Regardless of the institution where the surgery was performed, the surgeon who performed it, whether you had a cosmetic breast augmentation or underwent post mastectomy breast reconstruction, there is always a chance that revision surgery may be necessary. Breast revision surgery, or secondary breast surgery, is a great option for patients who wish to improve the aesthetic appearance of their breasts following their initial surgery. This can apply to patients who desire a change in the size or shape of their implants following their procedure, or also to those cases where clinical complications lead to breast deformities that require revision. Secondary breast surgery can prove to be more complicated than the original procedure due to the previous stress of surgery on the tissue. It is important to choose a surgeon who is experienced and knowledgeable on breast revision surgery, and this may not always be the same surgeon who performed your original procedure. Dr. John Kim is a board-certified surgeon, who has the training and experience required of breast revision surgery.

Often, breast revision surgery is considered by women who wish to change the size, shape, or texture of their implants. You will be afforded the opportunity to see sample implants of various styles at your consult appointment, and Dr. Kim works with his patients to ensure they understand all of their implant options. Even then, it can be extremely difficult to know exactly what you want in terms of implant style and size. It takes many patients until after their breast surgery is complete, to realize that they wish to undergo an implant exchange. An implant exchange allows women to decrease the implant size, increase the implant size, and switch from round to anatomical or vice versa.  Patients will also have the option to change between smooth implants to textured implants if they wish. Some women may decide that they would like to remove their implants without replacement, which can also be performed as a revision procedure. Secondary breast surgery gives patients the opportunity to undergo an implant exchange after their initial surgery in order to better achieve their cosmetic goals.

Another common reason patients decide to undergo revision surgery is with the goal of improving breast deformities. A few examples of deformities experienced by woman after breast surgery are malposition, rippling/wrinkling, and capsular contracture. Malposition occurs when the implant migrates within the breast pocket following surgery and settles in the incorrect position on the chest. Whether it is too high, too low, too far inward (known as symmastia), or too far outward, this can lead to unnatural-looking results. To resolve this problem, Dr. Kim utilizes acellular dermal matrix (ADM), processed skin from a deceased donor, which helps to support the native breast pocket and hold the implant in place. Rippling or wrinkling of the breast is often the result of inadequate coverage of the implant by the native breast tissue. This contour deformity revision is often accomplished through the use of autologous fat grafting from areas of the body with excess fat to the target areas that need rejuvenation. As mentioned above, ADM is another option for improving rippling following the initial procedure. Capsular contracture is a deformity which occurs due to the body’s natural immune response to a foreign object. When an implant is placed within the breast, a capsule consisting of scar tissue forms and hardens over time. Capsular contracture occurs when this capsule shrinks and/or tightens, which can cause an unnatural appearance, discomfort, or pain. In a revision surgery known as a capsulotomy, Dr. Kim can alleviate this strain by cutting the capsule open in order to release the constrictions and establish a softer breast.

If you are someone who is interested in secondary breast surgery, check out photos from Dr. Kim’s patients in the “Revision Breast Surgery” gallery, or come into Northwestern Memorial Hospital for a free consult with Dr. Kim.