Breast Revision Surgery
Nearly 3 million women have had breast augmentation in the United States. Breast augmentation is a procedure that is often assumed to be simple in execution but is actually quite complex. Although the majority of women who have had breast augmentation surgery are happy with their results, some women are unhappy with the results and may desire a different look or size than was originally sought after. Revision surgery of the breast can also be done for prior reconstructive or other cosmetic breast surgery.
- Women who are not satisfied with the size of their implants and may choose to go larger or smaller in size
- Women who wish to exchange their implants from saline implants to silicone implants
- Individuals who have problems with surgical placement or implant position
- Women with implant asymmetry, where one implant sits higher than the other or is located to far medially or laterally from the other implant
- Women who are “bottoming out”, where the implants are positioned to low or too lateral on the chest wall in relation to the nipple
- Individuals with tissue characteristic problems
Your surgeon’s approach to breast revision surgery, depends on your specific problem and the specific solution that needs to be reached. Some patients need an implant exchange. This is when your plastic surgeon will replace your current implants with new implants that may be smaller, larger, different profile, silicone or textured.
Incisions are made in areas that minimize visible scarring. The standard incisions that are used are periareolar (around the areola) or inframammary (lower breast folds). Incisions are based on which breast revision surgery needs to be performed, what type of breast implant and what size of breast implant is being used.
When patients are experiencing capsular contracture, a capsulectomy will be required. This is where your plastic surgeon will remove the entire capsule or scar tissue surrounding the implant. This can be combined with moving the implants to a sub muscular position and/or switching to textured implants to help prevent capsular contracture in the future.
Your plastic surgeon may also recommend a pocket change, where you implants will be moved from above the muscle to below the muscle. This can provide better soft tissue coverage of the implants, which can reduce the number of potential complications.
Mastopexy (breast lift surgery) is another option that may be needed depending on the amount of lifting and reshaping that is required.
To correct natural asymmetry, a different breast implant shape or size, may be required.
Length of Surgery
Breast revision surgery usually takes one to one and a half hours.
Recovery, Risks and Results
There are always risks with any type of surgery. Possible breast revision risks include:
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation
- Wrong position of the implant
- Capsular contracture
- Fluid accumulation
- Wrinkling of the skin over the implant
Breast revisions are performed as an outpatient procedure and patients go home the same day of surgery. Your breasts will be covered in gauze dressings and a surgical sports bra. This will help minimize swelling and support the breasts during the healing process. You will be given specific instructions that may include how to care for your breast post operatively, which medications to apply and take and when to follow-up with your surgeon.
A support bra should be worn 24 hours a day for the first four weeks. The incision sites should be cleansed and dressed on a regular basis. Sutures are normally removed between 7-10 days but most of the sutures are dissolvable. Patients are able to return to work within 7-14 days, but this is only for non-strenuous work. Most swelling, bruising and soreness is gone within 6-8 weeks and you’re able to return to working out or strenuous activities in 4-6 weeks. It will take 8-12 weeks for you to finalize your new bra size and the scar will continue to fade for up to 1 year.
Breast revision surgery results are immediately visible. It is important to follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions in order to achieve optimal breast surgery results.