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Breast Implant Revision

Breast implants do not last forever!  Occasionally, breast implant complications such as capsular contracture, breast implant deflation and rupture, and breast implant malposition may occur.  Other times, the soft tissue of the breast stretches in response to the weight of the implant and breast implant complications such as bottoming out and the double bubble deformity may occur.  This can lead to breast asymmetry, which is difficult to correct!  Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Elliot Hirsch uses a variety of techniques including mastopexy, gummy bear implants, breast implant removal and exchange, neosubpectoral pockets, and liposuction to make the breasts appear more symmetric and restore the natural, youthful look of the breasts.

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Capsular Contracture

Image related to Breast Implant Revision Los Angeles Any time that an implant is placed into the body, the body responds by forming a capsule around it.  This happens with pretty much all implantable devices including breast implants, hip/knee prosthesis, etc.  Sometimes, for reasons that are not fully understood, the capsule becomes hard and contracts, which can cause distortion and pain.  Click here to learn more about capsular contracture treatment in Los Angeles.  There are 4 grades of capsular contracture in breast implants:

  • Grade I capsular contracture: the breast is soft and normally shaped
  • Grade II capsular contracture: the breast is firm, but is normally shaped
  • Grade III capsular contracture: the breast is firm and is distorted
  • Grade IV capsular contracture: the breast is firm, distorted, and painful

Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Elliot Hirsch uses techniques such as implant replacement with gummy bear breast implants, plane change into a subpectoral pocket, and breast lift when treating capsular contracture.


Breast Implant Deflation

picture of ruptured silicone breast implant Over time, breast implants can rupture and deflate.  If this happens with a saline breast implant, it can be gradual or sudden, and you may notice a decrease in the size of your breast as the saline leaks out of the implant and is gradually absorbed by the body.  If this happens with a silicone implant, it can be very subtle as the implant material is often contained within the capsule that forms around the implant.  There are many reasons for breast implant deflation including normal wear and tear as well as trauma.  If you think that you have a deflated breast implant, you should go to your plastic surgeon as soon as possible because over time, the breast tissue will contract around the deflated implant and this could make repair more difficult.  The picture to the right shows a deflated silicone breast implant along with the capsule that had formed around it.

In order to fix a deflated breast implant, it is necessary to remove the ruptured implant (and occasionally the implant capsule).  A new implant can be placed at the same time, if desired, and other procedures such as a breast lift can be performed as well.  Most insurance companies will cover the cost of the ruptured breast implant removal, although this typically requires pre-certification.  If you live in the Los Angeles area and suspect you have a ruptured breast implant, click here to make an appointment to see plastic surgeon Dr. Elliot Hirsch to discuss treatment of your ruptured breast implant.

The following video shows board certified los angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Elliot Hirsch removing a ruptured breast implant

Breast Implant Double Bubble

Image related to Breast Implant Revision Los Angeles A double bubble breast implant deformity is a condition where a second fold appears in the breast, usually in the lower pole near the chest wall.  The causes of the double bubble breast deformity are unclear although it can occasionally result if the inframammary fold position is lowered during the initial breast augmentation surgery.  Patients with a double bubble may notice a fullness in the lower part of the breast, or a second fold with additional breast tissue beneath.

In order to correct the double bubble, Dr. Hirsch uses techniques such as a neosubpectoral pocket combined with a breast lift to help reposition the breast implant and remove excess skin.  Often, this can be performed in conjunction with a change in breast implants as well.

Dr. Elliot Hirsch

Meet Dr. Elliot Hirsch

Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Elliot M. Hirsch has been educated at some of the most prestigious institutions in the country, including Johns Hopkins University, the University of Southern California, and Northwestern University. He is an active researcher and has published over 40 original papers and book chapters, and holds patents for his inventions in plastic surgery. Dr. Hirsch’s specialties include not only aesthetic surgery, but reconstructive surgery with special attention to aesthetic detail to ensure that patients achieve the best possible results.

To read more about Dr. Hirsch, please visit his extended biography page.


Read Dr. Hirsch's Biography