Many women are undergoing breast augmentation revision surgery to address double bubble deformity, breast illness and other adverse side effects from augmentation surgery, such as capsular contracture treatment or ruptured breast implant replacement. Sometimes a revision is needed because the breast itself has changed in the years after implant placement. After the recall of textured implants from Allergan™, some women are seeking an implant specialist to remove and replace their current implants.
Our physicians are caring, skilled breast surgeons, who can recommend the best way to achieve your desired results after evaluating your condition and discussing your goals.
What Are the Benefits of Breast Revision Surgery?
What Is the Breast Revision Process?
Every procedure is customized to meet the patient’s needs.
Breast implants can be removed through:
- Capsulectomy, which removes the breast implants and surrounding scar tissue (capsule)
- En bloc, which excises the implants and scar tissue capsule as one unit
- Breast implant removal, which removes only the implant and none of the surrounding scar tissue or capsule
The details of each of these options can be discussed during your initial consultation to determine which approach is recommended for you.
Intravenous (IV) or general anesthesia is administered, depending on the patient’s preferences and the surgeon’s recommendations, to provide a comfortable and safe procedure.
Incisions are made, usually in the fold beneath the breast. These incisions heal very well and are associated with the lowest complication rate. If a breast lift is needed, then additional incisions are necessary, including one that extends from the nipple down to the center of the breast to the chest wall or around the areola that is decreased in size. The implants are then removed through these incisions and replaced with new implants that have been selected by the patient. In some cases, patients choose to remove their implants and opt-out of implant replacement.
Once the procedure is complete, the incisions are brought together and closed using sutures. Surgical adhesives are sometimes used in addition to stitches.
Support garments may be applied to help encourage healing. Most patients experience mild swelling, bruising, tingling, numbness, discomfort and an itching sensation. While these symptoms are usually similar to primary breast augmentation recovery, most find that recovery is faster and more comfortable with breast revision surgery than after the initial augmentation surgery. Get plenty of rest while you recuperate and follow your postoperative care instructions.
24- 48 Hours After the Procedure
At Corpus Christi Institute of Cosmetic Surgery, we see patients the day after surgery to make sure that the healing process is moving appropriately. Arranging a friend or loved one to take care of you for 1 or 2 days is beneficial since your body will require as much rest as possible. Having the extra set of hands can prevent you from overworking or exerting yourself.
1 Week After the Procedure
As any side effects or pain begins to subside, you should start to feel gradually better every day and feel close to normal after 1 week.
3 Weeks After the Procedure
Many patients resume work and light functions after 1 to 3 weeks, depending on how they feel and what their surgeon recommends. It is generally recommended that you avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for at least 3 weeks.
Scarring is unavoidable when it comes to surgical procedures, but any noticeable scarring should fade with time. The incisions are tactically made so that undergarments and swimsuits can conceal most scarring. To minimize the scars further, Dr. Vijay and Dr. Cassidy along with their staff will give you detailed instructions on techniques that you can use to maximize the chances of excellent healing.
Your breast revision cost includes anesthesias, facility fees, surgeon fees, implant fees and postoperative garments. The price of your procedure will be discussed during your consultation once a surgical plan has been created.
Prescription medications are available for patients to relieve discomfort while they recover. After the first few days, many patients switch to over-the-counter medications and slowly require less medication as they heal.
Before & After
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I a good candidate for breast revision surgery?
Patients in good health, at a stable weight and dissatisfied with their breast appearance or are concerned with their implants are likely the right candidates for this procedure.
What kind of implant complications require a breast revision?
Unfortunately, implant complications require the removal of the implant. Some of the most common implant complications include:
- Capsular contracture, which develops when the scar tissue surrounding the breast implant starts to constrict around the implant, causing aesthetic distortion and physical pain.
- Implant bleeding or rupture, which occurs when the solid silicone shell of the implant weakens and develops a tear, allowing the inner saline or silicone to break out of the shell. Often, saline ruptures are noticeable within a few hours since the saline is readily absorbed by the body. Silicone ruptures are often silent, meaning that they are easily identifiable. This is why MRIs or ultrasounds on the breasts are required periodically—these screenings monitor and validate the integrity of the implants.
- Implant displacement, which occurs when the breast implant moves out of the breast pocket. The implant can move to the bottom of the breast (bottoming out), beneath the breast crease (double bubble deformity), towards the outside of the breast (lateral displacement) or towards the center of the chest to form one uni-boob (symmastia).
Can I remove my implants now and replace them later?
Yes. During your implant revision, you can exchange your implants for new ones or remove them without replacement. If you choose not to replace your implants at the time of your revision, you always have the choice of replacing the implants later with an additional breast augmentation surgery. Women who choose to replace their implants down the line may have more extensive scarring or complications due to the amount of scar tissue present; however, successful and complication-free procedures are still possible for healthy individuals.
Will I need to combine my breast revision with another breast enhancement surgery?
While many women can undergo breast revision as a standalone procedure, some choose to combine their breast revision with breast lift surgery. The appearance of the breasts may have changed significantly since the implants were placed, and the skin and glandular tissues may have changed, causing them to sag. Breast lift surgery tightens the breast tissue to elevate the breasts to a youthful, perky appearance. This combination is especially beneficial for women who have decided not to replace their implants or have had large implants for a significant amount of time.
What breast implants have been recalled?
In 2019, the FDA issued a voluntary recall of Allergan™ BIOCELL® textured breast implants after they were linked to a rare form of lymphoma known as breast implant-associated anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). Although this is cancer of the immune system, it is not breast cancer, and sometimes only requires the removal of the implant. If you have these specific implants but are not experiencing any complications, you do not have to remove or replace them. An evaluation by a plastic surgeon is, however, recommended, and we are always available for a consultation.
What will my breasts look like after my breast revision?
After your recovery period, your breasts will continue to settle and become softer and more symmetrical. The final results should be natural-looking breasts that align with your cosmetic goals.
How long do breast implants last?
While breast implants are designed to be safe, long-lasting products, sometimes an unforeseeable event occurs, such as a rupture, that requires replacement. Barring such a situation, implants typically last over 10 to 20 years. As for our commitment to our patients, we see our patients yearly or more often, usually without additional charge, to assess the implants. We will order MRIs or other studies, as appropriate.
Can insurance cover my breast revision surgery cost?
Whether your insurance will cover your surgery depends on your reason for undergoing a breast revision. Discuss your coverage with your healthcare provider to learn more about what is covered under your insurance.