Breast implant replacement surgery requires a highly customized approach to achieve the most natural-looking results possible and to deliver the patient’s cosmetic goals, which she must be able to explain in detail.
Leading Inland Empire plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley has recently posted a series of videos on Snapchat to demonstrate a patient who had saline implant deflation and thus required replacement.
The patient’s right breast appeared smaller than the other side due to saline implant leak. Also, she had moderate breast ptosis (sag) that could benefit from internal lift and implant pocket repair.
To remove both saline implants, Dr. Smiley created a small incision right at the lower border of the areola, which was the location of her previous scars.
Dr. Smiley says a good number of his primary and secondary breast augmentations are performed through the peri-areolar incision technique because the scar blends well into the dark-light skin junction.
When the right breast’s saline implant was extracted from its pocket, it was completely deflated. Dr. Smiley says that full deflation takes about four days, causing the affected breast to look smaller than the other side; however, the leak does not cause any harm since the filler material is saline, i.e., salt and water, which is naturally found in the body.
“The saline is simply absorbed by the body and excreted by the kidney,” the celebrity plastic surgeon says in one of the videos.
Both saline implants were replaced by silicone implants, which are filled with a more cohesive filler material. To ensure that they settle “more naturally,” Dr. Smiley performed internal lift and pocket repair.
Pocket repair was mainly performed by tightening its lateral side, allowing the silicone implant to settle to a more natural position and therefore giving the right amount of fullness along her mid cleavage and upper breast pole; this ancillary technique also prevents excessive lateral bulge (i.e., implant displacement).
During the actual implantation, Dr. Smiley used the Keller Funnel technique in which a cone-shaped disposable device was used to propel the silicone implant into the pocket with just one “squeeze.”
Aside from reducing the operative time, the Keller Funnel device is also known to minimize trauma around the wound. To further promote favorable scar—i.e., it is barely visible at the areola’s border—Dr. Smiley closed the incision in several layers without picking up the outermost layer of the skin.
Only the dermis, which is the deeper layer of the skin, was sutured to ensure that the most superficial layer would receive no or very little tension, which is the key to the most favorable scar possible.