The decision to have breast implant revision surgery is extremely personal. You’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications of breast implant revision are acceptable.
The possible risks of breast implant revision surgery include, but are not limited to:
- Poor healing of incisions
- Anesthesia risks
- Fluid accumulation (seroma)
- Skin loss
- Numbness or other changes in skin sensation
- Skin discoloration and/or prolonged swelling
- Unfavorable scarring
- Recurrent looseness of skin
- Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis)
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Suboptimal aesthetic result
- Possible need for revision surgery
- Persistent pain
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It’s important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon
How should I prepare for breast implant revision?
In preparing for breast implant revision surgery, you may be asked to:
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
- Get breast or implant imaging, such as a mammogram, ultrasound or MRI
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
Breast implant revision surgery is typically performed in a hospital or licensed ambulatory surgery setting, and will likely use general anesthesia. If your breast implant revision is performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
What are the steps of a breast implant revision procedure?
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 – The incision
The type of incision used in breast implant revision surgery will vary depending upon the type of procedures that will be performed. The incision can include, but is not limited to, any of the following:
- Inframammary incision – in the crease under the breast
- Breast lift incision – either vertical incision or Wise pattern incision
- Peri-areolar incision – incision part way or all the way around a areola
Step 3 – Closing the incisions
Sutures, skin adhesives, tapes or clips close the skin incisions.
Step 4 – See the results
View our Surgeons results.
What should I expect during my breast implant revision recovery?
Following your breast implant revision, gauze dressings or bandages maybe applied to your incisions. Depending on the details of your surgery, you may or may not be placed in a support bra or other type of garment.
In some cases, a small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.
You will be given specific instructions that may include:
- How to care for your surgical site(s) following surgery
- Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection
- Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health
- When to follow up with your plastic surgeon
Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.
- Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
- What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
- Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
- Will there be drains? For how long?
- When can I bathe or shower?
- When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
- When do I return for follow-up care?
Healing will continue for several weeks as swelling decreases. Continue to follow your plastic surgeon’s instructions and attend follow-up visits as scheduled.
What results should I expect after breast implant revision?
The final results of breast implant revision surgery will be initially obscured by swelling. It will take at least six weeks for the swelling to resolve and the breasts to feel softer and more natural. In some cases, it can take 6-12 months for the breasts to feel “normal.”
Healing time is different for everyone and sometimes it can take longer for the breasts to soften, for normal sensation to return, for scars to fade and for the patient to get used to the feel of having an implant. Please discuss realistic expectations with your surgeon regarding healing.
The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.
When you go home, if you experience shortness of breath, chest pains or unusual heart beats, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment.
Following your physician’s instructions is key to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.