A cosmetic surgeon suggested Sculptra or Artefill for breast implant rippling. I am 4 wks post op with revision surgery. Subglandular saline implants replaced with Silicone high profile implants. There is already noticeable rippling. I am very thin so submuscular placement may not help much. I also have considerable sagging so would need a lift with submuscular placement. I would like to avoid a lift since I have had problems in the past with scarring. Any advice greatly appreciated.
Sculptra for Breast Implant Rippling
Doctor Answers 10
Sculptra for Breast Implant Rippling is an option
I have used Scultpra specifically for the problem you are describing - visible breast implant edges in a thin woman after implant reconstruction. In fact, I have published this specific technique in the Breast Journal in 2009. You can view this entire article on my website - drschulmanplasticsurgery.com/Breast-JournalCorrection-of-Chest-Wall-Deformity-After-Implant-Based-Breast-Reconstruction-Using-poly-l-Lactic-Acid-Sculptra.pdf
The other options listed such as fat injections and Alloderm/Strattice are other options. The advantage of Sculptra is that it only involves office injections (you may need 4-6 treatment sessions) and does not require a surgical procedure like the other techniques. I agree that you should only choose a doctor experienced in Sculptra and specifically this technique so it may involve you traveling for this (to NY perhaps).
Factors that are associated with increased rippling include:
- Traditional Saline implants (IDEAL® Saline implants less likely)
- Textured implants
- Large implants
- Thin patients with low BMI
- Implants placed above the muscle
- Prior history of rippling
- Heavier and larger breasted women
- Using a highly cohesive form-stabile silicone implants (gummy bear)
- Smooth implants
- Smaller implants
- Submuscular placement
What to do for breast implant rippling?
1. Make sure you're seeing a surgeon who is specifically certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (NOT "cosmetic" surgery). And find out whether the surgeon does a lot of breast revision work.
2. Sculptra is NOT the answer here. Completely off-label, unpredictable in the breast (I would imagine), and cost-prohibitive for the amount you likely need. Plus, it's not permanent. Same goes for Artefill, except that it is considered permanent (lasting longer than 5 years).
3. Consider moving the implants to the subpectoral position. Even in thin women, the muscle at least provides additional implant coverage.
4. Talk to your plastic surgeon (not 'cosmetic' surgeon) about using Strattice or Surgimend or Alloderm--some form of acellular dermal matrix, to thicken the tissue coverage.
5. Talk to your surgeon about fat transfer. Fat grafting is a great adjunct to many breast surgeries.
I often have to use more than one of the above options to get a good resolution to the problem of implant rippling in a thin woman. Good luck!
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Sculptra and Artefill about a breast implant is "off lable"
Many possible concerns r.e. using semi-permanent fillers about breast implants.
Firstly is the concern that you would pierce the implant creating a leak.
Secondly is that the material would not do what you wish it to do- fill out the area of rippling, but rather gather in the area about the ripple.
Sculptra or Artefill for breast implant rippling - Not a good idea
Regarding: "Sculptra for Breast Implant Rippling
A cosmetic surgeon suggested Sculptra or Artefill for breast implant rippling. I am 4 wks post op with revision surgery. Subglandular saline implants replaced with Silicone high profile implants. There is already noticeable rippling. I am very thin so submuscular placement may not help much. I also have considerable sagging so would need a lift with submuscular placement. I would like to avoid a lift since I have had problems in the past with scarring. Any advice greatly appreciated."
Obviously you are well-read on breast surgery and yet- you twice managed to take the wrong fork in the road further complicating the condition of the the breasts.
If you knew you thin skinned you should have had smaller, silicone gel implant placed submuscularly the first time around (to minimize sagging and rippling). A month ago you lost another opportunity to correct your breasts. You probably should have had a submuscular silicone gel implant, breast lift and a Strattice sling to hold the implant and cover the ripples.
The use of Sculptra in the breast is at best controversial. The use of artefill, a gritty, fine sand like filler in the breast in my opinion borders on the irresponsible or worse when there are so many other options which are less noxious.
As regards "I would like to avoid a lift ", I fully understand your reluctance. It is shared by millions of patients and plastic surgeons alike. But THE ONLY WAY to correct a sagging. droopy breast is with a lift NOT with larger implants, fillers or even acellular dermal matrices used by themselves.
If you want the MOST attractive breasts you can have, you must have everything done properly and instead of having partial procedures or worse yet, experimental, ineffective or injurious procedures.
Sculptra for Breast Implant Rippling
Your concerns are very complexing and need great personalized attention. Over the internet any recommendation are a guess. Because you failed to post photos and your surgery history is a bit confusing. Seek in person opinions for a treatment plan. Personally I would not use SCULPTRA in this area, I would try Selphyl.
Ways to hide breast augmentation rippling
Thanks for your question -
In our San Francisco area practice we would not typically use Sculptura or other injectables in this "off label" manner. There are several issues:
- Typically rippling is a consequence of thin tissue over the implant - this can cause damage to the implants when injections are applied.
- Multiple injections in the area increase the risk of implant infection.
- The volume of the injections that must be used can be very expensive.
Instead consider using acellular dermal matrix to provide an additional layer of tissue between your skin and the implant. This techique has multiple advantages but does require a trip back to the operating room.
You should also consider silicone implants which tend to ripple much less than saline.
I hope this helps!
Sculptra is not accepted for breast augmentation
Please see a BOARD CERTIFIED plastic surgeon
I am concerned about the term "cosmetic surgeon". I have found over the years that doctors without approved training and test certification of the American Board of Medical Specialties call themselves a nebulous term "cosmetic surgeon". Please make sure you are in the right office before proceding. As a board certified dermatologist, I do a lot of Sculptra, but no breast implants, so that is my only comment.