While most breast implant patients are quite pleased with their initial results, over time, some women become dissatisfied with those results, and they may come to feel that their implants are too big.
Can your breast implants be downsized? What does “downsizing” require?
If you have breast implants, or if you are considering breast implants, read on. You are about to learn the answers to those questions – and some other important details – about breast implants and about breast implant downsizing procedures.
The answer to “Can breast implants be downsized?” is a definite yes.
An experienced Boston plastic surgeon can help you downsize your breast implants – while helping you keep the generally improved body shape that those implants offer.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DOWNSIZING?
However, breast implant replacement is not quite as simple as just “swapping out” implants.
About one in four cosmetic surgery patients who receive breast implants will require or will seek out some type of revisionary cosmetic surgery within the first ten years.
In fact, and for reasons that are explained below, a replacement or “downsizing” operation is sometimes more surgically complicated than the original breast augmentation procedure, and of course, the details will be different for every patient.
WHAT WILL YOU NEED TO CONSIDER BEFORE DOWNSIZING?
Here is what you will need to keep in mind if you decide to downsize your breast implants:
1. You will have more options to choose from with a second procedure.
2. A breast lift may also be needed with a second implant procedure.
3. How long and how expensive will implant replacement be in your own case?
4. The procedure must be performed by a qualified plastic surgeon.
WHAT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE?
If it has been several years or more since your original breast augmentation procedure, you will be surprised and pleased by the variety of breast implant sizes, shapes, and materials that are now available.
In fact, it is now possible to fine-tune and to personalize both the shape and the feel of your breast implants very precisely. At your first meeting with your cosmetic surgeon, be candid and forthright regarding your goals, and your doctor will help you consider your options.
SHOULD YOU HAVE A BREAST LIFT?
Reducing the size of your implants also reduces your breast volume, and sagging is sometimes an unfortunate result. For some patients who downsize, a breast lift will also be needed to restore a firm shape and eliminate excess tissue.
Candidly, a breast lift may leave a small and minimal amount of scarring, but most patients are pleased with the result – a proportional breast shape that will remain youthful-looking for many years to come.
HOW LONG WILL A DOWNSIZING PROCEDURE TAKE? WHAT WILL IT COST?
Breast implant reduction is easiest for those who have good quality skin elasticity and no other pertinent complications or medical conditions. Often, the original incision points can be used, so that additional scarring may not be a concern.
However, some patients who are seeking implant reductions will be experiencing complications that must be addressed surgically, including:
1. Symmastia: Symmastia from breast augmentation surgery can happen when the implants are too big. It does not happen overnight after surgery but may develop over weeks.
2. Capsular contracture: Capsular contracture is a breast augmentation complication that develops when internal scar tissue forms a tight or constricting capsule around a breast implant, contracting it until it becomes misshapen and hard.
In some cases, the cosmetic surgeon will have to remove the scar tissue surrounding the implant and reshape that tissue for the best result. These procedures take more time and are predictably more expensive.
WHAT ABOUT THE COST OF DOWNSIZING?
The cost of breast implants varies widely. A cosmetic surgeon’s fee for a downsizing procedure will hinge on the doctor’s professional training and surgical experience, the cost and type of implants used, and a number of other factors.
It is absolutely imperative that you do not make the expense of breast implant downsizing your primary concern. Your first concern must be your own health, safety, and peace of mind. Almost every reputable cosmetic surgeon offers several options for financing.
However, be sure to get a written estimate for the full cost of a breast implant reduction procedure, and if a cosmetic surgeon is not straightforward and candid about every detail of the expenses and fees, find another surgeon.
HOW CAN YOU FIND THE RIGHT PLASTIC SURGEON?
A second, corrective cosmetic procedure is usually more challenging and requires more surgical talent and experience than a first procedure.
Your surgeon will need to consider your personal size and shape, the age and size of your first implants, and your personal goals and concerns. It is imperative that your cosmetic surgeon has conducted breast revision procedures routinely on patients just like you.
Make sure that the doctor you consult is certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS).
Board certification by the ABCS means the surgeon has completed at least one year of training in all facets of cosmetic surgery. The ABCS certifies only those surgeons who conduct surgeries in state-licensed, accredited facilities.
WHEN IS WAITING ON A SECOND PROCEDURE A GOOD IDEA?
Don’t rush your decision. If your first implant procedure was conducted less than twelve months ago, waiting a few months may be the wise option for now.
Your body may still be adjusting to the implants, and you probably need more time to consider your options for the future.
Of course, you should not accept cosmetic surgery results that you are genuinely displeased with, but you should take plenty of time to consider your options and to consult with your cosmetic surgeon regarding your concerns.
HOW CAN YOU LEARN MORE?
Most surgeons will be glad to help you find the right resolution. The patients who ask the most questions, in fact, are usually those who are the most satisfied with their results. There is no such thing as a question that’s wrong.
Now that you have read this introduction to “downsizing,” a cosmetic surgeon can explain in more detail how these basics will apply to your own breast implant downsizing procedure.
To learn more about breast implants, implant procedures, and downsizing – and to learn if an implant or reduction procedure is right for you – speak right away to a skilled plastic surgeon who can discuss your cosmetic surgical needs and options.