Cosmetic breast surgery is not without risk and some patients may be dissatisfied with the outcome of their surgery. This is particularly the case when choices are made based on the lowest price rather than surgeon expertise. Added to this, all breast implants deteriorate over time and breast tissue changes as patients age. For these reasons, an increasing number of patients require corrective, renewal or revisional breast surgery. This type of surgery demands a critical assessment of the breast tissue, the previous surgery, implants and scars, and the likely outcome from further surgery. Such expertise can only be gained from a combined cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery background.
Mr Harris is amongst the most experienced, trusted and respected breast plastic surgeons in the UK. For over ten years he has helped pioneer the development of modern breast surgery procedures and, as an international expert, has presented and written widely on the topic. He is increasingly seeing patients who request corrective surgery and has therefore developed an expertise in this area.
Breast Implant Problems
A breast implant operation is often perceived as very simple and a ‘quick fix’ for smaller or sagging breasts. However, a careful assessment is required and each procedure should be individually designed to meet the patient’s needs and desires. Decisions should be taken on implant size, shape and texturing, whether the implant is placed above or below the chest wall muscle and what incision is used. Frequently this can be misjudged and patients seek a second opinion.
Breast implants are usually made of silicone and as such, are a foreign material within the body. If they leak or become infected, the body may react to the implant by creating a capsule (capsular contracture). This causes hardening and usually requires a replacement operation. It occurs in approximately 10% of patients in the first five years after breast implant surgery.
Finally as patients age, their body shape changes and what was right for them ten or twenty years earlier may not be right for them now. Breast implants are never life-long and therefore many patients request revisional breast surgery to improve the look of their breasts to a more age-appropriate shape and size.
Breast Implant Replacement
A breast implant replacement operation can range from a simple to an extremely complex procedure, depending upon the problem that needs to be treated and the desires of the patient. This operation may involve the removal of a tight internal scar around the implant (capsulectomy), the repositioning of the implant to above or below the chest wall muscle, and the alteration of implant size or shape.
Revisional Breast Uplift Procedure
A breast uplift (mastopexy) operation is often used to improve the look of the breasts following childbirth, as patients naturally age or after weight loss. It can be an extremely effective operation, although the main dissatisfaction is that the results do not last forever. Patients’ breasts usually sag again with time due to the weight of the breasts and the weakness of the supporting ligament structures. Newer procedures offer better longevity to such uplifts, often in combination with a small implant.
Correction of Gynaecomastia Surgery Problems
Male breast enlargement or gynaecomastia is a very common complaint and lots of different types of surgeon perform corrective operations. The outcome of such surgery is variable and can be very poor, with some patients being left with unsightly and uneven scars despite the breast tissue having been removed. A combined reconstructive and cosmetic surgical approach is essential to correct such problems and Mr Harris continues to treat many patients for this.
In line with Government and Public Health England advice on the ‘stay alert’ policy and ‘social distancing’ that continues to be in place, Mr Harris has limited capacity for all out-patient clinics until the end of October. However, we are currently open and have restarted surgery with new precautions in place to ensure patient safety from COVID-19.