Breast Revision

breastmodel2Breast revision is performed to improve upon the results of a previous breast surgery, or to resolve complications caused by years of implant use. This procedure is designed with each patient’s individual goals in mind; therefore, one breast revision surgery is never the same as another. Every woman has different reasons for electing to undergo breast revision surgery and our Huntsville plastic surgeon, David L. Durst, MD, will work with you diligently to discuss your concerns and ensure you both have clear expectations for the outcome.

What are Common Reasons for Breast Revision Surgery?

While many women who undergo breast surgery enjoy their results for years, certain factors can cause the appearance of the breasts to change over time. Breast revision can be pursued for several reasons, including to:

  • Correct a complication caused by breast implants
  • Exchange older implants for newer implants
  • Remove your breast implants altogether
  • Enhance the outcome of a prior breast surgery from another plastic surgeon, in which the desired results were not previously achieved

Breast revision is commonly performed for women who have formerly had breast augmentation, but those who have undergone other types of breast enhancement may also seek revision. Patients who had a breast lift and later experienced significant weight fluctuation may desire a secondary procedure to correct any aesthetic changes. It is very rare for a breast reduction patient to experience enough breast growth wherein a subsequent reduction is necessary, but if desired, this can also be accomplished during breast revision. The procedure can also be utilized if small tweaks are necessary to reconstruct the breasts after cancer removal surgery.

What Breast Implant Complications Can Be Corrected with Revision Surgery?

Many patients who desire breast revision surgery have previously undergone breast augmentation. If you have experienced complications or are simply dissatisfied with your breast implants, revisional surgery can address these concerns:

  • Implant rippling: The ability to see or feel the edges of the implant through the skin. Rippling can often be corrected through implant exchange, repositioning the implant under the chest muscle, or with fat transfer to the breasts.
  • Capsular contracture: Scar tissue development around an implant, sometimes causing hardness, tightness, discomfort, or pain. If you experience these symptoms due to capsular contracture, your surgeon can work to remove as much scar tissue as possible while replacing your implants.
  • Implant rupture: A tear or break in an implant. Ruptured implants can be exchanged or removed without replacement, depending on patient preference.
  • Malpositioning: When implants have migrated from their ideal positioning. A graft of the acellular dermal matrix (ADM) is sometimes used to address these concerns and re-establish the implant’s proper positioning.

In some cases, patients may want to change or “upgrade” their implants even while experiencing no complications. Breast revision can also allow individuals to obtain a different size or shape of implant, switch from saline to silicone implants (or vice versa), or remove their implants altogether.

How is the Breast Revision Procedure Performed?

A specific plan for breast revision is dependent on each individual’s presentation. Before surgery, Dr. Durst will evaluate your concerns, discuss your goals, and determine what can be improved with respect to your current needs and the desired outcome. After careful consideration of these factors, a personalized treatment plan will be created to improve your previous breast enhancement.

The various approaches to breast revision may involve exchanging implants, correcting implant pockets, removing scar tissue, tightening a breast lift, or reducing one’s breast size. In some situations, multiple smaller procedures—such as fat grafting for breast reconstruction patients—may be performed.

What Can I Expect From the Breast Revision Recovery Process?

The recovery period after breast revision surgery varies according to the nature of each 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 one to two weeks to thoroughly heal before returning to work. It is strongly recommended that patients wait three to four weeks before undergoing any strenuous exercise or intensive activity that may harm the healing process.

How Much Does Breast Revision Cost?

The price of breast revision generally includes costs for anesthesia, post-operative care, surgeon’s fees, and other associated expenses. Each patient’s cost estimate will also vary depending on the details of their unique surgical plan, such as:

  • The type of breast implants utilized (in cases of implant exchange)
  • The need for adjunctive procedures, such as fat grafting or breast lift surgery
  • The complexity of the procedure

It is impossible to determine a patient’s needs without an initial consultation, but rest assured that our office will provide you with a personalized quote after you meet with Dr. Durst. Our practice accepts all major payment methods, as well as plastic surgery financing from CareCredit® and Prosper® Healthcare Lending. These national healthcare lending companies are frequently utilized to help individuals manage the costs of elective treatments and procedures. In addition to offering qualified patients an array of short- or long-term payment plans to choose from, many options do not include interest rates within a given promotional period. Please feel free to call our practice at (256) 881-4200 if you have any questions about the cost of breast revision.

What Will My Breast Revision Scars Look Like?

For many patients, the incisions made during their previous breast operation may be re-used for breast revision. If this is the case, you can generally expect your scars to closely mirror the scarring produced after your original breast procedure. However, other incisions may be necessary to successfully address your concerns depending on your goals for breast revision. After assessing your needs, Dr. Durst will show you where your incisions will be located during your consultation.

Regardless of whether your incisions are new or from a previous procedure, following Dr. Durst’s instructions on proper wound care can help your incisions heal optimally. It is important to avoid sun exposure on incisions for at least 6 months after surgery to avoid hyper pigmentation which can be permanent. Scars usually mature around 12 months after surgery.

To learn more about breast revision surgery, or schedule a consultation with Dr. Durst, please contact our practice today.