Breast Implant Revision

What Is Breast Implant Revision?

The vast majority of breast augmentation patients are pleased with their surgical result. However breast augmentation revision, or secondary breast augmentation, may be necessary in some instances for women who do not like their new appearance or who are experiencing complications from surgery. Patients who have had breast implants for many years may be candidates to have their implants repositioned or replaced.

The most common reason for breast augmentation revision is to change the breast implant size. Overwhelmingly, the desire is to increase the size of the breast implants; however, decreasing the breast implant volume is also requested. Since the breast implant pocket is already mature, the operation is usually quick and simple.

The other two most common reasons for breast implant revisions are: improving the natural feel and appearance of the breasts, and correcting capsular contracture.

Problems with surgical placement or implant position.

Problems with the patient’s tissue characteristics.

Problems with the implants themselves.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Breast Implant Revision Surgery?

If you are experiencing capsular contracture (breast hardening) or are unhappy with the look of your breast implants, a revision procedure can help you finally achieve a satisfying outcome. Other reasons for considering breast implant revision include replacing implants that have been in place for many years, or switching from your existing breast implant type to another implant material (silicone or saline).

If you are unhappy with the size of your breasts – smaller implants can be replaced with larger implants to increase cup size, or you may wish to be smaller or more balanced. Breast implant replacement may be beneficial for women who underwent breast augmentation many years ago. They may wish to upgrade to newer improved silicone gel implants.

If you are otherwise healthy, you are likely to be a good candidate for implant exchange.

How Should You Prepare for Breast Implant Revision Surgery?

In some instances, your plastic surgeon may recommend a mammogram before revision surgery. If you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop smoking well in advance of surgery and for a period of time after to minimize the chance of complications. Aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs can cause increased bleeding and bruising, so you should avoid taking these medications for a period of time before surgery.

How Is Breast Implant Revision Surgery Performed?

Breast revision surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Like your previous breast surgery medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. Local anesthesia and intravenous sedation may be used for patients undergoing revision surgery.

Depending upon your reason for breast implant revision, surgery may take anywhere from 30 minute to a couple of hours to perform your procedure. The incision is generally made under the breast, in the fold, or through an incision around the areola. The implants are carefully removed and replaced, with adjustments made in accordance with your previous consultation.

What Is Recovery Like After Breast Implant Revision Surgery?

The recovery period after breast implant revision surgery is often similar to your recovery after a breast augmentation. Pain and stiffness after surgery is normal, as are bruised and swollen breasts and reduced nipple sensitivity. Your surgeon can prescribe prescription painkillers and ice packs to help ease your discomfort. A surgical bra can be worn post surgically for several days to provide additional support as you heal.

You should plan to take it easy following your surgery. No strenuous activities, heavy lifting, aerobic exercises, swimming, contact sports, tennis, or golf should be planned for the first three weeks.

While rates of healing vary widely and can sometimes be a source of worry, the final result is what matters most.

Will the Results of Breast Implant Revision Surgery Be Permanent?

As with natural breasts, the effects of gravity and aging will eventually alter the size and shape of your breast implants. Breast implant revision surgery will immediately restore your breasts to their original perky and youthful appearance.
What Are Possible Complications From Breast Implant Revision Surgery?

No procedure is without risks; however, the majority of complications known to be associated with a breast implant revision are minor when the procedure is performed by an experienced plastic surgeon. You will receive extensive consultation regarding your surgery and any risks during your consultation and pre-op appointments. Be sure to discuss any concerns you may have with your surgeon.