In 2016, more than a quarter million breast augmentation surgeries were performed in the US, a number that is up by almost 37% since 2000, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). As the number of women seeking breast augmentation rises, so does the number potentially needing a breast revision.
Before undergoing a breast enhancement, it’s important to understand the whole process to ensure a successful outcome. To make it easy, we’ve listed some important considerations to take to avoid a breast revision.
What is a Breast Augmentation?
A breast augmentation is a cosmetic surgery procedure that uses breast implants or fat transfer to increase breast size. A breast enhancement can increase the fullness and projection of breasts and can improve the balance between breast size and shape and the rest of the body. Women who seek out a breast augmentation do so for a variety of reasons, including cosmetic or reconstructive reasons (for example, after breast cancer treatment).
What Are Breast Revisions?
For some patients who have complications or are dissatisfied with a breast enhancement, they may need to have a second surgery to address issues like implant size, capsular contracture (a hard scar forming around the implant), implant rupture or rippling, or breast implant displacement.
Usually patients wait a period of a year after the initial breast augmentation before undergoing a breast revision to allow time for the results to be finalized and for the breasts to fully heal, but in some cases the revision surgery can be performed earlier.
While some breast revisions are necessary, there are steps you can take to potentially help reduce the need for a second surgery later.
Minimize the Need for Breast Revision Surgery
To help maximize your breast enhancement results, and to reduce the need for a breast revision, here are three main considerations you can take:
Set Realistic Goals
The specific details of each breast augmentation are different depending on the patient, but some steps are the same for everyone. Before surgery, it is important to know what you want to have done and to go into surgery with realistic aesthetic goals.
There are several factors that determine results but anatomy plays a large role. Most of the time it is better to avoid huge increases in breast size. Also, depending on proportion, the surgeon may recommend an implant size that is a different size than you were envisioning, but would be a better match for your overall physical makeup.
Patients who are willing to match their breast size to their proportion, and who also go into surgery with reasonable expectations typically have a positive experience and enjoy better results.
Researching breast enhancements can give good information about the procedure, but having a consultation with the surgeon is the most valuable. A consultation with a plastic surgeon gives the patient an opportunity to discuss their goals and learn what is reasonable based on their own situation.
Defining Your Breast Enhancement
During consultation, the plastic surgeon will discuss the steps of the procedure, implant types and sizes, positioning, and more.
Increasing the breast size can be done through implants or a fat transfer. For implants, there are many factors to decide on including the fill, size, width, height and profile. The implant option that works best for you to meet your aesthetic goals will be decided during the consultation.
Working with the Right Plastic Surgeon
Undergoing breast augmentation is a big decision. Finding the right plastic surgeon is vital to the success. With the increasing demand in cosmetic surgery and the rise of providers to fulfill that demand, it is more important than ever to select a plastic surgeon who is board certified with the proper training and experience in performing breast enhancements. A board certified plastic surgeon meets and follows all standards of excellence set up by the ASPS. By choosing a board certified surgeon, you can be assured that the doctor has been vetted and adheres to the strict standards of ethics, patient safety, training and education.
As cosmetic surgery continues to rise, so does the number of doctors who are performing cosmetic surgery. What many prospective patients don’t realize is that the qualifications and credentials of a cosmetic surgeon are significantly different from a plastic surgeon.
What does it take to be board certified? Plastic surgeons must complete extensive and specific surgery in both cosmetics and reconstructive techniques. In addition to a medical degree, they are required to undergo surgical training, plastic surgery residency program, and clinical practice. Furthermore, they must pass rigorous written and oral exams administered by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS).
In addition to working with a board certified provider, it is important to understand that a plastic surgeon and cosmetic surgeon are not the same and the distinction between the two. The credentials and training vary between the two professions.
Aside from evaluating credentials and qualifications, review the surgeon’s before and after photos to visualize the results. Ask to look at cases of patients with similar anatomy and goals to yours.
Understanding the procedure, having a clear understanding of what it entails, holding onto realistic expectations, and working with a board certified plastic surgeon can help to ensure a successful outcome.