What you need to know about breast revision

Breast revision procedure preparation Dr Tavakoli

When you decided to have breast augmentation surgery you had a picture in your mind about how your breasts would look post-op.

To start with you liked the way you looked, but now the swelling and bruising has subsided you feel upset about the results. You’re not alone feeling like this.

Even when breast enhancement surgery is performed by highly experienced Cosmetic Surgeons, the post-op results may not meet patient expectations.

Breast implant revision typically involves replacing silicone or saline implants to correct problems that have occurred from the primary surgery including:

  • Asymmetry
  • Breast displacement, tension bands, silicone leakage or infection.
  • Breast implant malfunction
  • Capsular contraction
  • Dissatisfaction with the breast size

Why do women get revision surgery for their breast implants?

Over time, changes to your breasts and the implants will occur. Women who get revision surgery typically experience:

  • Asymmetrical results
  • Breast implant rippling or rupture
  • Capsular contracture
  • Sagging breasts as a result of pregnancy or weight fluctuation

Your overall health must be good before you can be considered for this surgery. You may not be a good candidate if you smoke, have a neurological disorder or a heart or lung condition.

At the consultation with your Cosmetic Surgeon they will assess your suitability.

Important facts about breast revision surgery

This surgery can involve anything from a simple replacement (if there is an implant issue) to a more complex surgical procedure.

Revision surgery is common, because implants are not guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Depending on the manufacturer’s specifications, some implants can last for 10-15 years. Some have better reputations for durability and long-term effectiveness than others do.

The longevity of your implants will be affected by life events including weight change, pregnancy and menopause.

How is this surgery performed?

The type of breast revision procedure you have will depend on the type of issue that your Cosmetic Surgeon is addressing. They usually use the same incisions as your primary procedure.

If the nipple position needs to be adjusted, you will need to have extra incisions. The type of incision will depend on the amount of lift you require.

If you need to have sagging breast skin removed, the Cosmetic Surgeon may also need to make a horizontal incision along the breast crease. If you have capsular contracture, the Cosmetic Surgeon will remove the hardened capsules before they insert the new breast implants.

Performed under general anaesthesia, revision surgeries usually take between 1 to 3 hours. After the surgery is performed, you will be taken to a recovery area to be observed. Most patients usually go home on the day of their surgery if there have been complications. It is important to note that revision surgery, like all cosmetic surgery has risks and complications.

Just like your breast enhancement surgery you will be shown a number of styles, contours and sizes of implants to choose from.

Silicone implants are filled with an elastic gel before the surgery. Because your body does not absorb silicone it’s important to monitor the status of the implants with regular check-ups and MRI’s.

Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water. If these implants leak, they will deflate and your body will naturally absorb and remove the saline.

Cohesive gel implants use a silicone gel that is thicker than traditional silicone filling. These types of implants usually retain their shape better than others.

How to choose the best Cosmetic Surgeon for your breast revision

Breast revision is a complex and challenging cosmetic surgery procedure. The most important factor in choosing a Cosmetic Surgeon is experience.

During the consultation we suggest you get answers to questions that include:

  • Do your implants cause you pain?
  • Have the implants hardened?
  • Are you happy with the look of your implants?
  • Do you have breast rippling or movement?
  • Have you lost your cleavage?
  • Are your implants moving?
  • If you have revision surgery, and it does not deliver the results you desire are you prepared?

If you’re not comfortable about consulting with your original Cosmetic Surgeon, it is a good idea to see at least 3 new Cosmetic Surgeons for a consultation. Find the best Australian Cosmetic Surgeons specialising in revision surgery here.

What is the recovery process like after this type of surgery?

While recovery from revision surgery varies from person to person, many women report that their recovery is faster and less uncomfortable than the primary surgery. For the first 24 to 72 hours after your surgery, you will feel sore and be unable to lift your arms over your head or carry anything over 5kg. To encourage blood flow and reduce swelling, Cosmetic Surgeons recommend that you undertake light activities including walking.

Your Cosmetic Surgeon will give you instructions and information about your surgery including:

  • Taking care of your drains
  • Time required off work and daily activities
  • Taking pain medication
  • Wearing compression garments and
  • Avoiding certain activities.

Image and Video by Dr Tavakoli

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