About Breast Revision Surgery
Breast implant revision surgery involves the removal and/or replacement of saline or silicone breast implants and can include correction of any complications from your primary breast augmentation. Breast implants are like any other man-made implantable medical device (such as heart valves and artificial joints), and realistically, some patients will require revision procedures. The first step when seeking revision surgery is to be properly evaluated. Revision surgery is generally much more complex than the initial breast augmentation and very individualized based on your specific circumstances. Dr. William P. Aiello receives many referrals for breast revision surgery and has had great success in giving our patients' outcomes closer to what they first envisioned. Schedule your in-depth exam at Ocean Plastic Surgery Center in Los Alamitos, CA to see how breast revision surgery could help you. We recommend bringing in your existing implant information card if possible to answer questions, such as your implant size and manufacturer.
Breast Revision Reviews
Ideal Candidates for Breast Revision Surgery
Breast revision surgery removes implants that are not functioning properly or are no longer desired. Should you have any problems (either medical or aesthetic) after breast augmentation surgery, please schedule a consultative appointment with Dr. Aiello to go over your wants and needs and to develop your personalized plan for breast revision surgery. There are multiple, common situations that may cause someone to consider a breast revision.
Asymmetry & Symmastia
Asymmetry occurs when the implant sizes look disproportionate. This may be due to an incorrectly sized implant, drooping on one side, or pre-existing asymmetry that was not corrected in your initial augmentation. A thorough assessment would need to take place to determine what is leading to the asymmetry; then a revision surgery may be needed to resolve the problem. Finally, a new set of breast implants would be positioned to create a symmetrical result.
Symmastia is a condition that takes place when breast implants are inserted and placed too closely together. Most often, this is because the breast implant used was the incorrect shape and width. A revision treatment will repair this problem by choosing an implant that fits your frame and looks pleasing to the eye.
A common complaint among patients seeking revision surgery is the position of their implants. "Bottoming out” refers to implants positioned too low on the chest wall in relation to the nipple position. It can also be caused by over-dissection of the pocket in the inframammary crease (breast fold) or cutting the lower portion of the pectoralis muscle during surgery. It also can occur naturally with implants that are placed above the muscle.
Other common implant-positioning complaints include one implant being higher than the other or being located too far away from or too close to the other implant. Sometimes implants may not “settle” into a low enough position and remain too high on the chest wall. Also, pre-existing natural asymmetry may not have been corrected and now seems amplified by the added volume of the augmentation.
Sometimes a secondary breast surgery is as straightforward as getting a smaller- or larger-sized breast implant. During the first surgery, you may have opted to go too conservative or gone a bit too large. A different implant size can be inserted to reach the desired look. This procedure can be as simple as adding fill to existing saline implants to achieve a larger size or exchanging saline implants for silicone. When an existing implant is simply exchanged for a similar size, we call it a Remove & Replace. However, going down to a smaller implant often requires a breast lift for the outer breast tissue, as well as resizing the inner pocket for the new implant size.
Capsular contracture occurs when the scar tissue your body naturally forms around your implants thickens, tightening around the implant. This may occur on one or both sides and may cause a shape change or discomfort. One or both of your breasts may not be as soft as they once were or may actually begin to harden. You may experience some discomfort from the tightening of the capsule. If you experience any of these symptoms, you need to have your breasts examined and your capsular contracture graded for severity. Although capsular contractures can occur at any time, most women start having symptoms around three months after their breast implant surgery. With early diagnosis, it can be treated with massage and medications. In more advanced cases, revision surgery is needed.
Breast implant waviness or rippling most often occurs in thinner breast augmentation patients with saline implants placed over the muscle. These patients might have insufficient soft tissue and overlying body fat to "cover" the implant. It is not due to any defect with the implant. This issue can happen with both silicone and saline implants but is more prevalent with saline. Rippling that is felt but not noticeable to the eye is very common and should not be a concern. Once rippling occurs, it can be very difficult to correct. However, it can be minimized by replacing larger implants with smaller ones, placing them under the muscle and possibly incorporating biologic fabrics.
