While most women love their breast augmentation results, at some point or another, they will have to consider breast implant revision surgery. Some patients wait a decade or longer before opting for a newer set of implants, while others may require an adjustment sooner due to unexpected complications, updated aesthetic preferences, lifestyle changes, or age/gravity related changes since the original surgery.
If you are considering making a change to your implants and aren’t sure where to start, this blog post covers 6 commonly asked questions about this secondary procedure.
1. Do I Need Breast Implant Revision Surgery?
The decision to undergo implant replacement or removal will depend on your unique circumstances. Unexpected changes to how your breasts look and feel, such as deflation due to rupture, hardening of the tissue around the implant (a condition called capsular contracture), or a change in implant position, can all necessitate a revision procedure.
However, if you are happy with your current appearance of your breasts and you are not experiencing any problems, you don’t need to undergo revisional surgery.
2: When Should I Get Breast Implant Revision Surgery?
Many patients believe they must exchange their implants every 10 to 15 years. Health Canada has updated their recommendation to state that implant exchange is only recommended if an issue or change in appearance has occurred. The specific timeline for your breast implants will depend on your body’s natural aging process and the structural integrity of your implants.
Although modern silicone implants are designed for safety and durability, silicone implants can “silently” rupture, and small breaks in the implant shell can go undetected until your next breast imaging exam. It is recommended to have medical imaging of your breast implants (either ultrasound or MRI) every 3-5 years to monitor your silicone breast implant integrity. Saline-filled breast implants do not require imaging to detect a rupture, as the saline fluid (sterile water) will be absorbed into the body upon a deflation and the breast will significantly reduce in size.
If you recently had breast augmentation, and are not 100% happy with the aesthetic outcome, we always recommend that patients wait 6 months to year before considering revisional surgery. I can take several months for the implants to swelling to resolve and the implants to settle in the breasts.
3: What Are My Implant Options for Breast Implant Revision?
Depending on the goals for your breast revision, your options may include:
- Implant Replacement: This involves exchanging your current implants for new ones. Some clients want to switch from silicone to saline (or vice/versa).
- Implant Size Change: If you want to further change the size of your breasts, you can choose to change your implant size. The size of the implant selected will be based on your anatomic dimensions. In some cases, when you downsize your implants, a breast lift may be recommended.
- Implant Removal: Some women may elect to have their implants removed and return to their original breast size. A breast lift, and/or Fat transfer to the breast can help restore some volume to the breasts after implants are removed.
4: Will I Need a Breast Lift Along With Implant Revision Surgery?
Whether you need a breast lift (mastopexy) in addition to your implant revision depends on your breast tissue elasticity and the extent of laxity (looseness) to the breast. In some cases, combining these procedures can provide better results and restore a more youthful breast contour.
5: How Long Is Recovery From Breast Implant Exchange?
The amount of time off required for your surgery, depends on your current job and daily responsibilities. typically, for breast implant exchange we recommend 4-7 days off of work or responsibility. If a breast lift is required, your recovery period could be 7-10 days, depending on your lifestyle. Physical activity and exercise is to be avoided for 4-6 weeks after your surgery. Your actual recovery will depend on the complexity of your surgery and individual healing rate. our YES team will provide you with a personalized timeline based on your surgical plan.
6: What Can I Expect During Breast Implant Revision Recovery?
Similar to your original breast augmentation, you can expect the following during your revision surgery recovery period:
- Caregiver at home with you for the first 48 hours.
- No driving yourself for the first 2-5days.
- Swelling and discomfort for 1-7 days
- Restricted activities and movements for 4-6 weeks
- Follow-up appointments with your surgeon (3-5 appointments within the first 6 weeks)
We will make sure that you are prepared for recovery and have all of the instructions and information you need for a safe, smooth healing process.