Breast Augmentation Revision Guide

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Dr. Jude LaBarbera, MD Plastic Surgeon


Breast Augmentation Revision Guide

Breast augmentation revision may sometimes be necessary after recovery from this treatment. Also referred to as breast implant revision, this is a surgery that replaces old breast implants with new ones for a better profile and appearance of the breasts. It can be performed together with a breast lift, or breast reduction surgery to either increase or decrease the size of the new implants. This article contains everything you need to know about breast augmentation revision.

Reasons for Wanting a Breast Augmentation Revision

Different individuals have different reasons for wanting to get new breast implants. Here are a few reasons that would prompt such a decision.

1. Implant Rupture

When your old breast implants rupture, in that either the saline water from the saline implants or silicone from the silicone implants begin to leak to the breast tissues, it is wise to replace them as soon as possible to prevent any complications that might follow later.

2. Sagging

Sagging of the breasts after getting initial breast implants could be due to several factors. One of them is because of rapid weight loss which leaves excess breast skin loose, or because of pregnancy and nursing that leads to a decreased breast volume.

3. Capsular Contracture

Capsular contracture is one of the common complications that arise after breast augmentation surgery. When the breast’s scar tissues harden and tighten around the implants, causing severe pain, it becomes unbearable to stay with the implants. Capsular contracture is corrected by undergoing a capsulectomy to remove the entire capsule along with the old implants, after which new implants are inserted.

4. Implant Asymmetry

Implant asymmetry is a condition that arises when one implant heals differently from the other implant. This makes the breasts appear uneven or unequal. When this is noticeable, it may be right to undergo implant revision to correct them to be symmetrical.

5. Change from Either Type of Implants

If you initially had breast augmentation done with saline breast implants, and you would want to change to newer silicone gel breast implants, or vice-versa, implant revision would be suitable for you. It all depends on a person’s aesthetic preference.

How Often Should Breast Implants Be Replaced?

We are aware that breast implants are not a lifetime thing. At some point, they would need to be changed. The duration for implant revision may differ depending on each person. While some articles recommend doing so after 10 years from the time of insertion, others recommend doing so after 20 years. Well, breast implants have no particular period with which they should be changed, instead, they should be replaced depending on an individual’s preference. Remember that the risks of breast implants increase the longer you stay with them. But, If your implants are still intact 10 years from the time of implantation, and you still feel good about them, there would be no need to undergo implant revision to change them.

According to FDA guidelines, women with silicone implants are supposed to undergo an MRI 3 years after surgery, and consequently after every 2 years to check for implant rupture, which is rather silent compared to saline implant rupture. For women at the age of 40, undergoing a mammogram together with an MRI helps screen the breasts for cancer, and to check the condition of the implants.

Candidates Suitable for Breast Augmentation Revision

Breast augmentation revision surgery is meant for women who previously underwent breast augmentation, and are currently unhappy about how they look or feel due to several reasons. These may include changes in size, or shape of the breasts, if one has concerns about the state of the breasts such as the profile, and if one has complications that need to be addressed such as implant rupture, or breast asymmetry.

Keep in mind that the best candidates for breast augmentation revision must be physically, mentally, and psychologically stable, this means that they should have stable health, stable weight, and overall good health.

The Best Surgeon for Breast Augmentation Revision Surgery

It is important to find a surgeon specialized, and experienced in breast augmentation revision surgery. This is because revision surgery is one of the most complicated surgeries of all. He should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Keep in mind that the safety and outcome of your surgery is entirely dependent on your ability to effectively communicate openly with your surgeon. Implant revision surgery involves a few complicated procedures such as.

  • Removal of existing scar tissue.
  • Performing a breast lift surgery to tighten the stretched skin that would be left from the removal of the initial breast implants.
  • Repositioning of the nipples and areola to be in line with the new implants.

During surgery, certain unexpected situations may arise hence insisting on the need for an experienced and well-trained surgeon to handle them. Dr. LaBarbera from Gilbert Arizona is highly skilled to conduct breast augmentation revision surgery and promises amazing results to restore your body’s figure and confidence. He will provide you with a full consultation, explaining every detail while he studies your history to find the best way to go about your revision surgery.

