Thankfully, the vast majority of people who have breast augmentation surgery are very happy with the results and do not experience any problems. In fact, research has shown that 92% of women who have had the procedure feel that it was worth it. However, breast augmentation is a surgical procedure and that carries some risk with it. One of those risks is the capsular contracture, which means that hard scar tissue starts to develop. As a result, people may need revision surgery such as plastic surgery to fix hardened implants.
Plastic Surgery to Fix Hardened Implants and Other Revision Surgery
There are a number of problems that will generally require revision surgery, being:
- Implants that are placed too high. Usually, it takes between six weeks and three months for the implants to drop to their normal location. However, sometimes, the implants have settled and remain too high. This is particularly common in subpectoral and submuscular implant placements. Thankfully, revision surgery requires only a pocket revision, meaning the muscle is released and the implants gets into position.
- Visible folds or rippling. This is most common when a saline implant is used, although it can occur with silicone as well. Additionally, it is more common in sub-glandular procedures instead of subpectoral or submuscular. Lastly, it is more common in thin women as they have less glandular tissue. Usually, the revision surgery will require the implant to be place submuscular instead, and to replace it with a silicone implant instead. Strattice or Alloderm may be required to cover the deformity, although some women prefer fat injections instead.
- Mammary ptsosis, also known as ‘Snoopy deformity’. This happens when sagging breasts are augmented but no lift is included. This means that the mammary gland starts to hang over the implant. This looks almost like Snoopy in profile, unfortunately. The solution is to have a dermal mastopexy.
- Bottoming out. This happens when the breast’s inframammary fold is compromised during surgery, meaning the implant sinks into the chest wall. This often makes the areola area look fuller. A capsulorraphy, which reconstructs the fold, is a straightforward procedure to resolve this issue.
- Capsula contraction. This means scar tissue forms on the implant or at the implant site. Contractions are graded 1 to 4 and, in case of a Grade 3 or 4, revision surgery will be required. It usually means removing the implant altogether. Contraction is more common in those who have had fat injections and with smooth implants.
There are numerous other potential problems that are associated with breast augmentation surgery. Those include a double bubble, a visible implant, symmastia, and in implant rupture. It is important to remember that these problems are very rare and, so long as you work with an experienced surgeon, highly unlikely to happen. Additionally, your surgeon should monitor you to ensure none of these issues develop and to take action should a problem start to occur, thereby ensuring you don’t develop serious complications.