Breast Revision Surgery
What is breast revision surgery?
Think of this as a “touch-up”, either major or minor. A breast revision can include an implant exchange, replacement, or removal. It may involve lifting or re-lifting the breast tissue or moving an implant to a better position, or improving the appearance of the scar. Any aspect of your prior surgery that is no longer satisfactory can also be addressed by breast revision surgery.
Candidacy for breast revision surgery
The most common reasons that people consider breast revision surgery include:
- You want to change your implant/breast size
- Your body contours have changed due to weight fluctuations and you want to create more balanced proportions
- You are unhappy with the results of a prior breast augmentation surgery or you want to address problems that have developed with your implants / breast tissue
- The position of your implants is undesirable
- Your saline implants have deflated or your silicone implant has a shell disruption or other structural issue
- You experienced capsular contracture (tightening of the scar tissue around the implant)
- You want to remove your breast implants
You are likely a good candidate for breast revision surgery if you are in good health and have realistic goals and expectations.
Dr. Restifo’s Approach to Breast Revision
Fully Customizable Breast Revision Surgery
During different seasons in life, a woman’s body may change alongside her aesthetic preferences based on lifestyle and life-stage. For this reason, our pre-operative consultations focus on understanding what each patient hopes to gain from breast revision surgery and to what type of procedure is the best option, and what approach will achieve the best long-term aesthetic results.
Dr. Restifo has over twenty-five years of experience specializing in plastic surgery of the breast and body. He has performed hundreds of breast revision surgeries and is fully committed to ensuring each patient’s safety, satisfaction, and comfort. He will also be candid about what can be accomplished through breast revision, and will make recommendations to ensure the best possible outcome.
Please note: Although many doctors perform cosmetic procedures, you need to know that plastic surgeons, facial plastic surgeons, and cosmetic surgeons are not the same thing, plus board-certification matters. Learn more about specialization here. Also be sure to watch this Plastic Surgery Channel video: How to Avoid Unqualified Practitioners.
Breast revision can achieve dramatic and beautiful results on its own as well as in conjunction with other cosmetic surgery procedures. Dr. Restifo may recommend combining breast implant replacement or removal with other procedures such as a breast lift for more satisfying results.
Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Revision
A.Dr. Restifo may discuss the following options with you:
- What type and size of implant would achieve the desired results (saline or silicone)
- Whether the implant will be placed above or below the muscle
- Whether you would also benefit from a breast lift or reshaping of the breast
- Whether you’d like to remove the implants without replacing them
- Capsular contracture (with silicone implants)
- Swelling and pain
- Changes in sensation
- Milk production
- Change to the implant as a result of injury, activity, or the normal passage of time
Implants do require monitoring and will eventually need to be replaced. If a saline implant ruptures, the implant will simply deflate in a few hours and your body will absorb the salt water. Regular monitoring of breast implants after breast augmentation is recommended to ensure continued breast and implant health.
A. Prior to your consultation, you will be asked to fill out a complete medical history, which includes information about:
- Medical conditions, both past and present
- Current medications and supplements
- Previous surgeries and medical treatments
- Mammogram results from within the past year (for patients over 40)
- Family history of breast cancer
- Current use of alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs
- Weight fluctuations
During your initial consultation, Dr. Restifo will listen to your cosmetic goals, needs, and any medical concerns. He will evaluate whether you’re a good candidate for breast revision based on your anatomy and physical health, and will determine a treatment plan based on your expectations. He will also be candid about whether he can achieve the outcome you desire.
After you’ve discussed the size and shape of breasts that you desire, Dr. Restifo will work with his assistant to measure and photograph your breasts for your medical record. He will also evaluate the following:
- Current size and shape of your breasts.
- State of your skin’s elasticity.
- State of existing breast tissue.
- Type and size of current implant.
- Current size and location of your nipples and areolas.
- Desired breast size after surgery.
If your breasts are drooping significantly, Dr. Restifo may also recommend a breast lift (mastopexy) in conjunction with breast revision to achieve the best overall outcome. See Dr. Restifo’s video “Implant, Lift or Both?” for more information.
If you are planning to lose a significant amount of weight, be sure to mention this in the initial consultation. Also be sure to mention any plans to get pregnant, in either the near or distant future. It is ideal to stabilize your weight before undergoing surgery to get the best possible results.
A. Breast revision is typically long-lasting if you maintain a healthy body weight, however lifestyle and life-stage both play a role in how long the results of your surgery will last. Your breasts can change due to a number of factors, including:
- Hormonal fluctuations
- Time and gravity
In general, implants do not need to be changed until they demonstrate deflation (saline) or internal disruption (silicone).
A. Prior to your surgery, Dr. Restifo will ask you to:
- Stop smoking at least six weeks before undergoing surgery to better promote healing.
- Contact your primary care physician to schedule a preoperative physical for the following tests required for your surgery:
- A recent complete history and physical with medical clearance for surgery and general anesthesia
- Labs complete with CBC, PT, PTT
- Current EKG and report of the reading for patients over the age of 50 or those with a cardiac history
- A mammography report completed within the last year (for patients over 40)
- Any other exam that you or your physician feel is indicated
- Avoid taking aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. ibuprofen, naproxen) that can increase bleeding.
- Fill any prescriptions he provided prior to surgery (though you won’t need them until afterwards).
- Hydrate well both before and after the surgery for safe recovery.
- Purchase a front-closure sports bra.
- Arrange for a ride home after surgery.
- Plan to have someone to stay with you for at least the first 24 hours following surgery.
Full preoperative instructions can be found under Patient Resources.
A. Most patients feel tired and sore after breast revision surgery for the first day or two. Some discoloration and swelling may occur, but this usually passes relatively quickly. Some patients feel an increased tightness and sensitivity in the breasts, and skin may feel warm or itchy. Dr. Restifo will prescribe specific medications that will increase your safety and comfort during healing. If you’ve had a breast lift in addition to implants, your recovery time may be a little longer.
Many patients return to work within one week, although we recommend that patients wait a minimum of two weeks before driving. Patients should walk as early as the day of surgery, but should also refrain from lifting, pulling or pushing anything greater than five pounds for one month. We also recommend avoiding high impact aerobic exercise or upper body workouts for six weeks.
Any post-operative pain, swelling and sensitivity will diminish over the first few weeks. It may take several weeks for your breasts to fully “settle” into place.