What to Expect at a Breast Augmentation Revision Surgery Consultation?

At any consultation, we expect to be asked and to ask several questions that help us understand the situation better. Some of the questions that will be asked by your surgeon include:

  • The kind of results you would want to achieve after your breast implant revision
  • If you have any existing medical condition
  • If you are currently taking any drugs, herbal supplements, or vitamins
  • If you have ever had any other particular surgery
  • If you take alcohol or smoke cigarettes
  • How do you feel about your current implants from their size, shape, sagging, asymmetry, nipple position, the condition of the scars, and the appearance
  • The type of new implants you would prefer including size, shape, appearance, and profile
  • The measurements of your chest and brain which includes him taking his measurements
  • The thickness and elasticity of your skin
  • He may take photos of your breasts from all angles

Some of the questions to ask your surgeon during your consultation include

  • If he is verified and approved by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons
  • The number of breast augmentation revision surgeries he has performed previously
  • The breast implant technique that he is most skilled and experienced in
  • If his hospital has privileges to perform the surgery such as the medical equipment, or how the hospital handles major emergencies that may arise during the surgery
  • His opinion on whether you are a good candidate or not and the best way he thinks could help you achieve your desired look
  • The period of recovery, risks, and complications that may occur
  • What he would do if you are not pleased with the results
  • The before and after photos of the previous surgeries he has performed

How Long Does a Breast Augmentation Revision Last?

Breast augmentation revision can last for a longer period, even longer than the first breast implants, provided that the surgery has no complications. Even though this second surgery’s outcome is more permanent, it does not prevent you from aging, weight loss, or hormonal-related shifts.

Recovery Timeline after Breast Augmentation Revision Surgery

An individual’s recovery timeline is based on an individual herself, the extent to which the surgery was performed, and any other arising matter such as the risks and complications.

Hours after Surgery

Immediately after surgery, your surgeon together with his team of medical practitioners will put you in a separate room where they would observe you keenly before discharging you. You would awaken from the anesthesia injection that would leave you feeling drowsy, nauseous, or even like vomiting which would eventually subside with time. The incision sites would be dressed in a soft wrap dressing that would be changed to a super supportive bra on your first appointment. You would likely have drains with thin tubes temporarily placed beneath the skin in your breasts to drain any excess blood or fluid.

Later, your surgeon would give you a set of rules on how to care for your incisions as you heal. He would also provide prescribed medicines such as antibiotics and painkillers to help curb the risk of any infections and to reduce pain. You may want to use over-the-counter medications, but only when your surgeon is aware. He would tell you to keep off all kinds of strenuous activities that might exert unnecessary pressure on the breasts. Most importantly, you would be required to attend all your appointments to enable the surgeon to keep track of your recovery process.

Risks of Getting Breast Augmentation Revision Surgery

Any type of surgery has risks and complications that might arise after some time. These include

  1. Capsular contracture, especially if you experienced one during the first breast augmentation surgery
  2. Breast pains causing discomfort
  3. Changes in breast sensation
  4. Increased tightness of the breast tissues
  5. Implant malposition
  6. Excessive bleeding

The Cost of Breast Augmentation Revision Surgery

There are many factors to consider in terms of the cost of breast augmentation revision surgery. These include:

  • The type of breast augmentation revision surgery to be performed
  • The surgeon’s level of experience
  • The geographic location of the hospital
  • Depending on your previous breast implant complications and your health insurance policy, a portion of the surgery’s cost may be covered
  • The warranty on your previous breast augmentation surgery may cover a portion of the second surgery’s cost, especially if the second surgery is performed within 10 years from the first surgery
  • Also, most plastic surgeons offer financing plans on the occasion that your health insurance or warranty fails to cover the cost of your surgery

In other words, the cost for undergoing a breast augmentation revision surgery basically covers the surgeon’s fee, the cost of the implants, the cost for the anesthesia injection, and the anesthesiologist, the operating room, the facility’s fee, the medical tests, and the specialized post-surgery garments.