Breast implant replacement surgery, also known as breast revision surgery, is performed to adjust breast contours and improve the results of a prior breast implant surgery. Breast revision removes and replaces breast implants to create more comfortable and attractive breasts.
After recovering from breast augmentation, some patients realize that the implants or implant placement they chose did not achieve the resulting breast size or shape they expected.
Breast revision can be performed to change implant size, profile, material, or placement to meet the patient’s aesthetic goals.
Women may have liked their implant size and shape when they were young but decide they want smaller or more natural-looking implants when they’re older. After having breast implants for a while, some women experience sagging, especially if they have large implants.
This procedure allows patients to replace their old implants with ones that meet their current aesthetics preferences. A breast lift can also be combined to treat sagging.
While rare, complications can develop in the months or years following breast augmentation. Implants may move in the breast pocket, the scar tissue around the implant may constrict, and the implants can leak or rupture.
Breast revision surgery can correct a wide variety of implant complications and restore a healthy and attractive breast appearance.
Scar tissue naturally forms around breast implants. In some patients, this scar tissue tightens and constricts the breast implant, causing pain and hard breasts.
In some cases, a breast implant can sink below the lower breast crease. This creates an extra bulge under the breast. It can also cause the upper breasts to lose volume.
Following breast augmentation, anatomically shaped breast implants can rotate within the breast pockets, causing the breasts to look misshapen.
Breast implants are susceptible to rupture and leak. Both silicone and saline implants can rupture. Saline will be harmlessly absorbed by the body. During breast implant removal, your plastic surgeon can remove any silicone that has leaked into the breast pocket before placing your new implant.
The breast pockets can merge in rare cases, creating a single ‘unibreast,’ where the breasts connect in the middle of the chest.
The first step to get a breast implant revision is a consultation with Dr. Pearce. He will evaluate your condition to ensure that breast revision will adequately address your concerns.
Breast revision surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia.
Breast implant revision surgery can be performed using any of the incision locations used in breast augmentation surgery. Dr. Pearce prefers to use existing scar locations when possible to prevent new scars from forming.
The current implants are removed, and new ones are placed.
In some cases, Dr. Pearce may adjust the breast pocket to hold the new implants in place.
Your breast revision surgery cost can vary depending on the condition being treated, the extent of correction required, and the type of new implants being placed. Some implants come with warranties that cover some or all of the costs associated with getting new implants in cases of implant failure or other complications. Check with your individual warranty to determine your coverage.
Breast implant replacement costs may also vary depending on the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and facility fees. Your plastic surgeon will ensure you understand the price of your breast implant revision before your operation.
In some cases, breast revision surgery can be covered by medical insurance. Health insurance may cover breast implant revision surgery that treats medical conditions like capsular contracture.
Contact your medical insurance provider to inquire if your insurance covers breast surgery.
Anyone who is displeased with their breast contours following previous breast augmentation is a potential candidate for breast revision surgery. If you are dealing with complications following your breast surgery, breast implant revision may be required.
For more information, read our blog about 3 common reasons for breast revision.
Before undergoing breast implant revision, patients should consult with their surgeon and pharmacist to ensure their medications will not impede their recovery. Patients should also prepare an area to recover for several weeks.
Recovery after breast implant revision is comparable to recovery after a primary breast augmentation. You will have some bruising and swelling for a few weeks and will need to wear a compression garment. Most patients return to work and normal activities in one week and can resume strenuous activities after six weeks.
Patients with implants may experience breast sagging over time, especially if they have large implants. Patients undergoing breast implant replacement can also undergo breast lift surgery to reshape and elevate their breast tissue around the new implants.
Breast implant revision surgery is generally safe, but no plastic surgery is completely safe. Some risks of breast revision surgery may include: