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Breast Revision for Implant-Related Complications


In my previous blog post, I highlighted several common reasons women seek breast revision surgery. Since many of these reasons pertained to rare but potential implant-related complications, I would like to focus on how resolving these particular concerns via breast revision should be approached.

The conditions of symmastia (also known as “uni-boob,” where breast implants touch in the mid-line), capsular contracture, or “bottoming out” of a breast implant are unique issues that can occur independently or at the same time.

These conditions result from the implant moving from its original pocket to across the midline (symmastia), below the natural fold (bottoming out), or due to circumferential scar tissue that forms around the implant, creating a firm feel to the breast, a distorted appearance, or in the worst situation, discomfort or pain (capsular contracture).  See an upcoming blog post about this issue.

There are many different techniques to treating these problems; however, on occasion the best solution is to remove the breast implants and allow the body to take a break before re-embarking on another augmentation.


Why consider removing an implant as a temporary measure to make things better in the long run?

There is a term in Plastic Surgery called an “implant cripple”—this describes the patient who has had countless breast augmentation revisions, with the results ending up worse than the time before. This is something that we would never wish upon a patient!

Thus, taking time before planning another surgery and/or sometimes removing implants altogether is the wisest move to avoid this situation.  As I tell my patients “you want to do this ONCE, and do it right!”.  This can apply to a breast revision as well as a primary augmentation procedure.


Ultimately, when correcting implant-related complications (and any other concerns pertaining to the appearance of the breasts), the breast revision approach should be individualized to fit the specific needs of patient.

As a result, it is important to find a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon who not only has a great deal of experience with complicated breast revision, but who will also spend the time and attention necessary to formulate a customized treatment plan that is in the best interest of each woman.

For more information about breast implant issues, please contact my office:  Complete our online consultation request form or call 415-923-3067 to learn more.

– Dr. Karen Horton, San Francisco Bay Area Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

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Dr. Karen M. Horton, M.D. - Plastic Surgery, Physicians & Surgeons - Medical-M.D., San Francisco, CA