The majority of breast augmentation patients remain pleased with their implants for the duration of the implants’ lifespan (traditionally 10 to 15 years). Unfortunately, for some patients, complications can occur that may require breast implant removal or revision surgery.
1. Capsular Contracture
Capsular contracture is a common reason for breast implant removal. Whenever a foreign object is placed into the body, scar tissue forms around that object. Traditionally, this scar tissue stays where it develops and creates no problem. Unfortunately, in some situations, the scar tissue contracts around the implant and squeezes it. This not only causes the implant to change shape and create unusual bulging, but it can also be quite painful. You will know if your implants have experienced capsular contracture. When this condition occurs, your surgeon must remove both the implant and the surrounding scar tissue that is causing the problem. Once everything is removed, a new implant can be placed, and you will be on your way.
2. Implant Rupture
Implant rupture can occur with both saline and silicone implants. While the silicone shells of both types of implants are durable and can withstand a considerable amount of pressure, they’re not foolproof. Ruptures of saline implants are noticeable immediately, as you will see a distinct deflation of your breast. Ruptures of silicone implants are much more difficult to diagnose without an MRI. The silicone gel often stays in place for a while after a rupture, so it’s not immediately noticeable. To treat a ruptured implant, your surgeon must remove the original implant (as well as any escaped silicone gel) and insert a new one.
3. Implant Malposition
A pocket must be formed in the breast to insert a breast implant, either above or below the chest muscle. If this pocket is made too large, there may be a risk of implant malposition. This occurs when the implant can move around in the pocket, therefore changing the shape and appearance of the breasts. If this happens, the implant must be removed, and the pocket must be reshaped so that there will be no additional movement.
4. Double Bubble Deformity
While a double bubble deformity is rare, it is still a risk associated with breast implants. Double bubble breast deformity occurs when the implant falls below the inframammary crease (the crease where the breasts meet the chest wall) and creates a ripple effect or the appearance of a “double breast.” A double bubble deformity may be more likely for patients who choose larger implants.
5. To Change the Size
The most common reason women choose to remove their implants is because they are unhappy with their current size. Before the initial operation, women are faced with a difficult decision: having to choose which implant size they believe will meet their aesthetic desires. This is not always a simple decision. Women who undergo breast augmentation want larger breasts, though they may not know how much larger. For some women, their initial choice was too conservative, and they wish for larger implants. For others, the implants were overly large and too cumbersome for their day-to-day lives. If patients decide down the line that the implant size they chose isn’t actually the best size for them, implant revision can change out the old implants for a new size.
If you are noticing unexplainable changes to your implants or are considering changing the size of your implants, contact Dr. Alex Mesbahi today by calling 703-287-8277 to set up a consultation.