As more and more patients have had breast surgery in the past, the number of breast revision patients is increasing. As a result of this increase, breast revision surgery is becoming a significant component of many plastic surgeons’ practices. This surgery is designed with each patient’s individual goals in mind, so one procedure is never the same as another. Every woman has different reasons for electing to undergo breast revision surgery and our plastic surgeon, David L. Durst, MD, will work diligently with you in the initial consultation to discuss your concerns and ensure you both have clear expectations for the procedure’s outcome.
What are common reasons for breast revision surgery?
Breast revision is a common procedure that can result from several different situations. Often as plastic surgeons, we are asked to see patients who have had previous breast augmentation. The effects of time can sometimes cause changes in the appearance of implants. When implants have migrated from their ideal position, sometimes a graft of acellular dermal matrix (ADM) is used to re-establish the proper position of the implant.
In some cases, patients may want to change or “upgrade” the current state of their implants. Revisional surgery can allow individuals to obtain a different size or shape of implant, switch from saline to silicone implants (or vice versa), or remove implants altogether. Also, if a patient has experienced complications or are simply dissatisfied with their breast implants, revisional surgery can address these concerns. There are some situations where scar tissue can develop around implants – this is called capsular contracture. When patients want to improve upon this, they seek consultations from the plastic surgeon for revisional surgery.
Additionally, patients who have had a breast lift and then have had significant weight changes may need a revision. It is very, very rare for a patient who has had a previous breast reduction to redevelop to a sufficient size to need reduction again, but this can be accomplished. Also, in many situations, breast reconstruction after cancer is a very complicated procedure that can require multiple small tweaks in a breast revision surgery to improve.
Breast Revision Procedure
A specific plan for breast revision is dependent on each individual’s presentation. Before surgery, Dr. Durst will analyze the patient, discuss with them what their goals are, and determine what could be improved with respect to their current situation. After careful consideration of these factors, a specific plan is outlined for how this can be best accomplished.
This individualized approach for the patient can involve changing implants, correcting pockets, removing scar tissue, tightening a breast lift, or reducing a breast again. In some situations, multiple small procedures – including fat grafting for reconstruction patients – may be performed.
Breast Revision Recovery
The recovery period in a breast revision surgery varies according to the nature of a patient’s procedure. For individuals who have had breast implants replaced, you may need to wear a compression garment for a few weeks. In most cases, patients may experience some degree of bruising and swelling after surgery, but these symptoms are normal and will generally dissipate within a few days. Any discomfort can typically be managed with medication or ice packs.
Dr. Durst will provide specific recovery information once details of your procedure are confirmed, but generally, patients are able to resume light daily activities within one week of surgery. Many patients allow themselves two weeks to thoroughly heal before returning to work. It is strongly recommended that patients wait three weeks to one month before undergoing any strenuous exercise or intensive activity that may harm the healing process.
To learn more about breast revision surgery, or schedule a consultation with Dr. Durst, please contact our practice today.