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Breast Revision Risks

Breast Revision Risks


Breast implants will not remain in perfect condition forever. In fact, breast revision surgery is typically necessary after implants have been in place for 10 to 15 years. In these cases, breast revision surgery is performed in order to maintain the attractive appearance that women have enjoyed for years.

Removal and replacement of implants, however, are two common secondary procedures for patients who are experiencing complications following breast augmentation, or who wish to alter the appearance of their implants. Because complications are possible after any surgery, it is important to discuss breast implant revision risks with your cosmetic surgeon prior to treatment.

Surgical Complications

Breast implant revision presents many of the same risks and complications as your original breast augmentation surgery. In order to reduce risks associated with the procedure, you should disclose your full medical history to their doctor prior to surgery. Complications may include:

  • Infection
  • Poor reaction to anesthesia
  • Bleeding
  • Unsatisfactory results

Your surgeon will consult with you prior to surgery to ensure your expectations are realistic and attainable given your health and body proportions.

Risks of Breast Implant Removal

Some patients experience complications after breast augmentation requiring the implants to be removed completely. In other cases, patients may choose to have their implants removed simply because they want their natural breasts back. Typically, breast implant removal produces few side effects, and patients experience:

  • Mild discomfort
  • Swelling
  • Bruising

In rare cases, severe complications may include:

  • Loss of nipple sensation
  • Bleeding
  • Scarring

After implants are removed, the breasts may not look exactly as they did prior to breast augmentation. Patients with large implants may experience some deformity of the breasts when their implants are removed, including a sagging appearance attributable to tissue atrophy. By performing a breast lift in conjunction with implant removal, your cosmetic surgeon will be able to remove excess skin and improve the appearance of the natural breasts.

It is not uncommon for patients to feel that their natural breasts are smaller than they remember; this may be due to hormone changes or weight loss which took place during the time the patient had implants. Because breast implant removal can also have a psychological impact, it is important to have a realistic expectation of results.

Risks of Breast Implant Replacement

Breast implant replacement poses many of the same risks and complications as the original breast augmentation surgery. Complications, though rare, include:

  • Rippling
  • Rupture
  • Implant displacement
  • Altered sensation in the breast
  • Capsular contracture, in which scar tissue squeezes the implant, causing a distorted breast shape

If women are having larger implants placed during their revision surgery, there may be additional mild discomfort as the body adjusts to accommodate the new implants. Because all surgical procedures carry risk, it is recommend that women replace breast implants only when they present complications, or when they wish to alter the size of their chests.

Visit the DocShop gallery to view more breast augmentation before and after photos.

Photo credit: Pacific Plastic Surgery

Contact a Cosmetic Surgeon

Before pursuing surgery, it is important to thoroughly discuss breast implant revision risks with your doctor. Find experienced breast implant revision surgeons in your state using the DocShop physician directory.

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