Women who have had breast surgery are sometimes dissatisfied with their results. In particular, implants that have shifted out of their proper place can create an unbalanced appearance. Robert Frank, MD Plastic Surgery has extensive experience providing breast revision surgery for Munster, Hobart, Crown Point, and Frankfort. Patients across Indiana and Illinois visit him when their previous breast augmentation results were not satisfactory. He is the holder of a patent on an implantable prosthesis used in corrective procedures, and he offers a conservative and patient-centered approach to their care.

Why Patients May Require Revisional Breast Surgery

Patients from Munster, Hobart, Crown Point, and Frankfort often want to know why their breasts don’t look right after augmentation. Here are a few common causes.
Poor surgical technique. The patient’s previous surgeon may have created a pocket that was too large for their implant. As a result, the implant may have moved out of its proper position. In these cases, patients usually notice a problem soon after surgery.
Capsular contracture. Excessive scar tissue can form around breast implants. This can harden the breasts, change their appearance, and cause discomfort.
Rupture, Deflation, and rippling. Deflation occurs when the shell of the breast implant is ruptured. Signs of a rupture are more noticeable in women with saline breast implants, as the breast may quickly change in size and shape. With rippling, the folds of the implant become visible through the skin.
Weak tissue support. The weight of an implant can overwhelm the soft tissues, causing it to shift to the side (“lateral displacement”) or bottom of the breast (“bottoming out”). This can happen months or years after an augmentation, leading to revisional breast surgery. Certain factors contribute to these problems, including chronic smoking, large implant size, extreme changes in breast volume, and significant weight loss.
Unnaturally wide cleavage when lying flat is a sign of lateral displacement. With bottoming out, women may notice that…

  • They can’t comfortably wear demibras or bathing suits without exposing their nipples.
  • Bras don’t fit well.
  • Their nipples look “too high.”
  • The incision under the breast seems to have moved upward onto their breast
  • There is more rippling along their cleavage and the bottom of the breast.

Dr. Frank’s Approach to Revisional Breast Surgery

Patients visiting Dr. Frank from Munster, Hobart, Crown Point, and Frankfort begin with an initial consultation. They meet directly with Dr. Frank to discuss their concerns and procedures for revision:

  • For some patients with capsular contracture, surgery to remove the scar tissue may be an option.
  • For rupture, rippling, and deflation, Dr. Frank may advise changing the type, profile, or location of the implant.*
  • With both lateral displacement and bottoming out, problems can worsen over time. Wearing a good supportive bra around the clock may slow the progression, but surgery is usually the more predictable way to address it.

In these discussions, Dr. Frank provides the information that patients need, helping them weigh the benefits of improved symmetry and aesthetics against cost and other factors.

About the Procedure

Following pre-operative testing, consent, and surgical scheduling, patients have their procedure in an accredited facility near Munster, Hobart, Crown Point, and Frankfort. In a revisional breast surgery, patients receive sedation or general anesthesia and can expect to return home the same day. Depending on the patient’s goals, Dr. Frank can also remove her existing implants and replace them with new ones in the same procedure. This can help a patient achieve a preferred size or reduce the issues that a specific type or style of implant may cause.*

The Mesh Approach to Revisional Breast Surgery

Dr. Frank has patented a technique for his patients experiencing lateral displacement and bottoming out. The traditional solution, capsulorrhaphy, closes off the part of the implant pocket with permanent sutures. However, the tissues holding these sutures are often too weak, and the fix can fail. His alternative is an implantable prosthesis:

  • Frank creates an incision, typically through the patient’s original breast augmentation incision (unless the original incision was in the axilla or umbilicus).
  • He attaches a mesh-like support to the rib periostreum, which is much stronger than the skin that typically holds sutures and can easily support a breast implant.
  • Scar tissue grows into this mesh, which is made of the same material as permanent sutures.

Dr. Frank adopted the concept from his experience in general surgery, where a similar approach is used in hernia repair. He can advise patients about whether the technique is a good option.

Recovery from Revisional Breast Surgery

Since patients have varying needs in revisional breast surgery, their recovery differs. Usually, Dr. Frank advises patients to wait a week or two before they return to work.* In addition:

  • Patients should limit their physical activity.
  • They should wear a supportive bra to reduce the stress on the surgical site.
  • Some women may require a small drain to limit bleeding around the implant.

Patients return for visits with Dr. Frank throughout their recovery. This helps ensure that they are healing well and progressing toward their desired results.

Dr. Frank’s Advice on Recovery

We all have our own ideas of how long recovery should take. Unfortunately, this means many patients try to rush their recovery and go back to normal activities. This trend is especially true among young mothers who want to spend every moment with their children. They may attempt to play with or pick up their children before their bodies are ready to handle that strain.

Dr. Frank sees rushed recoveries in several ways, with one of the most common being pain. Patients who try to be too active too early in the recovery process often find themselves running through their pain medication too soon and have to ask for an early refill. Rather than increase the amount of medication you take, you will feel better sooner and end the period wherein you need the medication faster if you allow your body to rest. Do not force your body to undergo more physical strain than it is ready to handle. It is okay to take 30-minute breaks on the couch.

Another way Dr. Frank sees patients push themselves too hard is an increased risk of both swelling and dangerous hematomas.

For example, after liposuction, your body needs time to move fluid out of your skin. Patients who have had liposuction will have skin that feels firmer than untreated areas because of this fluid buildup. Getting that fluid out of your skin is one of your recovery goals during the weeks after surgery. But if you activate your muscles near the treated area, that activity draws fluid into the area, which increases swelling and often pain. In the case of a tummy tuck, too much activity early in your recovery can increase blood pressure, which then causes more oozing into the space created during surgery. While a little fluid is normal, it’s easy to overwhelm your body’s ability to absorb this fluid. A hematoma is the result.

To minimize these concerns, Dr. Frank encourages all patients to clear their schedules of everything except the most essential duties for the two weeks after surgery. You should minimize the amount of childcare, job responsibilities, meetings, social activities, and home chores in which you partake so your body can rest. You will feel better and recover faster if you plan ahead so that your body, not your calendar, determines when you are ready for your physical activities.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

If you are interested in revisional breast surgery, talk with Dr. Frank about breast revision. Patients from Munster, Hobart, Crown Point, and Frankfort can reach Robert Frank, MD Plastic Surgery online or at (219) 513-2011.
*Individual results may vary