Breast Implant Revision

Breast implant revision refers to a surgical procedure performed to alter or replace existing breast implants that were previously inserted during a breast augmentation surgery. There are several reasons why someone might consider breast implant revision:

  1. Desire for Size or Shape Change: Some individuals may decide to change the size, shape, or type of their breast implants to achieve a different aesthetic outcome. This could involve going larger, smaller, changing the implant profile, or switching from saline to silicone implants.
  2. Complications: Complications such as implant rupture, deflation, rippling, asymmetry, or capsular contracture (a condition where scar tissue forms around the implant, causing discomfort and distortion) can occur over time, necessitating revision surgery.
  3. Aging: As the body ages, the breasts naturally change in shape and size. This can sometimes result in a desire to revise the implants to maintain a youthful appearance.
  4. Weight Loss or Gain: Significant weight changes can impact the appearance of breast implants. Revision surgery might be considered to ensure the implants complement the new body shape.
  5. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Pregnancy and breastfeeding can lead to changes in breast tissue, and some women choose to undergo breast implant revision after having children to restore or enhance their pre-pregnancy appearance.
  6. Implant Malposition: Implants can shift or move from their original position over time. Revision surgery can address issues like bottoming out (implants sitting too low) or symmastia (implants touching each other in the center).
  7. Implant Warranty: Many breast implant manufacturers offer warranties that cover certain complications for a limited time after the initial surgery. If an issue covered by the warranty arises, a revision may be necessary.
  8. Cosmetic Dissatisfaction: Sometimes, individuals are not satisfied with the results of their initial breast augmentation surgery and seek revision to achieve their desired look.

It’s important to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast surgery to discuss your reasons for considering breast implant revision. They will assess your situation, discuss your goals, and recommend the most appropriate course of action. Revision surgery can be more complex than the initial augmentation, as it may involve addressing scar tissue, adjusting the pocket where the implant sits, or even performing additional procedures to achieve the desired outcome.

How painful is breast implant revision?

The pain experienced during a breast implant revision can vary widely from person to person and depends on factors such as the specific procedures performed, the individual’s pain threshold, and the surgical techniques used. In general, breast implant revision surgery involves similar incisions and tissue manipulation as the original breast augmentation surgery, which can lead to discomfort during the recovery period.

Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Surgical Techniques: The extent of the revision surgery will influence the level of discomfort. If the revision involves a simple implant exchange or minor adjustments, the pain might be relatively manageable. However, if more complex procedures are required, such as correcting capsular contracture, repositioning implants, or performing additional tissue work, the discomfort could be greater.
  2. Pain Management: Surgeons typically provide pain management strategies to help alleviate discomfort after surgery. This can include prescription pain medications, over-the-counter pain relievers, and potentially local anesthetics administered during the procedure to reduce post-operative pain.
  3. Recovery Time: Pain and discomfort are usually most intense during the initial days after surgery and gradually decrease over the following weeks. Most people find that their pain levels decrease significantly within the first week, and they can transition to less potent pain medications or rely on over-the-counter options.
  4. Individual Variation: People have varying pain tolerances, so what is highly uncomfortable for one person might be more manageable for another. Your surgeon can provide guidance based on their experience with similar cases.
  5. Activity Level: Following your surgeon’s post-operative instructions regarding movement and physical activity can also impact your pain levels. Rest and avoiding strenuous activities can help minimize discomfort.

It’s important to have a detailed discussion with your plastic surgeon before the procedure. They can provide you with information specific to your situation and suggest pain management strategies to ensure your comfort during the recovery process. Keep in mind that while some discomfort is expected, advancements in surgical techniques and pain management can help make the recovery process more manageable.

How soon can you get a breast implant revision?

The timing for a breast implant revision can vary based on the specific reason for the revision, the type of issue you’re experiencing, and your surgeon’s recommendations. Here are some general guidelines for different scenarios:

