The big thing to know is that every surgeon has outcomes that are not what they would want sometimes. It doesn't really matter how good they are, how well trained they are, there are just certain things that you can't control once the surgery is done and so everybody is going to experience those. It doesn't necessarily mean your surgeon did something wrong and patients are writing into RealSelf a lot asking about what should I do and a lot of times the answer is talk to your own surgeon. Your own surgeon is the one who knows best exactly what was done, all the details of the surgery and they are going to be very motivated to want to take care of it for you. If you immediately go to somebody else then you've started a brand new doctor-patient relationship and you are potentially looking at a lot of additional expense. The other things to know are that the biggest predictor of a revision surgery is a failed revision surgery so it's really important to get it right the first time.

There's a great temptation to maybe try simple things and hope they work but each operation is going to cause additional scaring and that makes the subsequent attempts at correction more difficult so you really have to have a good plan to get it right the first time. Make sure than the surgeons explain to you what they think the problem is and what they are going to do and what they are going to do differently than what was done before. If plan A didn't work, you don't make plan B, the same as plan A and hope for a different outcome so that's important. The other thing is if you do decide that you need to go to a different surgeon to correct your problem, they can't really know everything about what was done no matter how good the records are but you really want to make sure that somebody who has sort of a special interest in doing that. Somebody who sees a lot of revision cases because it takes a certain kind of approach to it in your practice. These patients have already spent money. They've already been through surgery. They are unhappy and you have to really be willing to work with all those things and work with them to formulate a plan that's hopefully going to get a different outcome than they've experienced before.

We started using the VECTRA 3D imaging primarily with clinical research studies involving revision breast surgery and what's really good about that is that you can get objective information. You can get standard measurements. You can see how the volume and the shape of the breast changes over time in very precise ways and that same concept I think is useful when you are looking at just a primary augmentation or some other breast surgery. One of the things we found out in doing this is that everybody is asymmetrical. There's no such things as two perfectly matched breasts and so the ability to sort of rotate the image and look at it from different angles can show people that he chest wall might be different, there might be little variations in the volume of the breasts, subtle differences in shape and understanding all those things up front is very helpful in planning the surgery. When you are just looking at 2D images before and afters, you miss a lot of that and those things can be very helpful in planning the surgery. We think in three dimensions but we've always decided to look at 2D pictures to do our planning.

Should I Use My Original Surgeon for a Revision Surgery?

Should a patient ever need to get a revision procedure, Dr. Richard Baxter advises when and why they should use their original surgeon. If the patient decides to choose a new surgeon, he reveals exactly what to look for.