Women who have previously undergone breast surgery may require breast implant revision, in order to address factors such as implant ‘bottoming out’ and ‘double bubble’ formation.
Dr Chaithan Reddy performs breast implant revision surgery at the North Shore, Norwest and Westmead practices.
Others situations that can warrant breast implant revision surgery include:
- Breast implant rupture
- Implant rippling or visibility
- Capsular contracture
- Waterfall deformity
Revision surgery can entail implant replacement, implant re-positioning, and implant removal. If capsular contracture has occurred, discomfort and a change in the shape of the breast may result. A capsulectomy procedure (in addition to implant removal) is generally indicated in this setting.
Other procedures such as breast fat grafting may also be undertaken to camouflage implant rippling and visibility, particularly when the overlying breast tissues have thinned over time.
Am I a good candidate for breast implant revision?
If you’ve undergone breast surgery in Australia or overseas, and are not happy with the result, then a consultation may be arranged to discuss the various treatment options available. Breast implant revision surgery does not necessarily mean that the implants will have to be removed or replaced. If breast implants do require replacement (e.g. breast implant rupture), Dr Reddy will re-insert high-quality breast implants with a proven track record and an excellent safety profile.
Breast implant revision and Medicare
A Medicare item number will commonly apply to patients requiring breast implant revision surgery. Furthermore, if you are in a private health fund, and depending upon your level of cover, the cost of new implants (if required), and any associated hospital costs may be completely covered.
5 things to consider before breast implant revision?
There are a number of considerations that should be taken into account when contemplating breast implant revision surgery:
- Should I have my implants replaced with new implants?
- If I have my implants removed, can they be replaced at the same time?
- If I have my implants replaced, do they go back in the same pocket?
- If I have my implants removed rather than replaced, what will happen to the shape of my breast?
- Do I need capsulectomies (removal of the breast implant capsules)?
All of these options will be further discussed with you during your consultation with Dr Reddy.
Breast revision procedure
The procedure takes approximately 1 – 2 hours depending upon what is required for your revision surgery. The duration of your surgery will be slightly longer if you are also having a breast lift procedure to restore your breast shape (following implant removal).
Breast implant revision surgery is performed at an accredited hospital in the North Shore or Norwest region under a general anaesthetic. Once you are asleep, the skin incision will be made and the breast implant capsule is identified. The need to undertake capsulectomies will largely depend upon the state of the breast implant capsules and the reason for the implant removal. Factors that will be considered including the presence of capsular contracture, infection, and the extent of calcification. If your implants are being replaced, it is generally advisable that the new implants are inserted into a new pocket. This minimises the risk of potential implant rotation, malposition, and infection in the future. The breast implant is then inserted into the pocket. The type and volume of your new implants would have also been discussed with you at your pre-operative consultation). A breast lift (mastopexy) procedure may also have been planned to follow your breast implant revision surgery. This is because the presence of implants over time may have resulted in changes in your breast shape. This is more likely to have occurred if you have previously had large volume implants in place. A mastopexy procedure will aim to re-lift and restore the position and contour of your native breast tissues. This is also more likely to be required or if you have chosen not to have your implants replaced, or if you have elected to downsize the size of your implants.
How long is my hospital stay?
Breast augmentation revision surgery procedures may be performed as day stay procedures, although it is likely that will require a one to two night stay particularly if additional procedures (e.g., capsulectomy, mastopexy) are undertaken. A specific post-operative instruction plan based upon the nature of your breast implant revision surgery will be discussed and given to you at the time of your discharge from hospital to ensure that you are completely at ease during your recovery period at home. A community nurse is commonly also arranged for you to help with your aftercare while at home.
What does my aftercare involve?
Dr Reddy will see you regularly during your recovery period. You will be able to attend to your self-care needs shortly after surgery and you will be able to shower the 1 day post-surgery. Following your discharge from hospital, a community nurse may be arranged to assist with your wound and drain care at home, if required. You will have to attend a post-operative check-up approximately 5-7 days after your hospital discharge. All dressings will be removed at this visit. Simple taping of the incision line will be advised—instruction and advice on scar management will be provided. It is recommended that you wear a breast garment without an underwire for a total of 6 weeks. Bras with underwires may be worn after this point in time. Sufficient bra support will help to minimise the risk of breast ptosis (sag) in the future. All subsequent follow-ups are included in your surgical fee and you will continue to be reviewed until both Dr Reddy is completely satisfied with progress.
What is the downtime?
Discomfort can range from minimal to moderate depending upon the individual and the extent of your breast revision surgery. Most patients can walk comfortably on the same day following surgery. Bruising may be evident adjacent the incision line. This is mostly apparent during the first week after surgery, although may persist for 2 weeks. Generally allow for up to a 2 weeks downtime before returning to work, although you may return sooner if your work is relatively sedentary. It is generally advised that you do not drive for the first 2 weeks after surgery. It is important to also avoid any strenuous activities for approximately 4 weeks in order to minimise potential bleeding, bruising and swelling.
When can I see the final results?
Your new breast size and shape will be immediately apparent after your revision surgery. Bruising and some degree of swelling will, however, be present at this stage. This will subside completely by the 1- 2-month post-operative mark.