Revision breast surgery is a procedure that is used to remove, replace, or adjust implants from a breast augmentation, or address any complications that may have developed since an original breast augmentation.
It is important to recognize that a breast augmentation and a breast revision are not the same surgery. A breast augmentation includes the initial procedure to insert a breast implant, but a revision breast surgery specifically addresses instances where the breast implant or implants need to be revisited.
There are a number of reasons a woman may want to undergo revision breast surgery, all centering around a general unhappiness or medical issue with an original breast augmentation.
Some common reasons patients consider revision breast surgery include: original implants have deflated or have developed a leak, increase or decrease the size of the implant, the breast implants have shifted from their original position, or a significant weight gain or loss has changed the breast tissue.
Your first step in correcting your concerns is to meet with Dr. Alvarez in his Miami plastic surgery office and discuss your goals for revision breast surgery. Dr. Alvarez will discuss your options with you and make recommendations about how to proceed and get the results you want. Once you’ve determined the procedure that’s right for you, Dr. Alvarez will make sure you are a good candidate and give you the opportunity to ask questions. Your consultation is a valuable opportunity to get to know Dr. Alvarez and start planning your procedure.
If you are unhappy with the way your original breast augmentation looks, you are probably a good candidate for revision breast surgery. An ideal candidate for breast revision is in good health, mentally and physically, is experiencing complications or dissatisfaction with breast implants, and has realistic expectations for the surgery and results.
Revision Breast Surgery Procedure
Revision breast surgery will be performed using different techniques, depending on the circumstances behind the procedure. Here are some of the types of revision surgery that can be used to help patients reach their goals:
Implant removal: If you are unhappy with your implants or otherwise would like to completely remove them, the doctor will re-open the incision from which the implants were placed. The implant and implant lining will then be removed and the incision closed. In some circumstances, a doctor may recommend a breast lift in addition to the implant removal.
Implant replacement: An implant replacement procedure will be very similar to an implant removal, except the removed implant will be replaced with a new one. If you’re looking to change the size of your implant, the surgeon will either need to expand the space in the breast to accommodate a larger implant, or will need to reduce the size of the breast pocket for a smaller implant. Again, under certain circumstances, your doctor may also recommend a breast lift at this time.
Capsular contracture: If your implant or capsule has begun to harden, a procedure to remove and replace the hardened implant will be performed. If you are only swapping the damaged implant with a new implant of the same size, you won’t need to have the additional procedure of changing the size of the breast pocket.
Implant malposition: If you are unhappy with the position of your implant pocket, a doctor can restructure the tissue to reposition your implants in the location you would like them. Under some circumstances, you may need to use an acellular dermal matrix to provide additional scar tissue and added support to the new pocket structure.
Nipple and areola repositioning: For situations where the nipple or areola needs to be lifted, additional incisions need to be made. Depending on how far the nipple needs to move, an incision completely around the areola will need to be made. This might also include an incision down from the areola to bottom of the breast.
Implant rippling: If your implant is visible through the skin of the breast or you can feel the implant, a surgeon can make the necessary changes by reopening the original incision. From here, the surgeon can replace or remove the implant, or move the implant to a new breast pocket with better coverage.
The recovery following a revision breast surgery is very similar the recovery of an initial breast augmentation. While patients will experience some pain as the anesthesia wears off, they should still be able to walk and move around on the same day as the surgery.
For the first week after surgery, patients can reduce swelling by sleeping with the head and back elevated. The surgeon will ask patients wear a specific bra during the first stages of recovery in order to keep implants in place and swelling to a minimum. Also patients will need to follow the doctor’s instructions for bathing and keeping the incisions clean.
Within two to six weeks, patients should find that most of the swelling has gone down and that they can easily return to typical day-to-day activities. The full recovery time will depend on the size of the implants and what additional procedures were done.
Choosing the Right Surgeon
It’s very important to choose your revision surgeon carefully, as revision procedures are always more difficult to perform successfully than the initial augmentation. Research and meet with several experts before you choose your surgeon, as this is the most important decision you will make in the process. Choose a skilled surgeon you feel you can trust, and you’ll be well on the way to the results you want.
Revision Breast Surgery FAQs
How long will the procedure last?
A revision breast surgery procedure will usually take one to three hours, depending on the amount of work that needs to be done. Shorter procedures typically include removal of the implant, while procedures where the size of the implant is changing typically take a bit longer. Revision breast surgery is an outpatient procedure, so you will not be required to stay in the hospital long after the surgery is over.
The results of the surgery can last many years, provided that you do not become pregnant or experience drastic weight fluctuations. Other factors that may change the shape of your breast include gravity and aging.
Are there risks?
It is important to recognize that a revision breast surgery is a procedure that potentially comes with complications. These complications could include a reaction to anesthesia or blood accumulation. You may also experience infection, changes in sensation for the breast or nipple, allergic reactions to the implants, and scarring. Choosing a reputable surgeon reduces these risks.
You should also keep in mind that you still may be unhappy with your breasts after the procedure is done and additional complications may require you to undergo additional procedures.
How soon can I return to work?
Depending on how extensive your revision breast surgery is, you may need to take more time off work. In most cases, between seven and ten days of rest and recovery is all that you will need before being able to return to work.
Will insurance cover my procedure?
Though initial breast augmentation is a cosmetic procedure that is not covered by insurance, some types of revision surgery may be covered under some insurance plans. It’s extremely important to know the details of your plan in advance if you plan to seek insurance coverage for your breast revision surgery.
Will there be additional scarring following revision surgery?
While each surgery produces scarring, plastic surgeons help to minimize additional scarring by following old incision lines and improving old scars if necessary. While there’s no way to prevent all scarring, most women feel the benefits of the procedure are worth the risk of a few extra scars.
Schedule your consultation with Dr. Alvarez today! Call 305-600-4146 or fill out the contact form in this page.