  1. Implant Complications: If you’re experiencing complications such as implant rupture, deflation, severe capsular contracture, or other urgent issues, your surgeon may recommend prompt revision surgery. These complications can cause discomfort, aesthetic concerns, and potential health risks, so addressing them sooner rather than later is often advised.
  2. Desire for Size or Shape Change: If you’re considering a revision for cosmetic reasons, such as changing the size or shape of your implants, it’s recommended to wait until your initial breast augmentation has fully settled. This usually takes several months, during which time swelling subsides and the breasts achieve a more stable appearance. Your surgeon can guide you on the appropriate waiting period based on your individual case.
  3. Sufficient Healing: It’s important to give your body enough time to heal from the initial surgery before undergoing a revision. Surgeons typically recommend waiting at least six months to a year after the initial breast augmentation before considering a revision. This allows the tissues to fully heal and any potential issues to become apparent.
  4. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: If you’re considering a revision after pregnancy and breastfeeding, it’s advisable to wait until your body has returned to a stable state post-pregnancy. Hormonal changes and fluctuations in breast tissue during pregnancy and breastfeeding can impact the appearance of the breasts. Waiting several months after you’ve finished breastfeeding is generally recommended.
  5. Consultation with a Surgeon: The best way to determine the timing for your specific breast implant revision is to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon. They can assess your situation, discuss your goals, and recommend an appropriate timeline for the revision based on their expertise and your individual circumstances.

Keep in mind that every person’s situation is unique, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to the timing of breast implant revisions. It’s important to have open communication with your surgeon and follow their recommendations to ensure the best possible outcome from the revision surgery.

Is breast implant revision more expensive?

Yes, breast implant revision surgery can often be more expensive than the initial breast augmentation surgery. The cost of a breast implant revision can vary widely based on several factors, including the complexity of the revision, the specific procedures involved, the surgeon’s experience and expertise, the location of the practice, and the surgical facility fees.

Here are some reasons why breast implant revision surgery can be more expensive:

  1. Complexity: Breast implant revision surgeries can be more complex than the initial augmentation because they often involve addressing scar tissue (capsular contracture), adjusting implant pockets, and potentially performing additional procedures to correct issues. These additional steps can increase the surgical time and complexity, which can contribute to higher costs.
  2. Additional Procedures: In some cases, a breast implant revision might involve combining procedures such as a breast lift (mastopexy) or fat grafting to achieve the desired outcome. Each additional procedure adds to the overall cost.
  3. Surgical Expertise: Revision surgeries often require a higher level of skill and experience on the part of the surgeon, as they are working with existing scar tissue and altered anatomy. Surgeons with more experience in revision procedures may command higher fees.
  4. Anesthesia and Facility Fees: If the revision surgery is performed in a hospital or an ambulatory surgical center, facility fees and anesthesia costs can contribute significantly to the overall cost.
  5. Diagnostic Imaging: Additional diagnostic tests such as MRI or ultrasound may be necessary to assess the condition of the existing implants, which can add to the overall cost.
  6. Follow-Up and Care: Post-operative care and follow-up visits are important in ensuring the success of the revision surgery. These appointments and any necessary treatments or medications are factored into the overall cost.

It’s important to have a thorough consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your specific case and receive a personalized cost estimate. They can provide you with a breakdown of the costs involved and help you understand what to expect. Keep in mind that while breast implant revision surgery may come with a higher price tag, the investment is aimed at achieving your desired outcome and addressing any concerns you have with your current implants.

How common is breast revision surgery?

  1. Complications and Concerns: Breast revision surgeries are often performed to address complications or concerns that arise after the initial breast augmentation. Common reasons for revision surgery include implant rupture, capsular contracture (scar tissue formation around the implant), implant malposition (shifting or displacement), and dissatisfaction with the aesthetic outcome.
  2. Implant Longevity: Breast implants are not designed to last a lifetime, and over time, issues such as rupture or changes in appearance may occur. As a result, some individuals may choose to undergo revision surgery to replace or upgrade their implants.
  3. Changing Preferences: Aesthetic preferences can change over time, leading individuals to seek revision surgery to achieve a different size, shape, or overall look.
  4. Advancements in Surgical Techniques: Advances in surgical techniques and implant technology have led to improved outcomes and reduced complication rates. However, some individuals with older implants might choose to have them replaced with newer options to benefit from these advancements.
  5. Pregnancy and Weight Changes: Pregnancy, breastfeeding, and significant weight changes can impact the appearance of the breasts and implants, prompting some individuals to consider revision surgery.
  6. Revision as Part of a Comprehensive Plan: Some individuals may choose revision surgery as part of a broader cosmetic surgery plan to achieve their desired appearance.

It’s important to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast surgery to discuss your individual case. They can assess your situation, understand your goals, and recommend the most appropriate course of action, whether it involves revision surgery or other options. Keep in mind that the prevalence of breast revision surgery can vary, and your surgeon will be able to provide insights based on their experience and the latest trends in the field.

Written by Clara Lee