Most breast augmentation patients are very satisfied with their results. Occasionally though, women develop a problem with their implants shortly after surgery, or are unhappy with the implant size. Women may also enter a new stage of life (i.e., motherhood) such that the original implants no longer suit their taste or lifestyle. In those scenarios, old implants can be replaced with a new pair to change or improve the appearance of the breasts and fulfill the patient’s goals.
If you have had breast augmentation and are dissatisfied with your implants, or if the condition or integrity of your implants has deteriorated, Dr. Marco Ellis can address your concerns with breast revision surgery. He will help you find implants that match your goal of beautiful, natural-looking breasts.
Reasons You May Want Breast Revision Surgery
You may decide to pursue breast revision surgery for any the following reasons:
- After living with your implants for a while, you find that you want a bigger or smaller pair
- You have developed a rare complication called capsular contracture, in which scar tissue around the implant becomes hard and contracts over the implant
- One or both of your implants has shifted or migrated out of its original position
- One or both of your implants has ruptured or is showing noticeable wrinkling or rippling
During the pre-operative planning process, you and Dr. Ellis will select the implant type and size that matches your goals and preferences. Every breast revision procedure is customized, based on the goals of treatment. In general, surgery is performed on an outpatient basis with local or general anesthesia. You can return home the day of the procedure to recover comfortably.
In many cases, the surgery can be performed through the original breast augmentation incisions. If you have developed capsular contracture, the capsule of scar tissue around the current implants may need to be released or excised and a new pocket created for the new implants.
If your breasts have sagged noticeably since your current implants were placed, breast lift may be performed concurrently to reposition your breasts higher on the chest wall.
Recovering from breast revision surgery should be similar to recovering from your primary breast augmentation procedure. Your breasts will be temporarily swollen and/or bruised, and you may have mild to moderate discomfort after surgery. Depending on Dr. Ellis’ instructions, you can resume work approximately one week after surgery, and strenuous activities three to four weeks after surgery.
You will see an initial change or improvement in your breast appearance soon after surgery, with your results continuing to improve. It can take two to three months for your breasts to stabilize into their new or improved appearance.
Breast Revision FAQs
How long can my breast implants safely last inside my chest?
The average silicone or saline implant can safely last for about 10 to 20 years without posing any problems. Many patients choose to remove and replace their implants within this timeframe to avoid potential complications in the future, but it is not necessary to do this prematurely if your implants are still in good condition.
Should I choose the same plastic surgeon who performed my breast augmentation for my breast revision?
You can choose your same plastic surgeon if you so desire, but it is normal for patients to choose a different surgeon to perform breast revision. In fact, it may be wise to choose a different surgeon if you are dissatisfied with your original breast augmentation results. Receiving care from a doctor who has better technique can help you achieve the results you have always wanted.
Another reason to choose a quality surgeon is that breast revision is considered a more challenging surgery than breast augmentation because it may also involve correcting past mistakes. Since Dr. Ellis has a well-earned reputation as a breast specialist, many patients seek him out for revision to ensure their breasts look more appealing and natural.
How much does breast revision cost in Chicago? Is it covered by medical insurance?
The price of breast revision varies depending on the type of implants the patient chooses and whether any complications (such as hardened scar tissue) need to be addressed from the previous surgery. During your consultation, Dr. Ellis can provide a quote so that you know what to expect. Financing options are available through CareCredit.
Although most breast revisions are considered cosmetic in nature and not covered by insurance plans, your health insurance may cover the procedure in situations where removing the breast implants is considered “medically necessary.” To improve your odds of coverage, it can help to have a referral from a physician.
Do I have to replace my breast implants?
While most women enjoy their breast implants, it is not unusual for a woman to eventually decide that her implants do not correspond with her current lifestyle. If you decide you would like to simply remove your implants without a replacement, you can seek breast implant removal (also known as breast explant surgery). Because your breasts may look deflated after losing volume, it is a good idea to choose a reconstruction specialist, like Dr. Ellis, with advanced knowledge of the surgical techniques that will help your breasts remain attractive at their newly smaller size.
Will I have new scarring after breast revision surgery?
Dr. Ellis deliberately makes his incisions at the same points through which your implants were originally inserted. By doing this, he avoids creating scars on new areas of your body.
Can breast revision improve drooping?
Breast revision is designed to remove and replace your breast implants. Changing the size, shape or texture of your implants does not significantly impact breast ptosis (or sagging) that all women inevitably notice with age. The good news is that Dr. Ellis can combine breast lift — a surgery that elevates the breasts and restores a youthful nipple projection — with breast revision to create a more complete transformation.