What is breast implant revision surgery? These are procedures that can be performed to correct or revise previous cosmetic or reconstructive breast surgery. Breast conditions amenable to surgical correction include:
- Bottoming out. This condition describes breast implants that have dropped too low on the chest. This makes the breast implants look too low and the nipples look too high. One technique that can be used to correct this problem is to reposition the implants and then secure them with a biologic scaffold material called StratticeTM.
- Symmastia. This condition occurs when breast implant pockets communicate with one another across the middle of the chest. One way to correct this problem is to separate the two breast implant pockets from one another with the patient’s own breast capsule material if it is strong enough, or an implanted biologic scaffold.
- Rippling. In particularly thin individuals, ripples from a breast implant can be seen on the surface of the skin. One option for treating visible rippling is to camouflage the ripples with the patient’s own fat using fat grafting. Another is to pad the overlying soft tissues with a sheet of Strattice.
- Capsular contracture. It is normal for the body to form a capsule, which is basically a form of scar tissue, around a breast implant. Over time, however, this capsule can become thicker, harder and tighter, leading to a condition called capsular contracture. Removing the capsule and breast implant treats uncomfortable capsular contracture, and new breast implants are replaced in a different position relative to the chest muscle.
- Ruptured implants. Eventually, a breast implant will leak or rupture. Once this occurs, they can be removed and replaced with fresh breast implants.
- Implant downsizing. Some patients with breast implants may decide that they still want breast implants but wish that they were smaller. Exchanging larger implants for smaller implants results in the development of redundant breast skin and a sagging breast or ptosis. So downsizing of a breast implant is usually accompanied by a mastopexy or breast lift procedure to manage the extra skin.
Anesthesia: Revision breast surgery is usually performed with the patient under general anesthesia.
Length of procedure: 30 to 150 minutes, depending on the type of revision required.
Estimated recovery time: You can usually return to work after 1 to 2 weeks and should avoid vigorous activities for 3 weeks. Visible bruising should clear up within 2 weeks, and swelling begins to resolve within 3 weeks. To learn how to prepare for revision breast implant surgery and what to expect afterwards, click here to download our patient instructions.
Side effects: Common side effects include bruising and swelling. The shape of the breast may change over time, and the final result may not be realized for a few months. Augmentation-mastopexy is associated with a higher rate of corrective surgery than either breast augmentation or breast lift alone. Click here to download a detailed consent form from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons that lists the risks and benefits of breast implant removal.
Before-and-after photos: Click here to view photos of revision breast surgery.