What makes for a good breast surgery outcome?
Think for a minute about what you might want in a breast augmentation. Close your eyes and really envision it. What would you want for yourself in the short and long term? Do you feel like you need to consult with someone else on the answer to that? What does that say about your motivations? How do you imagine feeling after the surgery? How do you imagine your body looking? Your clothes fitting? What do you imagine your responsibilities would be as the patient? Mine as the surgeon?
What makes for a bad breast surgery outcome?
Now, imagine what you definitely wouldn’t want in a breast augmentation. Things you would consider unacceptable. Maybe your list includes things you are afraid could happen, or things you’ve read about happening. Maybe your list includes images of breast surgery outcomes you’ve seen that you found unappealing, even shocking. There may even be some holes in your list—things that worry you because you don’t have enough information to even know what questions to ask, for example: What exactly happens during the surgery or recovery period?
I welcome these types of questions and make a point to address all of them during a breast augmentation consultation. We will address even the questions you didn’t think about asking. These comprehensive one-on-one consultations are part of the reason why I have extremely low revision rates.
What is a revision rate?
A surgeon’s revision rate is the percentage of surgeries that need to be redone. Basically, a revision happens when things didn’t go right the first time and have to be fixed with a second surgery, usually within the first few months up to a year.
Why would you need a revision on your breast surgery? There are a number of reasons:
- You got the wrong size or type of implants. Maybe you imagined a certain look, size and feel to your new breasts and wound up with something different. Maybe the implants are too small, too large, or too wide. Maybe there is rippling of the implant that is visible through your skin, as can happen when saline implants are under- or over-filled.
- The implants migrated. There are a few reasons why an implant might move.1) The implant was placed on top of the chest muscle. 2) The surgeon created too large a pocket for the size of the implant. 3) The patient did not provide enough support to the breasts after surgery in the form of a good bra.
- Capsular contracture. The body’s natural reaction to a foreign object placed inside it is to create scar tissue around that object, what we call a “capsule.” This can be a good thing as it helps keep the implant in place, but too much scar tissue can create deformities in the breast tissue. Signs of grade three and four capsular contracture include breasts that are overly round, hard, with misshapen nipples. They may even become sore and painful to the touch.
Why is my revision rate so low?
I’m very proud that my revision rate is significantly lower than the national average, and there are reasons why my breast surgery patients don’t experience complications and poor outcomes that need to be fixed later. Here’s why my revision rate is so low:
- I screen my patients well. I want your surgery to turn out well just as much as you do. If you are asking for something that I know isn’t going to have a good outcome, I won’t do it. For example, if you are a smoker, I won’t do your surgery. A healthy blood supply is critical to healing after breast augmentation; without it the skin can necrotize (die). I won’t let my patients put themselves at risk for that, so they need to quit smoking before surgery. Period.
- I won’t place implants that are larger than the body can handle. Some women desire very large, dramatic augmentations, and that’s fine, but I won’t be the doctor doing their surgery. Excessively large implants that can’t be supported by existing breast tissue can cause the skin around the breasts to stretch and the breasts themselves to sag and droop (as surgeons there is only so much we can do to fight gravity). Large, heavy implants also tend to cause the breasts to separate or become asymmetrical. My firm belief is that natural-looking is better. If we can’t agree on size, I’m happy to refer you to someone else.
- I have the necessary skill and experience for an optimal outcome. I have been performing breast augmentation procedures for over 25 years and I know what works. During our consultation, I’ll evaluate your breast tissue and take measurements to help determine the implants that will work best for your body. My preference is silicone implants placed under the chest wall muscle via the inframammary fold (the natural crease on the underside where the breast meets the chest wall). In my opinion as a surgeon and as a woman, this combination provides the best outcome. You’ll have a technically superior result with a natural-looking appearance.
Categorized in: Breast Augmentation