Breast augmentation surgery can help you feel more confident about your appearance, achieve balanced body proportions, and increase your self-confidence. But not all patients are satisfied with their results.
The prospect of having further surgery can be daunting for many patients, but it may be necessary to achieve or maintain your desired results. Here’s what you need to know about breast revision surgery, from why you might need the procedure to what to expect during recovery.
Why Would I Need Revision Breast Surgery?
Common reasons for seeking a revisionary breast augmentation include:
Unsatisfactory cosmetic result. This can be due to several factors, such as an incorrect implant size or shape or capsular contracture. Age-related changes and breast changes after pregnancy, weight gain, or weight loss may lead to dissatisfaction with your results. Or your aesthetic goals may have simply changed over time.
Breast asymmetry or malposition. Asymmetry occurs when one breast is larger or shaped differently than the other. Several factors, including genetics, breastfeeding history, and weight fluctuations, can cause this. Malposition occurs when an implant migrates away from its correct position.
Replacing older implants. The lifespan of breast implants is relatively long but limited—you can expect them to last between 10 to 20 years. If you’re pleased with your appearance and don’t experience complications, there’s no reason to replace them before then.
Implant rupture. A rupture occurs when an implant breaks open from internal pressure. Capsular contracture can also lead to rupture if left untreated, potentially causing pain and requiring the removal of one or both implants.
The goal of revision breast surgery is to achieve the best possible outcome, which may include:
- Improved appearance
- Restored symmetry
- More comfortable implants
Your reasons for breast surgery revision will affect how your surgery is performed and, ultimately, your recovery experience.
What does revision breast surgery involve?
Many aspects of your revision breast surgery will be like your initial surgery. You’ll be under general anesthesia, so you won’t feel any pain during the procedure. Beyond that, the procedure will be customized to your unique needs based on the changes you want to make and other factors, such as whether you have a good deal of scar tissue from your previous surgery or whether you also need a breast lift to restore your breasts’ position. Your doctor will plan your surgery based on your needs and goals.
What are the risks of revision breast surgery?
Like any surgery, revision breast surgery carries some risks. These may include:
Infection. Any type of surgery has a risk of infection.
Delayed wound healing or poor scarring. With any type of breast surgery, it’s possible that your incisions won’t heal well or you’ll have more scarring than is typical for the procedure.
Nerve damage or numbness. The nerves that supply sensation to the breasts and adjacent areas of the body may be injured during the procedure and cause numbness or tingling after surgery.
Capsular contracture. Capsular contracture is when the scar tissue around the implant hardens and contracts. This can lead to painful sensations in your breasts and poor shape or symmetry. If left untreated, capsular contracture can lead to rupture.
Will Revision Breast Surgery Recovery Be Different From My Breast Augmentation Surgery?
Recovery from revision breast surgery is typically similar to your first breast surgery but may vary depending on the complexity of your revision. The good news is that most women who’ve had breast augmentation are familiar with the healing process and know what to expect regarding pain and discomfort.
Will I Be Happy With My Results After Revision Breast Surgery?
Revision breast surgery is a highly individualized procedure. Every patient’s needs, desires, and expectations are different. Before deciding to have revision breast surgery, you should revisit many of the same considerations you made before your breast augmentation surgery.
For the best outcome, revision breast surgery should be performed only by surgeons with extensive experience performing these procedures. It’s essential to find a well-qualified plastic surgeon you feel comfortable with—one who’s willing to take the time to discuss your concerns and options thoroughly.
Several factors can affect the results of your revision breast surgery:
- The complexity of the needed revisions
- Your surgeon’s experience with revision breast surgery
- Your health and healing ability
Revision breast surgery results are different for each patient. Your age, skin condition, weight, and how much you’ve changed since the original surgery all influence the outcome. The results may also be affected by how much time has passed since the initial surgery.
It’s important to have realistic expectations for revision breast surgery. If you’re considering the procedure, choose your plastic surgeon carefully and rely on them to help you determine the best method for your body.
Dr. Armando Soto is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has years of advanced training and experience in complicated revision breast surgery at his Orlando, Florida, practice. Visit the before-and-after photo gallery to see photos of previous breast revision patients. And check out the journey of our 41-year-old patient who had become unhappy with her old implants on our Instagram: