What is breast implant revision surgery?
The goal of breast implant revision surgery is to replace old breast implants with new implants. Often the goal is also to change or improve the appearance of the breasts while updating the implant material, which could include:
- A concurrent breast lift or reduction
- Reshaping the breast implant pocket to reposition the implant on the chest
- Either increasing or decreasing the size, shape or style of the breast implant
The desire to have breast implant revision surgery can be because of any of the following reasons:
- Desire to change the size of the breasts
- Pain from capsular contracture
- Concern about rupture or migration of implant
- Change from saline to silicone or different style of implant
Over time, breast implants can change shape or size, and the overlying breast tissue can also change, creating an appearance or feel to the breast that is less desirable than the original result. Also, many breast implants have a lifetime warranty on the actual implant device, but after ten years the costs associated with having surgery to replace the implants are no longer covered. Because of this, many women will elect to replace or update their breast implants at or around the 10-year time frame.
Breast implant revision surgery is not a standard or routine procedure and needs to be tailored specifically to the patient’s goals and desires. Therefore, this surgery should be performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon who is well-trained and experienced in all types of breast surgery and who will listen to the patient’s goals and desires and will develop a surgical plan specifically to address all of the issues at the time of surgery.
Who is a good candidate for breast implant revision?
Breast implant revision surgery is intended for patients who have had a breast augmentation in the past and are now unhappy with their implants or concerned about the condition of their implants. This procedure can address those concerns by replacing the existing implants with new implants.
Who is a good candidate for breast implant revision surgery?
In general, you may be a good breast implant revision candidate if:
- You are unhappy with size, shape or appearance of your breast implants
- You are concerned about the integrity or condition of your implants
- You are physically healthy and at a stable weight
- You have realistic expectations
- You are a nonsmoker
If you’re considering surgery, spend some time reviewing breast implant revision surgery photos and learning about what to expect during recovery. Preparation ahead of time helps patients have reasonable expectations and a smoother recovery.
How should I prepare for breast implant revision?
In preparing for breast implant revision surgery, you may be asked to:
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
- Get breast or implant imaging, such as a mammogram, ultrasound or MRI
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
Breast implant revision surgery is typically performed in a hospital or licensed ambulatory surgery setting, and will likely use general anesthesia. If your breast implant revision is performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
What are the steps of a breast implant revision procedure?
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 – The incision
The type of incision used in breast implant revision surgery will vary depending upon the type of procedures that will be performed. The incision can include, but is not limited to, any of the following:
- Inframammary incision – in the crease under the breast
- Breast lift incision – either vertical incision or Wise pattern incision
- Peri-areolar incision – incision part way or all the way around a areola
Step 3 – Closing the incisions
Sutures, skin adhesives, tapes or clips close the skin incisions.
Step 4 – See the results
The final results of breast implant revision surgery will be initially obscured by swelling.
What should I expect during my breast implant revision recovery?
Following your breast implant revision, gauze dressings or bandages maybe applied to your incisions. Depending on the details of your surgery, you may or may not be placed in a support bra or other type of garment.
In some cases, a small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.
You will be given specific instructions that may include:
- How to care for your surgical site(s) following surgery
- Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection
- Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health
- When to follow up with your plastic surgeon
Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.
- Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
- What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
- Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
- Will there be drains? For how long?
- When can I bathe or shower?
- When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
- When do I return for follow-up care?
Healing will continue for several weeks as swelling decreases. Continue to follow your plastic surgeon’s instructions and attend follow-up visits as scheduled.
How Much Does Breast Revision Cost Abroad?
This depends on where you go (both in terms of the destination and particular clinic/hospital). As a rough guide, breast revision in Mexico costs around $3,700 and around £3,400 in the Philippines.