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What if I want to change the size of my implants?

Breast augmentation Cornelius, Mooresville, Davidson, Huntersville, Lake Norman, Charlotte

Although breast augmentation surgery has a very high satisfaction rate, there are some women who later decide that they want to change the size of their implants. Some women choose to have a revision surgery, specifically in order to change sizes. Others wait until it’s time to replace their implants anyway for other reasons, and then decide to change to a different size.

If you think that you might like to change implant sizes, what factors should be taken into consideration? Should you choose to have breast implant revision surgery?

What is it like to have implant revision surgery?

What the surgery is like depends on many factors. In general, there is some scar tissue present from the first surgery. Although it is usually not a major problem, the scar tissue can sometimes make the second surgery a bit more complex than the first. However, if your implant location is not being changed, then the surgeon won’t need to create a new pocket for the implants, which tends to make the second procedure shorter than the first one.

In many cases, the surgeon can make the new incisions right over top of the scars from the old ones. This means that you won’t have new scars later, although the scars may be somewhat longer than they currently are. However, this isn’t always possible. For example, women who had their original breast augmentation through a transaxillary incision may need to have their revision procedure done through an inframammary incision instead, because the scar tissue between the armpit and the breast often will not allow the surgeon enough access to perform the revision procedure.

What will the recovery be like?

In general, the recovery from revision breast implant surgery is similar to recovery from the initial breast augmentation procedure. If you think back to what it was like during that first recovery period, you should have a good idea of what to expect during the recovery from your revision procedure. Many aspects of recovery from the second surgery will be similar to the first, including the healing of the incisions, which will take about as long the second time as the first.

Some women find that the recovery from the second surgery is somewhat easier, since there won’t be as much stretching and adjustment of the body’s tissues as there was when the implants were first placed. The implant pocket is already formed, so if the implants are not being moved to a new location, then the body won’t have to do too much adjusting to the new implants. However, if scar tissue from the first procedure makes the second one more complicated, then this may increase the time and discomfort of the second recovery.

Will you also need a breast lift?

If a woman wants to switch to a smaller size of implants (or even to remove her implants entirely), the most important factor to take into consideration is the breast envelope. The skin and underlying connective tissue of the breasts expands in order to accommodate the breast implants. If the implants are reduced in size or are removed altogether, without addressing this extra skin, the breasts will be left saggy and “empty” looking. This is why the result is generally best if a breast lift is performed along with implant size reduction or removal, in order to remove the extra tissue and create a pleasing shape for the breast. The two procedures can be performed at the same time, so that you only need to have surgery once.

Is it worth having revision implant surgery?

This is a question that only you can answer. Keep in mind that a revision procedure is still surgery, so it does carry some risks, like infection or bleeding. You’ll have to weigh those risks and the discomfort of recovery from surgery, against the discomfort you currently feel from having implants that are too large or too small.

In some cases, you may already need to have another surgical procedure related to your implants. For example, your implants may have ruptured (meaning that a tear has developed in the shell of the implant), or you may have a capsular contracture (where the scar tissue around the implant becomes too tight and hard). In these cases, where you’re already having surgery anyway, changing your implants for a different size will not really add extra risk or recovery time than replacing them with the same size, unless the new implants are quite a bit larger or smaller than the old ones.

Are you considering changing your implants?

If you’re considering changing the size of your implants, then you’ll want to visit a plastic surgeon to discuss your options. Based on examining you and hearing more about your goals and desires, your surgeon can talk with you more about how you might achieve the results you want.

Dr. Eric MilesDr. Miles enjoys helping patients achieve the bodies of their dreams. With his excellent technical skills, he’s able to create the results his patient’s desire. Just as importantly, he takes the time to get to know his patients, so he can use his skills to help them get what they truly want from their surgical procedure. To schedule your appointment, please contact our office.

Dr. Erik J. Miles
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