Breast Surgery Challenges

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If you are considering a breast lift or a revision of a previous breast augmentation procedure, be sure to discuss the quality of your breast tissue with your surgeon.  For many patients, weak or stretchy breast tissue can pose a challenge in breast surgery.  If you are one of these patients, it is important to discuss with your surgeon what can be done to help meet your goals for the surgery.

Revision Breast Augmentation (Augmentation Mammaplasty)

Each year in the US, more than 300,000 women undergo breast augmentation procedures1.  In a core breast implant study conducted between the years 2000 and 2006, approximately 28 percent of patients had a reoperation within six years of their initial cosmetic breast procedure2.  The most common reasons for a revision procedure are a desire to change implant size or correct capsular contracture2.

When breast implants, or any other foreign object, are placed in the body, the body forms a lining  or “capsule” of scar tissue around it.  The tightening or contracture of the capsule can result in misshapen, firm or painful breasts.  If this happens the surgeon may perform a capsulectomy to remove the capsule and replace the implant.  Following this procedure it may be necessary to reinforce weak breast tissue.

Capsular Contracture: Firm, painful, misshapen breasts

 

 

 

Capsular Contracture: Firm, painful, misshapen breasts

 

 

Area of weak tissue where reinforcement may be required

 

 

Area of weak tissue where reinforcement may be required

For illustration purposes only, results may vary

 

 

There are other challenges a surgeon may encounter in augmentation revision procedures due to weak or inadequate tissue.  These include:

Weak tissue causes the lower breast border to move downward or to side

 

 

Fold Malposition: Weak tissue causes the lower breast border to move downward or to the side.

 

 

 

fold malpositioning

 

Area of weak tissue where reinforcement may be required

For illustration purposes only, results may vary

 

 

 

bottoming out breast implant picture

 

 

Bottoming OutYour breast drops lower than desired because your skin has stretched.

 

 

 

bottomed out repair

 

Area of weak tissue where reinforcement may be required

For illustration purposes only, results may vary

 

 

rippling breast implant

 

 

Wrinkling and RipplingWrinkles, ripples or irregular contours appear due to thin tissue.

 

 

rippling repaired

 

 

Area of weak tissue where reinforcement may be required

For illustration purposes only, results may vary

 

symmastia picture

 

 

Symmastia: Weak tissue causes the breasts to move too close together and may touch each other.

 

 

symmastia repair

 

Area of weak tissue where reinforcement may be required

For illustration purposes only, results may vary

 

 

Breast Lift (Mastopexy Augmentation)

Pregnancy, breast feeding, and the passing of time can cause the breasts to lose their firmness, shape, and volume.  Massive weight loss can also cause the breasts to sag.

A breast lift, technically known as a mastopexy, is a procedure to raise and reshape a woman’s breasts.  If your breasts are small or have lost volume, breast implants can be inserted in conjunction with breast lift surgery to increase breast size and firmness. Careful examination and evaluation by your surgeon is required to determine if you are a candidate for breast lift surgery.  In some patients, relaxed skin elasticity and thin tissue can pose special challenges.  The surgeon may need to use a special technique and tissue graft to provide reinforcement.

Stretchy Skin and Lax Tissue

augmentation mastopexy

 

 

 

 

 

Augmentation Mastopexy reinforced

 

 

Area of weak tissue where reinforcement may be required

For illustration purposes only, results may vary

 

 

Tips For Discussing Breast Challenges with Your Surgeon

Whether you are considering a breast lift to enhance your body after pregnancy or a revision of a primary augmentation, open communication with your surgeon is an important factor for success.  The following questions can help guide your discussion:

• Have you treated patients with breast challenges similar to mine?  What techniques have you successfully used that might be appropriate for my situation?

• Are there new technologies available that could help correct my breast challenges?  Are you using these technologies?  Why or why not?

• What can be done to maximize the longer term success of my breast lift procedure?

• Can anything be done to help minimize future breast surgery complications?


IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Every patient is different and their revision options and their results may vary. All depictions on the site are for illustration purposes only. Whether or not you have breast revision is a decision you need to make in consultation with your physician. Only you and your physician can determine the best option for you. Please ask your doctor to explain the benefits and risk of various revision options and whether they are right for you.

1. 2012 Report of the 2011 Statistics National Clearinghouse of Plastic Surgery Statistics provided by American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

2. Spear, et al. Inamed silicone breast implant core study results at 6 years. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2007 Dec; 120(7 Suppl 1): 8S-16S.

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