Breast Implant Revision Surgery Explained

Posted June 20, 2019
Learn why patients have breast implant revision surgery

Breast implant revision surgery is performed to remove and/or replace implants that were previously placed in the body of a patient. There are multiple reasons that issues with breast implants might need to be addressed using breast implant revision surgery. The implants might have ruptured or the cosmetic surgeon might need to correct implants that moved at some point after they were placed in the body. The overall goal of breast implant revision surgery is to correct problems with the breasts and restore a more youthful look and contour to them.

Breast Implant Revision Surgery Details

When it comes to performing breast implant revision surgery, the technique used by the cosmetic surgeon depends on the reasons for the desired revision surgery:

  • Patients want to change the size of their breasts – The cosmetic surgeon will use the original incision that was placed in the patient to remove and replace the implant. If the patient wants larger implants placed in the body, the doctor will surgically enlarge the space/pocket in the breast surrounding the implant to accommodate a larger implant. If the patient wants smaller implants, the doctor will surgically reduce the size of the pocket (using sutures) and then place breast implants that are smaller in size. 
  • Capsular contracture – This condition is a hardening of the implant and the capsule. The surgeon will use the same incision that was used for the original implants to remove the hardened capsule, as well as the old implant, before placing a new implant.
  • Rippled implants – If the implants have ripples in them, it means the sides of the implants are visible and can be felt by others. The cosmetic surgeon can use the original incision to reposition or remove the implants, use a different type of implant or place a new implant in a different breast pocket that has more muscles or tissues to cover the implant edges
  • Implant malposition – This means the implant pockets are positioned too far apart, or too close to each other, which results in breasts that are poorly positioned. Doctors manipulate the scar tissue in the area surrounding the implant in order to reconstruct the pocket into a position that is more symmetrical with the other breast. The repositioning of the implants is often accomplished with an Acellular Dermal Matrix product (ADM). The ADM becomes integrated with the body of the patient and it is eventually replaced by the collagen of the patient to create a thicker and stronger tissue layer.
  • Implant removal – Patients with breast implants that are large enough to stretch the skin might need a breast lift along with breast implant removal to achieve the desired results. The original incision used to insert the implant will be the one used to remove the implant.

Breast Implant Revision Surgery Candidates and Types of Breast Implants

Ideal candidates for breast implant revision surgery include:

  • Patients with breast implants that ruptured or shifted
  • Patients that want to change the size of their breast implants or they have breast tissue that has stretched because of weight loss or gain
  • Patients with breasts that are not symmetrical in either their size or shape
  • Anyone unhappy with the results of a previous breast implant surgery or they want the breast implants removed because they no longer want them

Types of Breast Implants

When it is time for patients to have breast implant revision surgery, there are multiple choices when it comes to the breast implants that will be placed in the body:

  • Saline breast implants are filled with sterile salt water. Saline breast implants can be prefilled before being placed in the patient so they have a size that is already determined. They can also be filled at the time of the surgery.
  • Silicone breast implants have a soft silicone gel that is elastic and they are available in a variety of shapes. Silicone breast implants are prefilled and might need a longer incision before being placed in the patient.
  • Cohesive gel silicone implants, AKA gummy bear implants, are implants that are filled with a cohesive gel made of a cross-linked silicone. The cohesive gel makes the silicone firmer and thicker so it holds its shape better than traditional silicone implants.

Breast Implant Revision Cost and Results

The cost of breast implant revision surgery depends on the type of implant used, the amount of work that needs to be performed and any fees charged by the cosmetic surgeon or the facility. In general, the cost is anywhere from $1500-$4000.

The results of breast implant revision surgery provide increased physical comfort for the patient as well as the shape and contour the patient wants to achieve with their body. As long as the patient does not have any health issues from the implants, they should last 10-15 years.

Consult with a Board-Certified Breast Implant Revision Surgeon

Before making the final decision to have breast implant revision surgery, patients need to schedule a consultation appointment with an experienced and board-certified breast implant revision surgeon. The cosmetic surgeon will determine if the patient is an ideal candidate for breast implant revision surgery by conducting a thorough physical examination of the patient. The physical examination also determines the best technique to perform the desired breast implant revision surgery.



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