend a breast lift at the same time to remove excess sagging skin and breast tissue.
It’s important to remember that breast augmentation surgery is major surgery, and it isn’t to be entrusted to a low-ball estimate or an inexperienced surgeon. Dr. Lipton is a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience. Do your research beforehand and the odds are you’ll be happy with your results.
If you have questions about existing implants or about breast augmentation in general, please call us at (972) 420-0023.
Posted in: Breast Augmentation