K. Charles Kim, MD is an Orange County Plastic Surgeon who specializes in cosmetic plastic surgery. He is highly experienced in the areas of facial surgery and body surgery. Dr. Kim is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery in both Plastic Surgery and Reconstructive surgery. He is highly sought-after in California in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Orange County for performing Breast Implant Revisions. A Breast Implant Revision is the procedure to fix breast implant procedures performed by other Plastic Surgeons, that have either been done incorrectly, or have not achieved the desired results for the patient.
The most common reasons a patient has for breast implant revision as seen by Dr. Kim are:
- A desire by the patient for their breast implants to change in size: larger or smaller
- Capsular contracture repair, the hardening of the lining around the breast implant
- Bottoming-out Repair
- Asymmetry Revision
- Breast Implant Removal
- Breast Implant leakage, whether in saline or silicone implants
- Breast implant displacement
- Breast Implants scar revision
- Breast implant rippling and palpability (This is more common with saline implants)
- Conversion from saline to silicone implants (and rarely vice-versa)
Breast Implants Revision Augmentation – Changing the Breast Implant and/or the size of the implant: In Dr. Kim’s experience, breast implant revision for size is the most common reason that women decide to undergo a breast implant revision procedure. Over time, their breasts change in size and there are times when a patient may wish for a change in their breast implants. While most women elect to have larger breast implants performed on them, there are also women who decide to have smaller breast implants done during the revision. The procedure to change the size of a patient’s implants is quite simple. It is also significantly easier to recover from than their initial breast implant surgery procedure. The reason is that the pocket for the new breast implant has already been created, during the initial procedure. For a revision involving a change to larger implants, the initial pocket for the implant may need to be expanded by Dr. Kim. While not usual, for exchange to smaller breast implants, the pocket may need to be partially closed. In either case, larger or smaller, it is usually significantly less painful as well as much easier to recover from, than the initial breast augmentation surgery.
Breast Implant Deflation: Unfortunately, saline breast implants can incur leaks. When this does occur, the saline leaks out and the implant visibly deflates. Saline occurs naturally in the body and therefore this does not pose a health risk to the patient. Nevertheless, the affected breast and breast implant will get smaller as the fluid leaks out of it. The treatment for this problem is to completely replace the leaking breast implant. Treatment for the leaking implant involves removing the ruptured implant first. Then, it is replaced with a new one. The opposite breast does not require treatment unless the breast implants have been in the patient for a considerable amount of time, in which case it may be prudent to exchange that breast implant as well. Otherwise, the only reason to perform any procedure on the opposite breast would be if the patient wishes to change their implant size.
Breast Implant Rupture: Silicone breast implants differ significantly from saline breast implants in a major way. If they leak, the body does not naturally absorb the silicone the way it would absorb a leak from a saline implant. Instead, the leaking silicone generally remains in place. Some experts feel that this kind of rupture can contribute to problems local to the breast such as capsular contracture, which is covered directly below this entry. The general agreed view is that when there is a known, or even suspected, gel breast implant rupture, the treatment of choice is to remove the ruptured implant and replace it with a completely new one. The new breast implants can be either silicone like the previous, or new saline implants.
Capsular Contracture: Capsular contracture leads to a hardening of the breast, after breast augmentation plastic surgery. While there is always a scar tissue capsule that forms around a breast implant, this simply being how the body will naturally respond, this natural-response capsule usually remains soft. In the case of contracture, however, the capsule can contract, causing the breast to feel unnaturally firm or hard. When contracture occurs, it can result in one or both breasts becoming slightly or even very hard. It can also result in a visually distorted breast. When the breast feels very hard, revision should be strongly considered. Capsular contracture is a frustrating condition for both patients and plastic surgeons. There is no definitive understanding of why this occurs in some patients, nor can it be predicted to whom this will occur in.
Malposition: Over the course of time, a woman’s breast will inevitably change in size and/or shape. In the case of women who have undergone breast augmentation, position of the breast implants may change with time as well. This change may occur to an extent that the breast implants no longer appear in proper proportion to the breast itself. This is called “malposition”. The implants may appear too far to the side or even too low, referred to as “bottoming out”. When the breast implants bottom-out, the recognized treatment is usually breast surgery. The surgery requires manipulation of the tissue in order to create an internal “brassiere” effect, to support the breast implants in a proper new position. A similar method of secondary breast implant revision may be performed by OC Plastic Surgeon Dr. K. Charles Kim for breast implants in a patient that have moved too far to the side.