Breast Implant Revision: Reasons, Risks, Recovery

Overview

Breast implant revision is also known as implant replacement. It is a surgery that is aimed to replace
old breast implants with new ones. Also, the goal is to change or improve the
appearance of the breasts while updating the implant material, which could
include:

  • A concurrent breast lift or reduction
  • Reshaping the breast implant pocket to reposition the implant on the
    chest
  • Either increasing or decreasing the size, shape or style of the
    breast implant

More than half of women with breast
implants will have them redone in their lifetime. Because breast implants can
cause a variety of concerns, including implant malfunction, capsular
contracture, and dissatisfaction with breast size.

Reasons

Reasons for doing the breast implant revision surgery can be divided into “want” and “need”. In some cases, patients who are dissatisfied with the appearance or shape of their current implants may want to replace them with a different size or style. Conditions for the need to do the surgery include:

  • Implant rupture
  • Implant rippling
  • Capsular contracture
  • Asymmetrical results
  • Sagging

These issues may occur due to aging, pregnancy, or weight fluctuations.
Generally, women who have done breast implants need to change or remove the
implants in about 10 years.

Cost

The cost of breast implant revision can
range from $3,500 to as high as $15,000. Factors that may affect the
range include:

  • Experience of the surgeon
  • Type of implants
  • length and difficulty of the procedure
  • Location of your doctor’s office
  • Additional fees associated with anesthesia, surgical facility, prescription medication, and post-operation appointments and garments

Risks

Before you decide to do breast implant
revision, you need to understand the risks and complications of the procedure
and evaluate whether they are acceptable. These possible risks include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Persistent pain
  • Poor healing of incisions
  • Hematoma
  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Anesthesia risks
  • Capsular contracture
  • Skin loss
  • Numbness or other changes in skin sensation
  • Skin discoloration and/or prolonged swelling
  • Recurrent looseness of skin
  • Asymmetry

Preparation

Before you accept breast implant revision,
you may need to do some lab tests, such as mammogram, ultrasound or MRI, or a
medical evaluation to help your doctor determine the procedure steps. Moreover,
you may be asked to:

  • Stop smoking
  • Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements for they can increase bleeding

Surgical steps

Breast implant revision is a same-day
procedure that typically takes anywhere from 1 to 3 hours from start to finish.
Because every breast implant replacement surgery is different, the exact
procedure is customized for each woman. Generally, the procedure may consist of
these 4 steps:

  • Anesthesia, either intravenous sedation or general anesthesia
  • The incision, varying based on the type of procedures
  • Closing the incisions with sutures, skin adhesives, tapes or clips
  • See the results, initially obscured by swelling

You need someone to stay with you for at
least 24 hours after your procedure.

Recovery

While recovery varies from person to
person, most doctors agree that recovery after breast implant revision is much
easier and less painful than your initial procedure. In most cases, the surgeon
will provide a special post-surgical garment to wear during the first few days
of recovery in order to minimize swelling.

Heavy lifting or straining, and sometimes driving, should be avoided after surgery because such activities can cause the breasts to swell. Typically, you can return to work within a week and to full activity within a few weeks. Most importantly, remember to follow all the instructions given to you by your surgeon.

Keyword: breast implant revision.

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