Many women that choose breast augmentation do so to enhance their confidence and reduce breast-related insecurities that may have always been present or developed after weight loss or repeated pregnancies. Most women with implants are very satisfied with the appearance of their breasts and enjoy their implants for many years. Unfortunately, some women experience implant-related complications that require immediate attention or choose to alter or remove their implants altogether.
Breast revision is a corrective procedure that involves removing and replacing the implant(s) or removing the implant(s) permanently. Breast revision improves the appearance and restores comfort to the breasts after a prior surgery.
During your consultation, Dr. Oliver or Dr. Jack located in Birmingham, Alabama will examine your implants and your medical history to determine if you are a candidate for breast revision. Ideal candidates for this procedure are in good overall health, are non-smokers or willing to quit for a few weeks before and after surgery, have realistic expectations of their results, and experience at least one of the following:
- Implant rupture
- Capsular contracture
- Implant displacement
- Noticeable breast asymmetry
- Breast pain or hardening of the implant
- A change in aesthetic desire
- Fear of Breast Implant Illness
Breast Revision Procedure
Breast revision reshapes breasts after a previous breast augmentation. This is an outpatient procedure that is performed under general anesthesia in two to three hours. Incisions are made on the breast to remove the damaged or unwanted implant. The implant can often be removed through the initial breast augmentation incision; however, if it cannot, an incision is made along the crease. Once the implant is removed, the following steps will depend on whether or not there will be a replacement implant.
Removal and Replacement of the Implants
Many women who undergo breast revision do so to correct implant-related complications. These complications can include implant rupture, capsular contracture, bottoming out, or implant displacement.
Once the damaged implant has been removed, along with the scar tissue in capsular contracture cases, a healthy implant is inserted into the breast pocket. Occasionally, the breast pocket must be tightened in order to keep the new implant in place. When replacing an implant, women may choose an identical implant or can decide to go up or down in size, change materials, or change shape.
Permanent Removal of the Implants
Some women who choose breast augmentation change their mind later on. Changes in aesthetic desire or lifestyle cause some to want to permanently part ways with their implants.
For those who are not pleased with their implant appearance, implants can be removed and the breast pocket tightened before the incisions are closed.
Implant Removal with Lift
The breast skin and tissues stretch to accommodate the implant after augmentation. If the implant is removed and not replaced, there is a chance that patients will experience premature breast sagging, especially if their implants were large and heavy. Because of this, many women choose to combine a breast lift with their implant removal. Breast lift surgery tightens tissue and skin to restore a youthful, rejuvenated, and elevated appearance to the bust.
Most women who require a breast lift after their implant removal can benefit from a short-scar mastopexy. This technique uses a circular incision around the areola. From here, the excess skin is removed, and the nipple-areolar complex is raised. Occasionally, women with heavier implants require a more invasive anchor-like incision to reshape the breast.
Recovery and Results
A compression garment is worn during the initial days of your recovery to facilitate healing, reduce swelling, and promote blood circulation. You can switch to a sports bra after this initial period but should refrain from wearing a traditional underwire bra for several weeks to avoid irritating the incisions. You can expect bruising, swelling, and discomfort during the first 48 hours. Prescription or over-the-counter pain medication will remedy this. Most women return to their normal activities after seven to 10 days. However, it can take up to six weeks to fully recover.
The effects of your breast revision are expected to last for many years. Breast revision, even if combined with a breast lift, will not stop the natural aging process. You can help prolong your results by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and wearing a supportive bra.