When Your Breast Implants Turn out Small: Your Options

Breast implants – love them or hate them, they remain the most popular plastic surgery procedure in the U.S. With over 300,000 breast augmentation procedures performed last year, the confidence-boosting benefits associated with breast implants are undeniable. 

An understandable concern for many breast augmentation patients, however, is being unhappy with the results of the procedure. Breast explant surgery is on the rise, with many women opting to remove their large breast implants. 

But what happens when a patient feels the procedure has not delivered the volume they hoped for? What happens when breast implants turn out small? Here, we offer advice to those considering breast augmentation and find this a concern, and also to those currently experiencing this unfortunate situation.

Prevention Is Better Than Treatment

With the rise of breast augmentation and breast revision surgery, it is surprising that patients and doctors continue to make the same mistakes. 

According to FDA statistics, an overwhelming 37% of breast revision surgeries happen because the patient felt the initial implants were too small. Many doctors report that patients initially request a more modest increase, while seeking an enhanced shape and position. After their implants have settled and their breasts have healed, however, too many patients wish they had gone for larger implants. 

The best way to avoid breast implants that turn out small is to be realistic about your desired outcomes for the procedure. You can visualize your results using the “rice test,” or even better, choose a plastic surgeon such as Dr. Josh Waltzman, who uses advanced simulation software

Crisalix 3D helps patients get a good idea of the results they can expect from different-sized implants. While this software does not provide 100% accurate results, it is a handy tool in helping patients see how their body type will change depending on various sizes of implants. 

If, however, you are among the unfortunate cohort who have undergone augmentation surgery and find their breast implants turn out small, there are two main options available to you.

Alternative Complementary Procedures

In some cases, you may not require breast implant revision surgery. A separate procedure, such as a breast lift or fat transfer, can sometimes provide the desired aesthetic without the need to replace the initial implants. 

Fat transfer breast augmentation can add volume around the implant and fill out the breast. A breast lift can move the implant and nipple higher on the chest, resulting in a supple, fit, youthful appearance. 

If, however, you are displeased with the size of the initial implant, it is likely the only option available to you is to get breast revision surgery.

Breast Revision Surgery

As we have mentioned, 37% of breast revision patients seek surgery because the initial breast implants turned out small. It is an unfortunate situation, but women who are unhappy with the results from their first surgery are thrilled after they choose to have their breast implants revised. 

The second surgery is always trickier than the first, due to the presence of scar tissue and an altered anatomical structure caused by the original surgery. Many surgeons charge more for breast revision surgery due to these reasons. 

It is essential to understand your doctor’s revision policies before your first procedure. Many doctors do not offer free revisions, and as such, many patients choose a different surgeon to perform their revision surgery.

Communication Is Key

Doctor-patient communication is one of the primary reasons breast implant patients end up being displeased with their results. As the patient, you must grill your prospective surgeon during your consultation about their experience with breast implants and make your desired outcomes crystal clear. 

Have an idea of someone in mind who you would like to emulate – this helps surgeons give good recommendations on implant size. Look for surgeons who offer imaging software, those who have an extensive before-and-after gallery, and those who are happy to discuss your procedure in depth. 

Remember, if you are unhappy with your first procedure, there are steps you can take. They may not be ideal, but they can make all the difference to your satisfaction and confidence. 

Dr. Josh Waltzman of The Waltzman Institute has an outstanding patient satisfaction record. He is also a go-to doctor for women wishing to have their first implants revised, and so he has a deep understanding of the desires and resultant aesthetics of different implants. 

If you are unhappy with your current breast implant results or wish to get honest, expert advice on the procedure, contact Dr. Waltzman at (562) 448-6100 or fill out his online form to arrange a consultation.