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When you’re 23, you may have some very specific reasons for undergoing a breast augmentation, and some of them might include an additional amount of boldness or boundless youthful energy. Some younger women seeking breast augmentation decide to go much bigger—often substantially larger than an average enhanced breast. There’s a youthful aesthetic that many young women are trying to achieve, which almost seems to say, “I have implants and I’m proud of them.” This is the perfect look for a particular mindset around a specific age if it can help an individual reach their goals.


But breast augmentation is popular among a broad spectrum of ages. And what we find is that the 40-year-old woman who comes in wanting a breast augmentation does not have the same goals as the 23-year-old woman. Often, the older woman comes into the office looking for natural-looking implants. Often, this will be coupled with a breast lift. In other words, the 40 year old comes in looking for the best natural breasts they could have had when they were 23.


Certainly, some of this can be chalked up to the changes that take place in our lives over our 20’s, 30’s, and even 40’s and 50’s. “Life is a journey and we are all at different points on that journey. What is indeed important today, may not have the same significance ten years from now,” said Dr. John McFate, owner and surgeon at Precision Plastic Surgery. It’s not surprising that, at different points in our lives, we want different things. But one thing that won’t change is your implant—it will be the same size for the duration of its lifespan. So how do you reconcile the implants you received in your 20’s to now meet your aesthetic goals and their effect on your life in your 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s?


It turns out the solution is relatively simple, given you’re a candidate and willing to have additional surgery. The procedure is called breast implant revision surgery, and it involves exchanging one set of implants for another, ideally which better suit your new desires and lifestyle. Sometimes, this means taking out a larger set of implants and replacing them with a smaller size or type. Sometimes it’s the opposite. Our Austin breast revision patients have come to expect that once they leave Precision Plastic Surgery, they’ll be thrilled with their new look.

There are some additional challenges that exist with an implant exchange. After an augmentation, scar tissue or capsule forms around the implant. Around 10% of the time, the capsule can develop different levels of firmness. The capsule, which defines the implant pocket, most likely would need to also be addressed at the time of implant exchange. Similarly, if a woman decreases the size of her implants, the skin envelope may need to be addressed. An implant, especially a large size (>400mL), will stretch out and thin the overlying skin and soft tissue. When the size of the implant is reduced, the excess skin may need revision to optimize the aesthetic result. Think of how the right size foot looks in an appropriate fitting sock to visualize this dilemma.

“There are additional challenges to breast revision surgery,” said Dr. McFate. “The breast changes over time from the implants, aging, weight changes, and pregnancy. It’s not always as simple to just exchange one set of implants for another. The overlying skin envelope and prior capsule formation require attention in order to deliver the most aesthetically pleasing breast as possible.”


More uncommonly, this procedure must be performed when an implant ruptures. With a saline rupture, you’ll notice right away. Silicone implants, on the other hand, are designed to make ruptures virtually unnoticeable, so you should replace them if you notice symptoms or discomfort, request a size change, or have other concerns.


The operation at times can provide slightly less stress on the body than the original breast augmentation procedure for a couple of reasons. The breast has in a sense become better vascularized from the prior surgery which means healing can be easier. Your previous scars may be utilized at the time of your revision surgery, but there may be additional incisions required depending on the need for a concomitant mastopexy (breast lift) to address the skin envelope..


Whatever your age, and whatever your desired results, the point of breast augmentation is to make you happy, to improve your quality of life. And based on many surveys of patients who have undergone the procedure, it largely works—it provides new freedoms in life that may not have been obtainable before. But as your definition of what that means changes over the years, you always have the option to go back and revisit your results. Remember, Where ever you are in life, we can help you look your best.

To learn more about breast implant revision surgery, click here.

To learn more about Dr. John McFate, click here.

If you’re interested in a confidential consultation, contact us now!