How do you know it’s time for a breast augmentation revision (also known as “breast implant revision”)? At my Las Vegas, NV, plastic surgery practice, I often tell my breast augmentation patients to plan on having a revision (or two) at some point in their lives. It’s a normal part of the breast implant experience. However, the timeline for a revision procedure is a little different for each person.
In this blog post, I’ll discuss why breast revisions are necessary, when they typically occur, and a few ways you can tell you’re ready to start planning a revision of your own.
What Is Breast Augmentation Revision?
Breast augmentation revision is a plastic surgery procedure that revises the results of a previous breast implant surgery. It typically involves some combination of 3 steps:
- Breast implant removal (explant surgery): This removes the breast implants and often the surrounding scar tissue capsule, either separately from the implant (total capsulectomy) or all as one unit (en bloc capsulectomy).
- Breast implant replacement: Old breast implants are exchanged with new silicone or saline implants. You may opt for the same size as your original implants or a new size altogether. You can adjust the implant placement and positioning during this surgery, as well.
- Scar capsule release (capsulotomy): This procedure opens up the existing scar capsule, and in some cases removes part of it, primarily to treat hardening of the scar capsule known as capsular contracture (more on that later).
While breast implants don’t have a defined lifespan, they are not intended to be lifetime devices. Most women can expect to need a revision once or twice in their lives, typically after about 10 or 15 years.
3 Signs It’s Time for a Breast Revision
How can you tell you’re ready for a revision? Here are a few signs to look for.
You’re experiencing unwanted complications.
The most common complications that signal the need for a revision include:
- Capsular contracture: This occurs when the scar capsule around the implant becomes hardened and squeezes the implant, causing it to appear firm and misshapen. A capsulotomy opens the capsule up to create more room for the implant.
- Bottoming out: Over time, implants may gravitate downward toward the bottom of the breast, leading to a loss of upper pole fullness.
- Implant rupture: If you have saline implants, a rupture will be evident as soon as it occurs. We recommend regular MRIs or ultrasounds to check for silicone ruptures, as they are less obvious.
Revision surgery solves each of these issues, as well as other concerns such as breast discomfort.
You’re unhappy with the results of your initial breast augmentation.
It’s an undeniable disappointment not to receive the results you were hoping for after a breast augmentation. Whether you ended up with implants that were placed incorrectly, were an unflattering size, or did not appear natural, you deserve to finally enjoy the look you originally envisioned.
Some women choose to stay with their initial surgeon for their revision, but others choose to seek out a new plastic surgeon who specializes in revision procedures. One of the best ways to do so is to look through potential surgeons’ before-and-after photos. You can see examples of my patients’ results in my breast revision before-and-after photo gallery.
Your implants no longer match your lifestyle and aesthetic goals.
Our bodies change as we age, and the look we enjoyed 10 or 15 years ago may not be the look we desire now. It’s normal for women to opt for revisions when they experience weight fluctuations, pregnancy, changes in skin elasticity, or other natural adjustments to their appearance and lifestyle.
Some examples of reasons you may choose a revision include:
- You’ve become more active and want a smaller, lighter implant.
- You want to rejuvenate your look with a volume boost, perhaps combined with a breast lift.
- Your look has become more modest, and you desire a more modest breast size.
- You have lost weight and find your implants don’t suit your new frame.
Everyone’s reasons are personal, and your timeline for breast revision is largely up to you.
If you think you may be ready for a breast revision and want to discuss your best options with a plastic surgeon in Las Vegas, please contact me online or call (702) 450-0777 . I look forward to helping you bring your vision to life.