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Breast Revision FAQs

Breast Revision FAQs


If complications resulting from breast augmentation have led you to seek breast implant removal surgery or implant replacement, choosing an experienced and compassionate cosmetic surgeon is crucial to the success of your procedure. Educating yourself about breast implant revision surgery is the best way to make an informed decision about treatment. In addition to reviewing the frequently asked questions below, DocShop encourages you to contact a qualified cosmetic surgeon in your area who will be happy to discuss the breast implant revision procedure, risks, surgical methods, or results with you in person.

What is breast revision surgery?

  • Breast implant removal surgery is a popular option for those who change their minds about their breast augmentation and wish to return to their naturally smaller size.
  • Implant replacement surgery provides solutions for women whose implants have rippled, hardened, changed shape, or shifted position.

Over time, even the most successfully placed implants may rupture or leak, and should be replaced. Typically, breast implants last between 10 and 15 years; after this, implant revision surgery will typically become necessary in order to maintain volume and shape.

What are "bad" breast implants?

While many people are under the assumption that "bad" breast implants simply refers to implants that appear unnatural, the term more accurately describes breast augmentations that are aesthetically displeasing as a result of complications such as:

  • Rippling
  • Capsular contracture
  • Implant displacement

These complications can be corrected with breast implant revision surgery, which involves removing or replacing the affected implants.

Should I have my breast implants removed or replaced?

Most surgeons recommend breast implant replacement rather than breast implant removal. Implant removal surgery is more complicated than a replacement procedure, with heightened potential for bleeding and infection.

For some women, though, breast implant removal is the preferred option. Women who suffer pain and rheumatological symptoms show a marked health improvement when implants are removed completely, rather than replaced. In fact, women who suffer from autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, MS, and lupus may be especially sensitive to substances found in implants, such as silicone.

If you elect to have your breast implants removed, choosing a surgeon experienced in breast implant revision surgery is crucial to ensuring successful results. Because removing implants is more complex than the initial breast augmentation procedure, it takes an especially skilled doctor to be able to perform a cosmetically satisfactory breast implant removal.

What is the recovery like?

Generally, the procedure to replace or remove breast implants is more comfortable than the initial breast augmentation, and recovery is relatively quick. However, the amount of postoperative discomfort depends largely on whether the scar tissue is removed along with the implant.

Patients can usually return to their normal activities within several days. Breasts will likely be sore for some time after the replacement, similar to the postoperative sensation experienced following the initial breast augmentation.

What results can I expect?

When large implants are removed, the natural breasts often have a deflated, sagging appearance, because the implants have caused the breast tissue to stretch. A qualified surgeon can ensure that revision surgery will leave your breasts as attractive as they were prior to surgery; in some cases, the best way to achieve this is by combining your implant revision surgery with a breast lift.

If you are replacing your implants, you may opt to maintain your current breast size, or select a larger or smaller size implants than your existing implants. As with the original breast augmentation, you can expect full, shapely breasts from your breast implant replacement. For the best breast implant revision results, talk to your breast implant revision surgeon and be sure he or she understands your goals for surgery.

What are the risks and complications?

Although complications resulting from breast implant revision surgery are rare, there are risks involved with any medical procedure. In uncommon circumstances, breast implant removal may result in:

  • A loss of nipple sensation
  • Bleeding
  • Scarring
  • Breast deformity, such as sagging

Complications resulting from breast implant replacement are similar to the risks involved with breast augmentation surgery. They include:

  • Rippling
  • Rupture
  • Displacement
  • Loss of nipple sensation
  • Capsular contracture

When complications occur, they may be corrected with further cosmetic surgery. Discuss any possible risks and side effects thoroughly with your cosmetic surgeon before pursuing treatment.

How much does breast revision surgery cost?

Breast implant revision may cost anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000. Many factors can influence the cost of breast implant removal or replacement surgery, including the plastic surgeon you choose, the geographical location of the practice, whether or not your initial breast augmentation was under warranty, and how involved the procedure itself will be. Cosmetic surgery financing plans can help make your breast implant revision more affordable.

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

Photo credit: Accent Plastic Surgery

Contact a Breast Implant Revision Surgeon 

If complications have resulted from your breast augmentation, or you are simply unhappy with the appearance or size of your implants, a revision, whether it involves breast implant removal or replacement surgery, can restore your confidence in your body image. Find a qualified breast implant revision surgeon in your area for a personal consultation.

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