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Home/Breast Surgery/Revision Breast Surgery

Revision breast surgery is additional breast surgery performed to improve the results of an earlier procedure. These secondary procedures encompass a wide range of treatment options, from implant exchange to complete overhaul of a disappointing surgical outcome. Often quite challenging and technically difficult, our Doctors relish the opportunity to analyze and repair previous misadventures. To assist, we urge patients to bring any previous implant records with them to our office visit. Due to previous experiences with difficult revision surgery, Dr. Brian Braithwaite and Dr. Lorri Cobbins are exceptionally qualified to present you with all your revision options during your consultation, and you will leave our office with a clear understanding of any proposed treatment plan.

Saline to Silicone Implant Exchange

Now that silicone breast implants are once again approved by the FDA, many patients who received saline implants during their original breast augmentation desire a switch to silicone implants. Most women make this switch to enjoy the more natural feel of silicone implants, and many women take this opportunity to change the size or projection of their current implants. Higher profile implants are often a good choice, depending on soft tissue characteristics and chest wall anatomy. Implant exchange has become a very common breast procedure, but simply replacing implants does not guarantee a superb result; several other variables often exist that can detract from an optimal result. Consultation with an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Braithwaite or Dr. Cobbins ensures that all relevant issues are addressed.

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Capsular Contracture

Capsular contracture is a condition where excess scar tissue forms around the breast implant. While it is normal for a thin layer of scar tissue to form around an implant, the scar tissue in a capsular contracture is excessively thick and firm, often leading to unfavorable shape changes and firm breasts. Capsular contracture seems to have been a greater problem with earlier implant designs, and radiation therapy for breast cancer clearly increases the risk for its development. To correct this problem, the deranged capsule is removed, a procedure called a capsulectomy, or the scar tissue is released, a procedure called a capsulotomy. The existing implant may be salvaged or we may replace them with new implants, depending on their age, design, and patient preference. Our Doctors are usually able to revise capsular contracture problems using existing breast scars. The goal of this revision surgery is to restore soft, symmetrical breasts.

Breast Implant Removal

For a variety of reasons, some women decide to have their breast implants removed and not replaced. For some patients, implant removal is a simple procedure and the breasts resume their previous size and shape in no time at all. For others, severe capsular contracture or silicone implant rupture can make the procedure much more involved. In these instances, the capsules are usually completely removed so that the breasts remain soft and all silicone is removed. In patients with overly large implants and thin tissues, implant removal may result in loose, drooping breast skin that does not resume its former shape. This change is usually seen in women who have had breast implants for a long period of time because the breasts have also aged through the years. These patients may be candidates for a breast lift, or mastopexy, to restore their previous breast form. Depending on existing conditions, breast implant removal may or may not require general anesthesia. During your consultation with Dr. Braithwaite or Dr. Cobbins, they will address all your concerns related to implant removal and you will leave our office fully informed of your options.

Breast Implant Deflation

“Thank you for being a perfectionist and allowing God to bless you…All of your patients are truly blessed to have you as their doctor.”

Breast implants are not lifetime devices and saline implants sometimes deflate as they age. We understand how inconvenient and upsetting an implant deflation can be and we are available to provide prompt assistance. If the implants are older, most surgeons agree that both implants should be replaced after a deflation in order to avoid another potential procedure. Depending on their goals and desires, some women elect to use this occasion to change the size or style of their implants while others request an additional mastopexy they have been considering. Many women are unaware that various warranties are available to help defray the costs of replacing deflated saline breast implants, depending on the manufacturer and age of the implants. Please be sure to bring any implant records to your consultation so that we can investigate your warranty coverage.

Previous Breast Surgery

Many patients seeking plastic surgery have had previous breast surgery. Previous surgery may include a breast biopsy, reduction, augmentation, lift, or even a partial mastectomy. Having had previous breast surgery does not disqualify a woman from undergoing further breast surgery, but further surgery must be performed as safely as possible due to the surgical changes present. Experienced plastic surgeons like Dr. Braithwaite and Dr. Cobbins thoroughly understand the intricate blood and nerve supply to the breast, and are able to prevent unwanted outcomes in riskier situations. A patient who has undergone a previous breast reduction can safely undergo another reduction, or even a lift or an augmentation. And a patient with a partial breast can safely undergo a lift and an augmentation to restore symmetry after cancer surgery. Even previous radiation therapy does not rule out further breast surgery so long as safety is given proper consideration. Patient safety is always a top priority for Dr.’s Braithwaite and Cobbins, especially when evaluating patients who have had previous surgery. During your consultation with Dr. Braithwaite or Dr. Cobbins, you will discuss and understand all your safe treatment options, given your previous breast surgery.

For more information about revision breast surgery or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Brian Braithwaite or Dr. Cobbins, please contact The Aesthetic Institute of Chicago today.