About Breast Revision
Breast Revision, also known as breast implant replacement surgery.
Breast implant revision surgery is a fairly common procedure, required to repair or replace damaged or deteriorating breast implants. Revision surgery will be performed if you wish to alter the size or shape of your implants, or to correct any complications that have occurred in the time since your original breast surgery.
Most people choose to have a breast revision procedure due to a problem with their original implants. This could be a leak, or deflation, or displacement. The other most common reason is that they are no longer happy with the size or shape of the implants and would like them altered to reflect their changing body contours.
Breast revision surgery results are as long lasting as the original breast implants. Breast shape will remain constant, as long as one does not gain weight rapidly, and maintains a consistently healthy and balanced lifestyle.
For any augmentation, the affect of aging will gradually impact on your results and may alter the size and shape of your breasts. A determining factor in how much aging affects your results will be things like the size and weight of your implants. This is something you should talk about with your surgeon during your consultation.
How is it performed?
Your aesthetic preferences and the reason for revision surgery will determine the method your surgeon opts for.
Change in implant size:
If you are opting to have surgery to alter the size of your implant, it is likely your cosmetic surgeon will re-open your original scars in order to replace your breast implants. If you are opting for larger implants than were originally placed, your surgeon will have to make the pocket your implant is held in bigger, so your new ones can fit.
If you are downsizing to a smaller implant, your surgeon may have to perform some additional surgery to reduce the size of this pocket, ensuring your new implants are still held firmly in place. Sometimes this required a breast lift to be performed.
Capsular contracture (hardening of the capsule and implant):
Capsular contracture occurs when the scar tissue from the original implantation hardens to the point where it causes problems with the implant.
To remove this hardened scar tissue, your cosmetic surgeon will use the original incisions to re-open the wound, before inserting your new implants.
If your breast implants move, so that the edges of your saline implants can be seen or noticed through the skin, you may wish to have this adjusted. Your aesthetic surgeon will re-open the original incisions, in order to adjust your implants or place a new one into a new pocket.
Sometimes, during the original procedure, the breast pockets created to hold the implants are misaligned. This can results in the breasts being too far apart or too close or uneven. To correct this, your surgeon will open the original incision and move the scar tissue so as to construct a new pocket in the correct position.
In some cases, your surgeon may need to take some tissues from another part of the body, or use a special webbing called an acellular dermal matrix to help support your implants in their new position.
If your implants are large and your skin has stretched, your surgeon will likely recommend you have a breast lift as well as implant removal. The lining around the implant or “capsule” is often removed surgically at the same time as your revision surgery to facilitate rapid healing.
Elevation of nipple and areola position:
If you and your surgeon agree that the position of your nipples should be higher up the breast, then they will likely need to perform some additional incisions to help perform a breast lift. If excess skin needs to be removed, this will require an additional incision which will be used to remove the unwanted tissue.
What result can I expect?
Unless you undergo significant weight gain, your new breasts should retain their shape well. Remember that natural aging will eventually impact the results of your revision surgery. The weight of your implants will also have an effect on how your breasts look as time goes on.
Make sure you continue to see your physician, to ensure that there are no complications. Be sure to contact your surgeon immediately if you suspect there is a problem with your implants.
- You will renew your breast contours.
- You can increase or decrease your breast size as you wish.
- Your breast symmetry will be improved.
- Aging will change the shape and size of your breasts.
- The size and weight of your implants will affect how your breasts look as you age.
Due to their similarities, your recovery from revision surgery will be very similar to your original breast surgery. Although it will be quite a few days before you are well enough to return to your normal activities, it is important that your try to stay mobile when you can.
Your recovery will depend very much on the reason why you had revision surgery, and the size and placement of your new implants. You should expect to experience some pain, bruising, swelling, stiffness and itching as your wounds heal.
You should find that you are able to walk and stand by yourself immediately after surgery. Even if you feel stiff, try to keep moving periodically to reduce the risk of blood clots forming in your legs. It is essential to your recovery that you pay attention to your surgeon’s instructions for aftercare. This will include information about how to take care of your wounds, and how to look for any signs of complications. Remember that recovery time will vary greatly between individuals.
The First Week
Your chest and upper body will feel pretty sore and stiff during the first week. You may have to wear a special compression garment or support bra to help support your body, after any remaining surgical dressing, sutures or drains have been removed. Depending on your surgery, you will most likely be allowed to shower a few days after your surgery.
You should be able to return to your normal work life after the first week of your surgery. During your recovery you should try to avoid moving your breasts in any way that causes pain. There are some exercises that you can do to help healing, which your surgeon will advise you on.
Two to Six Weeks
Make sure you avoid heavy physical activity for the first two weeks. You should continue to take care and be gentle with your breasts as they heal over the next 4-6 weeks. Sexual activity is a choice that can only be made by you. Try to be gentle and to take it slowly, to give yourself time to notice if something is wrong.
Your cosmetic surgeon should ask you to keep to regular mammograms, and to self examine your breasts regularly.
Limits & Risks
Significant complications from breast revision procedures are rare occurrences. All surgical procedures come with some risk, and the risks specific to you will be discussed during your consultation.