Breast Implant Revision is usually only necessary many years after having initial breast implant surgery. However revision may be needed for those who have developed problems, or are unhappy with their results from previous surgery.
Breast Augmentation is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic plastic surgery procedures in Australia, with most patients getting excellent results and happy with their outcome for many years. Unfortunately, all breast implants have a limited lifespan of around 15-20 years and eventually need to be replaced. This is one of the single largest reasons that women opt for breast implant revision.
Aside from this, the reasons for breast implant revision vary. Some problems and issues can be avoided through careful planning before initially having your implants inserted. Others issues are inevitable with the passage of time and eventual weakening of the implant.
It should be noted that this surgery is generally more complicated than the initial insertion surgery, and it needs to be handled by an experienced plastic surgeon who can advice you on the best course of action to best meet your needs.
How can this procedure help me?
Breast Implant Revision is for those who have had past breast augmentation and have either developed problems or are unhappy with their final result. This procedure will benefit you if you have previously had implants and;
- The implant has moved out of position, or is rippled or wrinkled
- Are disappointed with implant size, usually undersized
- Are disappointed with the appearance of your breast enlargement
- Complications with contracture or infection have developed
- Are having problems with the implant, such as hardening, leakage, deflation or rupture
Breast implant revision can also improve the cosmetic appearance of the breasts by removing scar tissue or repositioning the implant. The previous implant is usually replaced with a new one that may be a different size, shape, or texture.
The Consultation Process: What to Expect
A consultation with one of Pure Aesthetics’ specialist plastic surgeons is the first step when you are considering surgery and will take approximately 45 minutes. You should frankly discuss your goals and expectations about looking and feeling better after surgery. You should always keep in mind that the desired result is improvement, not perfection.
During the consultation, your surgeon will ask you a variety of questions covering everything from your current health situation to details about the physical outcomes you desire. Be prepared to talk about current medications, allergies and any past or current medical treatments. Please bring any details about your previous surgery with you to this consultation.
It is very important to spend enough time in the first consultation to establish what your concerns are from the results of your initial breast augmentation and what you consider to be your ideal breast size and shape. We encourage you to bring in any pictures of breasts that you like.
Your surgeon will carefully examine your arm and take measurements. There is more to breast augmentation than just a change in size. While planning the procedure, your surgeon will consider all the features of a beautiful breast, such as the slope down to the nipple, the curve from the nipple to the base of the breast, placement of the nipple, and the overall proportions of your body. This is done by studying your own physique and going through photographs of previous patients, talking over what you do and don’t like about each one. Trying the look of different implants inside your bra can also help show us what you hope to achieve.
Your surgeon will also closely go over your options and his/her recommendations.
The recovery process and any potential complications that could arise will also be discussed. At any time, you are encouraged to ask any questions that you may have.
A second consultation is then performed closer to the date of your surgery to ensure that you are satisfied with the choices that have been made. All breast implant revision surgeries are performed in fully accredited hospitals with the participation of a specialist anaesthetist. The surgery is usually done as “day surgery;” this means you can go home within a few hours of the procedure.
The Procedure: What Does it Involve?
The exact procedure for breast implant revision depends on the issue being corrected. We handle a wide variety of issues including improvements in size or shape, high-riding or malpositioned implants, hardening of implants (capsular contracture), ruptured implants and other concerns.
In general, the incision is made through the existing scar, the implant and the surrounding “capsule” is removed, a new pocket is created and new implants are inserted. The skin is closed with internal dissolvable stitches to minimise scarring.
In some patients, an additional breast lift—a procedure referred to as a breast lift with implants—may be needed if the skin is loose, or the breast and nipples have dropped. This would require additional scars.
Will I need to be hospitalised for the procedure?
Breast Implant Revision operations are done in hospital, under general anaesthetic, and take up to three hours. Most commonly this is done as “day surgery and you can go home a few hours after the surgery. Drains are not routinely used for revision. All surgeries are performed in fully accredited facilities ensuring your safety.
What is recovery like?
Advancements in anaesthesia over recent years has meant more comfort for patients – less pain with minimal postoperative sedation and nausea and a quick recovery to “feeling normal.” The anaesthetists in our team are highly skilled and experienced in modern techniques and devoted to keeping you comfortable.
Initially you may feel “woozy” as the anaesthetic wears off. You may feel some soreness, swelling or discomfort, but this is usually easily manageable. You may also feel tired after surgery, but this and the soreness is normal and will last only a short while.
Initially you will have surgical tape after the surgery. During the second week, this is usually changed to a stretch-type bra, worn day and night, for between 3 and 6 weeks. In the long term it is beneficial to wear good bra support to reduce the degree of sagging.
Stitches used are usually dissolving, and will not have to be removed. Rarely, non-dissolving sutures are used, and if so need removal, and this is done at about two weeks after surgery.
Results: What and When?
Although swelling is usually minimal after breast augmentation, there will be some fullness early after the surgery. You can expect this to be gone after 4 to 6 weeks.
In most cases, you will get a good idea of the final result after around 8 weeks, with full settling to occur at around 3 months.
When can I resume day-to-day activities?
When to return to day-to-day activities must be approached on a case by case basis. As with all breast surgeries, strenuous activity should be avoided for 6 weeks. You can then gradually increase your activity.
What complications can arise from the procedure?
As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications. These include:
- Bruising, bleeding, heamotoma formation
- Anaesthetic problems
- Deep Vein thrombosis
Risks and complications specific to Breast Implant Revision include:
- Ongoing dissatisfaction with the appearance of your breasts
- Capsular Contracture (hardening of the layer around implants)
- Loss of Nipple Sensation
- Seroma (fluid around the implant)
- Wound Breakdown
- Asymmetry, Discomfort and Firmness
The potential risks and complications of the surgery will be discussed with you in detail at your preoperative consultations.
Will this procedure leave scars?
The incision is usually made through the existing scar, so there should be no additional scarring, unless skin tightening (“mastopexy”) is required. The scars fade over time and are located in such a way as to become less noticeable as they fade.
What else should I consider before having this surgery?
Emotional stability is the primary factor to be considered before any aesthetic surgery is performed. A “bigger bust” does not guarantee a new life or an end to all personal problems. It is mostly your mental attitude and realistic expectations that determines a successful outcome. Breast Implant Revision can improve your appearance and renew your self-confidence; the rest is entirely up to you.
Before deciding to have this procedure, you may want to consider your planning for the healing period. Will you need help or assistance from others? Also if you do encounter complications, it is a good idea to understand how they are typically handled so that you are fully prepared.
With careful treatment planning, repeat breast implant surgery should not be necessary.
Any more questions?
Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions that you might have about this procedure. Our team will be happy to address any concerns that you may have.