Revision Augmentation


Revision augmentation surgery is not something that anybody wants, least of all the surgeon. But complications can occur with any surgery. Particularly one that is as popular as a breast augmentation. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Bruce Van Natta is a pioneer in the field of breast surgery. Having performed thousands of breast augmentations, breast lifts and breast reductions over his 25 years in practice, he started his career doing breast reconstruction post cancer. So, he’s seen it all, and he’s fixed it all. He also has one of the lowest re-operation and complication rates in the country which is why he is often consulted by women from all over who’ve had previous breast augmentations with less than ideal results.

Revision Augmentation Consultation

If you aren’t exactly ecstatic about the look of your breast implants then schedule a revision augmentation consultation with Dr. Van Natta at his Indianapolis office. He will begin by taking a detailed history of your previous surgery or surgeries. If you have any of your surgical reports or photographs, bring them. The more information that you can give Dr. Van Natta about where you started, the better. Then, he will conduct a thorough physical exam to assess the condition of your current implants, your breast tissue and skin elasticity. He will spend a great deal of time making sure that he understands your goals going forward. Last, he will present you with the available revision augmentation options, based on your needs and your anatomy. He will be completely honest about the relative trade-offs of each option. Dr. Van Natta’s goal is always to give his patients the best possible result for the long term.

Reasons for Revision Augmentation Surgery

There are many reasons why a woman might need revision augmentation surgery:

  • wrong size
  • capsular contracture
  • ruptured implant
  • pocket stretch
  • asymmetry
  • poor scarring

In some ways, the simplest reason is that you’re just not happy with the size of your original implants. Maybe you went too big or too small the first time around. Or maybe you’re aesthetic tastes have changed. Oftentimes, what worked for a patient in her 20’s no longer works in her 40’s. Following menopause, for example, many women gain some weight. This causes their breasts to feel heavy or “matronly”. These patients may benefit from a breast lift with either outright removal or downsizing of their breast implants. In some cases, a little fat grafting may be an option after a lift and removal of the original implant.

Another reason for revision surgery is that you may develop a complication with your breast implant. Although the new generation of implants are completely safe, a breast implant is a medical device. And there is always a slight risk that things can break down. Both saline and silicone breast implants may develop a tear or rupture. Surprisingly, the rupture rate with saline is higher than that of silicone. And any breast augmentation patient can develop capsular contracture. This is a hardening of the capsule that your body naturally develops around an implant of any kind. It can not only make your breasts look funny, but it can also be quite painful.

And some patients seek out revision augmentation surgery because the implant no longer sits in its original position. Implant malposition occurs when the pocket of scar tissue around the implant stretches under the weight of the implant. This problem often originates with too large of an implant being placed initially. Your breast tissues can’t support the weight and the tissues sag away from the implant. This can result in an abnormal appearance to the breast. It can typically be addressed with a repair of the pocket which may involve the added support of a piece of GALAFlex mesh.

Revision Augmentation Procedure

Every revision augmentation procedure needs to be tailored to not just the underlying cause, but also to your current anatomy. In patients who require a different size implant, the procedure may involve switching out one implant for another. However, if you are going from a large implant to a smaller one, then you are probably going to need a breast lift to address the skin that has been stretched over time by the larger implant. All of this will be discussed with you in detail during your initial consultation.

In patients who have a complication or who suffer from implant malposition, Dr. Van Natta will need to remove the implant and repair the capsule. Depending on your goals, he may place a new breast implant either with or without a breast lift depending on the state of your breast tissue and skin. Some women may also benefit from soft tissue support. GALAFlex is a polymer mesh that acts like an internal bra. It allows Dr. Van Natta to safely use a larger implant in breast tissue that has been compromised and still deliver excellent, long lasting results.

Revision Augmentation Surgery Recovery

Your recovery from revision augmentation surgery is really going to depend on exactly what you had done. Most patients are back to their daily activities in a few days. You can expect to be bruised and swollen for the first 2 weeks, and you may need to wear some type of support garment if you have a breast lift. Most patients can return to light exercise immediately and more intense aerobic exercise at 2 weeks after surgery. But please refrain from any upper body work for at least 6 weeks.

As you may remember from your first go-around, it can take anywhere from 3-6 months for your swelling to fully subside and for your implants to drop into their final position. So, try to be patient. Dr. Van Natta and his staff will be there to guide you through the process. But before you know it, your breasts will be restored and you will feel like yourself again.

To find out more about a revision augmentation with Dr. Bruce Van Natta at Meridian Plastic Surgeons in Indianapolis, contact us today or call (317) 575-0330 to schedule a consultation.