Secondary Breast Augmentation or Re-Augmentation
Posted July 18, 2016
Breast Augmentation remains one of the most common elective procedures in the United States. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery there were over 305,000 breast augmentations performed in 2015. While the FDA has found approved breast implants sold here in the United States to have a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness when used as labeled, the agency does emphasize that breast implants are not lifetime devices.
Secondary Breast Augmentation, or Re-Augmentation, is surgery that is performed to either replace or remove a patient’s current implants. The longer a woman has breast implants, the more likely she is to experience local complications which may be the result of any of the following issues:
- Capsular contraction
- Slow gel bleeds
- Drooping or breast ptosis
- Aging breast tissue, or atrophy
- Effects of weight fluctuations
Upon evaluation by a board certified plastic surgeon, these concerns may be addressed and the treatment plan to resolve an implant issue may be replacement or removal. The evolution of implants over the last 10 years allows the patient to choose from a multitude of anatomical shapes should she replace them. If choosing to have them removed, the patient may experience some undesirable cosmetic changes to their natural breast.
Re-augmentation is an outpatient procedure and is unique to each individual patient. It is performed to correct or improve a patient’s current augmentation therefore it is not as simple as replacing an older product with a newer version. The implant “pocket” may need to be reshaped or modified to create a new “pocket” to fit the updated implant. Dr. Antimarino has designed a technique that will down size the pocket circumferentially and allow for more projection to the breast. This procedure is called the “Projection Pocket” and is used to increase projection and modify shape in the capsular tissue during a re-augmentation.
Depending on the concerns being addressed with the aging implants, surgery time may be longer than that commonly seen with primary breast augmentation. The down time remains essentially the same, on average back to work in one week and back to exercising in three weeks (may vary depending on the job).
It is important to address any abnormal changes in your breast with your plastic surgeon and continue to monitor your breast implants for the rest of your life.