Breast Implant Repairs

Dr. Joshua Halpern is one of the most experienced plastic surgeons in  the country when it comes to fixing patients with implant issues, whose surgery was performed by other physicians. Some examples of implant repairs include:

  • ruptured silicone implant
  • deflated saline implants
  • capsular contractures or hard breasts

When a silicone implant ruptures, it is imperative that the patient have surgery to remove the damaged implant and clean out the breast pocket.  Ruptured silicone is highly variable, and remains a complex issue.

Ruptured Silicone Implants

Many doctors clean out the ruptured silicone implant and simply replace it with a new one.  While Dr. Halpern removes ruptured implants from patients as well,  he takes the extra step of surgically excising the capsule, or scar tissue, which surrounds the ruptured implant, before he inserts a new one. He removes the capsule because studies show some of the ruptured silicone tends to get incorporated into the scar tissue, which can be problematic in some patients. The patient may have the option of having new implants put in, additionally with or without a lift. Dr. Halpern utilizes The Finesse Technique, which reduces bruising and swelling, and hastens the recovery. During the surgery he also uses The Halpern Lighted Retractor, a device he invented. This instrument is crucial to performing the surgery, as it allows illumination and visualization, both vital, during the repair.

Silicone implants from the 1970s and early 1980s, as well as the French PIP (Poly Implant Prothese) implants are not as durable as  fourth and fifth generation silicone implants that are available now. The technology for silicone implants has advanced greatly from earlier times when they were first introduced.

Deflated Saline Implants

Deflated saline implants are a different concern than silicone. Saline implants can deflate if they have a tear in their shell, making it likely they would deflate quickly, usually within twenty-four hours. Another reason for deflation might be decompensation of the valve (valve incompetent), in which case some or all of the saline leaks out through the valve which the body then absorbs. The breast might shrink a lot or a little depending on how much saline has leaked out. In either case, they require repair and the implants require replacement. If an implant deflates and the breast shrinks noticeably, women may find their mental state affected,  which is why many of them turn to Dr. Halpern for help.

Capsular Contracture

Capsular Contracture, also known as “CapCon”, is a condition that causes hardening of the breasts, whether they contain saline or silicone implants. Capcon can occur with intact, ruptured or deflated implants. This condition occurs when the capsule around the implant, which can vary in degree of thickness, tightens up. Its cause may involve a number of factors and remains controversial.

One cause may be bleeding during surgery. Many surgeons rip open the breast pocket with their finger when performing the initial breast augmentation operation. This is an imprecise and bloody way to create the breast pocket and results in a lot of bleeding. A number of surgeons feel that this bleeding can lead to capcon. Dr. Halpern never utilizes this ripping technique, due to its many potential negative ramifications.

Another theory for capcon is that the implant develops a biofilm, a thin film of organic material that adheres to the surface. People theorize that  there may be other causes for capcon, including genetics, though we are, as yet, not entirely sure.

Some surgeons perform a capsulotomy, a procedure in which cuts are made into the capsule or scar tissue. They attempt to decontaminate the implants in a sterilizer, and then reinsert them into the patient. Initially the breasts feel soft but as they heal, there is a high rate of contracture recurrence.

Some plastic surgeons, including Dr. Halpern, feel that the old implants have a biofilm which persists, so decontaminating the implants in a sterilizer is not an acceptable option for them. Dr. Halpern performs a capsulectomy wherein he removes the implant and all the scar tissue. And while some surgeons reuse the old implants, Dr. Halpern always replaces the old with new ones. By incorporating The Finesse Technique and a high level of sterility, Dr. Halpern has one of the best success rates in treating capcon patients. Please consider making a complimentary appointment to see if  Dr. Halpern can help you through your implant repairs.

If the patient has ruptured implants removed, there may be an opportunity to replace the old implants with saline or silicone. The patient may choose a different size or may take the opportunity to have a breast lift with or without new implants.

What does this mean for you, the patient who is contemplating a breast implant repair or even a breast augmentation? This means you should go to the most perfectionist type A surgeon you can find. After being observed in the operating room, Dr. Halpern has been told by various surgeons and implant industry experts that he is one of the most meticulous cosmetic surgeons putting in implants today.

Please call for your own complimentary consultation with Dr. Joshua Halpern:
(813) 872-2696

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