Working to create the best breast augmentation outcomes for our patients.
When you flub a shot In golf, and tee it up again, you call it a “mulligan”. When we were 10-year-olds playing baseball, and would get another try after a swing and miss at strike three, we called it a “do-over”. In aesthetic breast surgery, we call it revision surgery. That’s the operation where a surgeon tries to fix a problem left over from one or more previous breast operations.
I’ve noticed a disturbing trend lately; unhappy breast surgery patients from other institutions come to see me asking for revision surgery. That’s not the disturbing part. The disturbing part is when they tell me that they can’t find a surgeon who will help them.
More and more plastic surgeons are refusing to do revision breast surgery, especially if the patient was initially operated on by someone other than themselves. I just don’t understand that attitude.
At the Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, my partners and I take great pride in helping patients undo the problems they’ve developed from previous breast surgeries, especially when the initial surgery was done elsewhere.
There is a particular set of challenges that comes with doing revision breast surgery. Not only do we have to do the right operation, we often have to undo the wrong operation that was done previously. This presents intellectual, technical and aesthetic challenges.
In almost every situation, we need to select a different breast implant. Sometimes a bigger implant. Sometimes a smaller one. Sometimes one with more or less width, height or projection.
The implant “pocket”, or space, almost always needs adjustment as well. That can be challenging, depending on the quality and thickness of the scar tissue that lines the pocket. Sometimes we need to add extra support for the implant using a piece of acellular dermal matrix. Sometimes, one of the two most important defining characteristics of the breast, the infra-mammary fold or the nipple-areola complex needs to be raised, lowered or otherwise adjusted.
All of these procedures are technically challenging, and yes, they can make a surgeon sweat, but they’re also extremely rewarding, both for the surgeon and for the patient. We understand that in most cases, a great deal of time, energy and money has gone into the procedures leading up to the final revision.
As dedicated breast surgeons, doing revision breast surgery well is very gratifying for my partners and I, and it’s also a big relief for a long-frustrated patient who can finally have the results they hoped for in the first place.