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. Capsular contracture, implant deflation, and implant rippling are other concerns patients may have.
Dr. Frank has extensive experience providing revisional breast surgery for Munster and Hobart-area patients. He is the holder of a patent on an implantable prosthesis used in corrective procedures, and he offers a conservative and patient-centered approach in their care.
Why Patients May Require Revisional Breast Surgery
Hobart and Munster patients 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.
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
Hobart and Munster-area patients 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 rippling, Dr. Frank may advise changing the type, profile, or location of the implant. Fat grafting can also reduce its appearance in some cases.*
- 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 and Hobart. 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 Hobart and Munster 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 towards their desired results.
If you are dissatisfied with your appearance following breast augmentation, talk with Dr. Frank about revisional breast surgery. Hobart and Munster-area patients can reach our offices at (219) 513-2011.
*Individual results may vary