Breast revision surgery is performed when a patient is experiencing complications or is dissatisfied with their results from a previous breast augmentation procedure. This process usually requires the removal or replacement of an existing implant and the placement of a synthetic mesh scaffold to support weakened breast tissue, eliminating malpositioned implants. Breast revision is commonly done to change implant size, reposition the implant(s), or correct implant rupture or deflation.
The Benefits of Breast Revision
- Improves self-esteem and confidence
- Can often be performed through the previous incision site, preventing further scarring
- Relieves patient discomfort caused by adverse breast augmentation results
Reasons for Breast Revision
- Ideal breast size varies among women and can depend on your body’s frame and personal preferences
- Poorly chosen implant sizes can create an unbalanced appearance in some women
- Your implants can be exchanged for larger implants if your desired volume wasn’t achieved or smaller implants if you believe your breasts are now disproportionately large
- Changing the material of your implants can also affect how your implants sit and look on your chest
- Women with thin breast tissue are more likely to develop visible ripples or wrinkles
- Saline implants are more likely to develop visible rippling or wrinkles
- Replacing saline implants with silicone implants can restore a smoother breast appearance
- A natural defect in your breast implant or trauma to the implant can cause a rupture or leak
- The older your implants are, the higher the risk of rupture
- Saline ruptures are immediately noticeable and result in a deflated breast appearance
- Silicone leaks tend to occur more slowly and often require an MRI to diagnose
- Capsular contracture occurs when the natural scar tissue shell around the implant begins to harden
- The hardening of scar tissue contracts around the implant, squeezing it
- Capsular contracture can result in a hard, tight breast appearance
- In some cases, capsular contracture can cause pain and intense discomfort
- Synthetic mesh scaffold has been shown to prevent recurrent capsular contracture and support weakened breast tissue eliminating malpositioned implants.
- Symmastia is when implants shift laterally inward and begin to meet in the middle of your chest
- Bottoming out is when implants shift downward out of the breast pockets
- Implants can shift out of the breast pocket and into the armpits, especially while lying down
- Implant shifting generally occurs due to a weakness in the implant pocket or support tissue
- Breast sagging can create double bubble deformity
- Weak breast tissue that has begun to sag accumulates under the breast implants, creating two distinct bubbles
- Double bubble can result from naturally aged breast tissue or ptosis that wasn’t treated at the time of your original augmentation
Before & After
How is breast revision surgery performed?
Your original incision site is typically used to remove your old implants. The breast pocket may be reconstructed or reinforced. Frequently, a synthetic mesh scaffold is used to support thin or weakened breast tissue (studies have shown that this material prevents recurrent capsular contracture). New implants may be inserted and positioned in the breast pocket, and your incisions are closed.
Am I a suitable candidate for breast revision?
Ideal candidates are in good physical health, are not pregnant or nursing, and have realistic expectations about their results.
How long will my results last?
Results from breast revision are long lasting. For ideal results, periodically visit your doctor to ensure that no further complications have developed.
Will I experience any lasting effects from an implant rupture?
There is no medical evidence to suggest that any long-term complications, such as breast cancer, are associated with implant ruptures. However, it is best to fix a rupture as soon as it is identified.
How long after my primary breast augmentation should I wait before undergoing breast revision?
If a medical complication develops at any point after your primary breast augmentation, see a board-certified plastic surgeon immediately to rectify it. However, if you feel you are unsatisfied with the results of your primary breast augmentation, wait until your breast swelling has completely resolved and give the implants a chance to settle into place before considering breast revision surgery. This process will vary from patient to patient, but the final results of breast augmentation are typically apparent after six months.