Many women are born with breasts that are uneven in size and shape, which may or may not be noticeable to others. These differences in breasts are often undetectable to patients themselves, causing no problems at all, while other women can have obvious asymmetry, which can cause both an unbalanced appearance and emotional distress.
Asymmetric breasts can be corrected through surgery that either enlarges the smaller breast or reduces the larger one. Implants can be placed in smaller breasts or a breast reduction can be performed on larger breasts. If the nipples appear at different heights, surgery can relocate one or both of the nipples.
All of these options produce breasts that are more similar in appearance, working with each woman’s unique body to achieve the best possible results. Creating a more balanced appearance can help improve physical balance, self-confidence and body image.
Breast Implant Revision
We specialize in revision breast augmentation for patients who are not satisfied with their results after undergoing breast augmentation at other practices. These patients’ unhappiness may arise from the implant shape, size, or placement or because of a post-surgical complication such as wrinkling, implant displacement, capsular contracture (hardening around the implant) or symmastia (implants drift together).
Reasons for Revision Breast Augmentation
After their first breast augmentation, many women discover that they actually want their breasts to be larger or smaller than the results achieved during the initial procedure.
Different Implant Size
This is the most common reason that patients seek revision surgery. During this type of revision procedure, the same incision is used to remove the old implants and insert a different implant based on the patient’s individual body. Small adjustments may be required in order to accommodate the new breast size.
Patients seeking changes to their implant size are advised to wait at least three months after the initial procedure before undergoing revision augmentation. After three months, swelling has subsided and the implants have settled, allowing patients to evaluate the true size of their implants. From there, revisions can be made if desired.
Saline breast implants that begin to leak are often noticeable, as the leaking breast will gradually decrease in size. Patients with silicone implant leaks may notice small changes in the shape of the breast, but should have any suspected leaks or ruptures confirmed by a plastic surgeon. Your plastic surgeon may perform an evaluation through a mammogram or MRI to evaluate the status of your implants.
A leaking or ruptured implant should be replaced right away. This type of revision can be done through the same incision as the initial procedure. The procedure is often easier and less painful than the first procedure, and patients can benefit from a faster recovery as well.
There is always a risk of certain complications and side effects from a breast augmentation procedure. Some of these complications may include wrinkling and rippling of the implant, capsular contracture and shifting of the implants. Wrinkling and rippling occur most often in women with thin skin or a small amount of natural breast tissue. These ripples can often be felt when touching the breast and may even be visible under the skin. Capsular contracture involves hardening of the breasts and a change in shape as well as scar tissue developing around the implant.
There are several solutions available to help correct these complications. Changing the size, shape, position or type of implant is often helpful in relieving these problems and correcting the look and feel of the breasts.
Nipple Eversion and Reconstruction
Inverted nipples, which point inward rather than out from the breasts, can be a source of self-consciousness as well as concern about the ability to breastfeed. However, this condition may be corrected through a nipple eversion procedure. This surgery involves releasing or stretching internal connective tissue that has been pulling the nipple inward.
The eversion procedure is typically performed with the use of a local anesthetic. An incision is made in the areola to access the connective fibers. The nipple is then placed in an outward position and held there using sutures. The sutures dissolve as the breast tissue heals and the nipples remain pointing outward. Nipple eversion surgery can preserve nearby milk ducts to maintain a patient’s ability to breastfeed in the future.
Nipple and areola reconstruction is typically performed to create nipples if they are missing due to mastectomy, injury or a congenital defect. It is often the final step in breast reconstruction surgery, where the nipple is formed after the breast mound has settled into place so that the new nipple matches the appearance and position of the natural one as closely as possible. Nipple reconstruction may be performed using one of several techniques, including tissue and cartilage flaps, skin grafts and tattooing.
Many men and women are embarrassed or bothered by the larger size of their nipples. Patients may be born with larger nipples, or they may develop after breastfeeding. Whatever the cause may be, larger nipples can be reduced through a simple surgical procedure that offers immediate results and minimal risks, eliminating patients’ worries about nipple size and shape.
Nipple reduction is commonly performed during a breast reduction procedure, so that the size of the nipple will match the new size and shape of the breast. Larger nipples often create a matronly or older appearance, although it commonly occurs after breastfeeding or in naturally large breasts. A reduced nipple size can help create an overall youthful appearance to the breast, and helps maximize the aesthetic results of a breast reduction or breast lift procedure.
It is important for patients to realize that the nipple and the areola are not the same thing. The nipple is the projected part of the breast, while the areola is the darker pigmented skin that surrounds the nipple. Many patients undergoing nipple reduction may also seek areola reduction in order to achieve their desired results.