Rupture with saline implants is usually quite obvious because the augmentation effect is rapidly lost over the course of a day or two. Although the saline is harmlessly absorbed by the body, replacement of the implant should be performed within a few weeks to keep the pocket from shrinking. With silicone implants, a rupture may be less obvious and may require an ultrasound or MRI to confirm. Mammogram tests are not designed to diagnose an implant rupture, and we actually see many patients incorrectly diagnosed with rupture from this test. Breast implants used today have a full replacement warranty that will provide you with replacement implants at no cost to you. Depending on how long it has been since your original operation, you may also be eligible for financial assistance toward the operating room costs as well.
Total removal of breast implants with no replacement is known as an explant procedure. There are many reasons women may choose to have their implants removed: lifestyle changes, a history of complications, or simply not wanting to deal with the upkeep. Dr. Aiello sees many patients desiring explant surgery, and he is happy to oblige patients to remove their implants. However, it’s important to know that this procedure often requires supplemental procedures, such as a breast lift or scar tissue removal. It is impossible to predict what the breasts will look like once the implants are removed, but we do our best to prepare our patients for their changed look.
What to Expect from Breast Revision Surgery
Following your procedure and a brief observation period, you can go home to begin your recovery. Recovery from a revision surgery varies, depending on what is involved in your surgery. Revision surgery that warrants complex revision techniques will need a longer recovery that could possibly last up to 6 – 8 weeks. You should slowly start to see your surgical results when the bruising and swelling starts to disappear. Dr. Aiello or someone on his team will discuss what should be expected while you recover, plus give you recommendations to help you heal faster. You should go to follow-up visits as often as directed so Dr. Aiello can monitor your healing and results.
Frequently Asked Questions for Breast Revision Surgery
How much does breast revision surgery cost?
Your cost for breast revision surgery will vary based on the complexity of your procedure. In your consultation, Dr. Aiello will listen carefully to your needs and concerns before completing a physical examination of your implants. Afterward, he will talk about your choices before creating your treatment plan. The total cost of revision surgery will be based on the complexity of the procedure, plus your new implants. It's better to concentrate on getting great results by finding a skilled surgeon, like Dr. Aiello, instead of the cheapest options. As a way to help make your surgery affordable, Ocean Plastic Surgery Center accepts many different payment types, and we will give you information on low-interest financing.
What if Dr. Aiello wasn't my original surgeon?
Dr. Aiello can perform your revision surgery even if he was not the surgeon who did your original breast augmentation. Revision surgery is sometimes more difficult compared to augmentation surgery, especially if you want significant changes or have problems, which is why it is best to find a plastic surgeon, like Dr. Aiello, who has advanced training and experience in breast surgery. Dr. Aiello also welcomes his patients to come back to Ocean Plastic Surgery Center for revision surgery after their augmentation surgery if they notice an issue or would like new implants.
What about loose skin?
When you are getting your implants exchanged or removed, you may want to have excess skin removed as well. After hearing your goals and evaluating your current implants, Dr. Aiello can discuss adding a breast lift to remove sagging skin. If you lose a lot of weight, get pregnant, or breastfeed after augmentation surgery, a revision with a lift gives you better results.
Will there be new scars?
When possible, Dr. Aiello will make incisions for revision surgery in the original augmentation incisions. If this isn't possible, he will place the revision incisions where they are least visible. Dr. Aiello usually advocates for either a periareolar incision (along the lower border of the areola) or an inframammary incision (beneath the breast fold), but he will discuss all the options at your consultation. Dr. Aiello or a member of his team will explain scar care instructions so your incisions heal smoothly and blend with your skin.
Do I have to change my implants?
Although implants are long-lasting, they do require replacement eventually. Once you've had augmentation surgery, it's important to get your implants examined at least once a year so Dr. Aiello can help you determine if your implants need to be exchanged. With frequent advances in medical technology, you may prefer the new implant types and shapes to get a better outcome from breast revision surgery.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- From $4,000
- Recovery Time
- 2 – 10 Days
- Average Procedure Time
- 1 – 4 Hours
- Procedure Recovery Location
New outcome, new outlook
Revision surgery for breast implants is a specialized procedure tailored for your aesthetic goals by plastic surgeon William P. Aiello. If you notice a visible defect with your breast augmentation results or desire a different result, we invite you to get in touch with our Los Alamitos, CA office to make your appointment at Ocean Plastic Surgery Center. There are so many factors to consider, and Dr. Aiello will perform a full physical assessment, create your revision treatment plan, and discuss realistic outcome expectations.