Do you have deflated, leaked, wrong-sized breast implants – or simply want to upgrade?
If your boob job or breast augmentation surgery went wrong or if you no longer like the size of your breast implants or are unhappy with the shape, then you may wish to consider breast implant revision.
Breast implant revision is a cosmetic procedure that addresses aesthetic and comfort problems with previously placed breast implants – either by removing them or replacing them. This procedure can also correct implant ruptures, displaced implants or misshapen breasts and rotated implants.
According to US cosmetic surgeon Dr Samir Pancholi – who specialises in breast augmentation and implant revision surgery: ‘Neither the FDA nor breast implant manufacturers specify when you should replace breast implants, leaving many patients unsure about when they should get new implants.'
Clarifying the matter for patients in a recent paper, he writes: ‘Given that the risk for complications increases significantly in breast implants after 10 years, I advise patients to consider exchanging their implants about this time, particularly if they have older silicone gel implants.’
The size of an implant doesn’t have to be forever and can always be changed. Similarly, breasts that are not symmetrical can always be corrected and any sagging that has appeared can be amended. Misshapen breasts, high nipples and scarring are also common reasons for revision.
Breast implant revision is also suitable if your implants have deflated or leaked. Although uncommon, sometimes tightening of scar tissue can occur around the breast or implant, or they may change position.
Additionally, breast tissue alters with weight fluctuation or skin stretching, in which case a breast implant revision is also suitable.
Sometimes, you may wish to upgrade from saline implants to a more natural look with the newer silicon breast implants.
Whatever your reasons, revision can help retain a youthful, natural look, or put right any complications or issues that arose during any initial breast augmentation surgery.
DO BE HONEST
Even if you have undergone breast augmentation before, you will need on-going consultation with your chosen surgeon – and good outcomes are very much dependant on honest discussions.
Be open about what it is that is exactly troubling you and outline your expectations.
You must be prepared to answer questions about your health, desires and lifestyle. Any risks and complications will also be discussed.
DON’T SETTLE FOR SECOND BEST
It is worth noting that breast implant revision is a more challenging procedure for clinicians than the initial breast implant surgery you underwent. It requires an eye for detail and advanced surgical skills.
Do take your time to find an appropriate surgeon for the task. Ask to see ‘before and after’ images, check their experience in the procedure and talk to others who have undergone breast implant revision.
More often than not the insertion that was made to insert an implant is used to remove it during breast revision surgery.
Factors such as scar tissue and changes to the breast and skin following the previous surgery must be also taken into account.
DON’T EXPECT A ‘QUICK FIX’
More than one procedure is often required during a breast implant revision treatment. For example, after a breast reduction revision has been completed, you may require surgery to lift and re-position the breast shape and surrounding tissue. The removal of any scar tissue surrounding the implants may also be necessary.
Breast implant revision can last up to three hours, depending on your anatomy, the technique used and the complications or issues it is addressing.
DO EXPECT A LITTLE DISCOMFORT
Soreness and swelling are common side effects. That said, many women return to their normal activities and work after one or two weeks of recovery. Your surgeon will advise.
DO HAVE REGULAR CHECK UPS
Breast implant revision results are long lasting. However, as with all cosmetic breast surgery, you will need to see a clinician to check regularly that your breast implants are not posing a health risk.
DO BE AWARE OF THE RISKS
All surgery carries the possibility of complications. As with an initial breast augmentation, the risks of this specific procedure include possibility of capsular contracture (when our immune system rejects foreign materials in our body), nipple sensitivity or loss in sensitivity, rippling, rupturing, and leakage.
DO HAVE A CHECKLIST
Consultation is an on-going process – not a one-off – so take a checklist of questions to refer to throughout the process. Remember, the following needs to be discussed:
- Your suitability for treatment
- Your expected outcomes
- Your medical history
- The reasons for seeking revision – is it because you dislike their appearance or are you suffering discomfort because of displacement or contracture of the breast implant(s) and so on?...
- Clinic and recovery location
- How to prepare for surgery
- How to prepare for recovery
- What might happen immediately after surgery
- What might happen months after surgery
- The risks and after care.