What Is Breast Implant Revision Surgery?
For breast implant revision surgery in the St. Louis area, plastic surgeons Dr. Terry Myckatyn and Dr. Marissa Tenenbaum specialize in correcting or revising prior cosmetic or reconstructive breast surgery. Breast implant revision surgery typically involves removing or replacing the original saline or silicone implants. Our patients who elect to have breast revision do so to change the size or type of their implants and/or to correct any complications resulting from a prior breast augmentation. The overall goal is to restore a youthful breast contour and appearance.
A breast implant revision may be performed for numerous reasons, both medical and cosmetic. Whatever the reason, at West County Plastic Surgeons of the Washington University School of Medicine, we take great care in evaluating patients’ needs to ensure that we provide cosmetic results that best suit each person’s expectations. Safe and satisfying outcomes are our primary goal, and we strive to ensure the best possible end results for every patient.
To schedule your consultation for breast implant revision surgery, contact our St. Louis office by phoning 314-996-8800, requesting your consultation online, or emailing us today.
Reasons for Breast Implant Revision
A breast implant revision may be performed for medical and/or cosmetic revision. The following breast conditions are amenable to surgical correction:
Bottoming out. This condition describes breast implants that have dropped considerably on the chest, making the breast implants look too low and the nipples look too high. One technique that corrects this problem is repositioning the implants and securing them with a biologic scaffolding material called Strattice™.
An illustration showing how Strattice™ can assist in correcting bottoming out.
Capsular contracture. It is normal for the body to form a capsule, which is basically a form of scar tissue, around a breast implant. Over time, however, this capsule can become thicker, harder and tighter, leading to a condition called “capsular contracture.” Removing the capsule and breast implant treats uncomfortable capsular contracture. New breast implants placed in a different position relative to the chest muscle ensure attractive results and lasting comfort.
Implant downsizing. Some patients with breast implants may decide that they still want breast implants, but wish that they were smaller. Exchanging larger implants for smaller implants, however, often causes redundant breast skin and sagging breasts, also known as ptosis. As a result, downsizing of a breast implant is usually accompanied by a breast lift mastopexy procedure to manage the extra skin.
Rippling. In particularly thin individuals, ripples from a breast implant can be seen on the surface of the skin. One option for treating visible rippling is to camouflage the ripples with the patient’s own fat using fat grafting. Another option is to pad the overlying soft tissues with a sheet of biologic scaffolding material called Strattice™.
Ruptured implants. Eventually, breast implants will leak or rupture. Once this occurs, they can be removed and replaced with fresh breast implants.
Symmastia or Synmastia. This condition occurs when breast implant pockets merge together across the middle of the chest. One way to correct this problem is to separate the two breast implant pockets with the patient’s own breast capsule material, provided it is strong enough. If it is not, an implanted biologic scaffolding material called Strattice™ may be used.
Breast Revision Surgery: What You Should Know
Anesthesia: Revision breast surgery is usually performed with the patient under general anesthesia.
Length of procedure: 30 to 150 minutes, depending on the type of revision required.
Estimated recovery time: Patients can usually expect to return to work after 1 to 2 weeks, and they should avoid vigorous activities for 3 weeks. Visible bruising should subside within 2 weeks, and swelling should begin to resolve within 3 weeks. To learn how to prepare for breast implant revision surgery at our surgery center and what to expect afterwards, click here to download our patient instructions.
Side effects: Common side effects include bruising and swelling. The shape of the breast may change over time, and the final result may not be realized for a few months. Augmentation-mastopexy is associated with a higher rate of corrective surgery than either breast augmentation or breast lift alone. Click here to download a detailed consent form from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons that lists the risks and benefits of breast implant removal.
Before-and-after photos of breast implant revision results: Click here
To speak with one of our surgeons about your options for breast revision surgery, contact our St. Louis office by phoning 314-996-8800, requesting your consultation online, or emailing us today.