If you’ve had a previous breast enhancement surgery that didn’t go well, then you’re probably feeling frustrated and worried about how your breasts will look in the future. Many women eventually have to have breast implants replaced due to complications, a desire for larger implants, or implants that rupture over time from age. While it’s never a pleasant prospect to have revision surgery for a breast augmentation or breast lift, it’s sometimes necessary for your safety, well-being, and aesthetic results. The good news? Our expert plastic surgeons in Chicago, IL, have the skills and experience to help you turn your breast enhancement around and give you results you can be proud of.
What is a Breast Revision?
A breast revision surgery is a procedure that is performed after an initial breast augmentation, breast lift, or other breast enhancement procedure. It’s usually performed due to issues with implants, implant age, or a poor aesthetic outcome from a prior surgery. Breast revision surgery can correct any safety and cosmetic issues to give patients beautiful, shapely breasts that enhance their confidence and self-esteem. Revision surgery is almost always more complex than the initial procedure, but a skilled surgeon like our Chicago surgeons can often make significant improvement in the appearance of the breasts and help patients achieve their desired results. If you chose to have your breast surgery outside the United States to save money and now have a less than satisfactory result, the expert surgeons at Doctors Plastic Surgery can help you.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Breast Revision?
If you’re dissatisfied with the results of your breast enhancement procedure, then you may be a good candidate for revision surgery. Patients should be in good health and have realistic expectations about the improvement that can be expected from the procedure. Patients who are interested in revision due to cosmetic complaints should be sure that the complaints rise from complications and not from unmet expectations due to an unrealistic view of the procedure. Health records will help your plastic surgeon determine your candidacy for the procedure. If you would like to undergo revision surgery, you should ensure you are prepared for the aftercare involved with breast revision surgery to help optimize your results.
Your Breast Revision Consultation
If you’re experiencing problems with your breast enhancement, then your first step should be to consult with an expert. Our Chicago plastic surgeons are experienced in helping patients improve their results from a prior breast enhancement, and they will be happy to help you plan your procedure.
During your consultation, you’ll get more information on the procedure itself, and you’ll discuss your specific complaints and goals with one of our expert surgeons. It’s very important to express all your concerns and make sure your surgeon has all the information they’ll need to help you reach your goals. Come to your consultation prepared to ask questions and get to know our skilled doctors—they will customize your experience to help you reach your individual needs. During your consultation, you will also have your candidacy assessed for the procedure and receive next steps on how to proceed.
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The Breast Revision Procedure
Because a breast revision can be used to address several different problems, the procedure itself will vary somewhat based on your specific concerns. Normally, general anesthesia will be used during the procedure to ensure your safety and comfort throughout the process. Incisions will be made in one of several locations, depending on the reshaping that will need to take place. In many revision procedures, breast implants are removed and replaced, such as in cases of rupture or capsular contracture (internal scarring causing distortion of the implant). Other revision procedures might involve reshaping of the breasts to make them more symmetrical, lifted, or contoured. Once the necessary changes have been made, the incisions will be closed carefully, and the patient can soon return home. The surgery may take a few hours since it is often more difficult than the initial procedure and highly customized.
Breast Revision Recovery
Once home from the procedure, patients must closely follow all instructions provided by our staff in Chicago. It’s very important that patients rest, wear appropriate compression garments, and avoid activities that could put them at risk for complications or compromise healing. For this reason, patients must not do any heavy lifting for the first few weeks, and they will need to postpone exercise until they have healed. Pain medication will be prescribed to help patients cope with discomfort during the first few days after surgery.
Most patients can return to work and non-strenuous activities after a few weeks, but recovery should be taken at your own pace. Patients should understand that the results of the procedure will not be apparent right away and that it takes some time for the swelling to go down.
How do I choose a breast revision surgeon?
It’s understandable to be skeptical about choosing a surgeon once you’ve already had a bad experience. If you’ve had a complication that is outside of your doctor’s control (such as an implant rupture), it is sometimes a good idea to seek help from your original surgeon. However, if you are dissatisfied with the results of the procedure, it pays to find a surgeon who is experienced in revision surgery, as secondary surgery is usually much more difficult than the initial procedure.
What are the risks of breast revision surgery?
Just as there are risks with other surgeries, breast revision carries similar risks, including bleeding, infection, anesthesia complications, scarring, and a poor aesthetic outcome. This is why it’s so important to choose an experienced surgeon with an excellent safety record to perform your surgery.
Will there be additional scarring from the breast revision?
While your revision surgeon will make every effort to minimize scarring (and will likely use the same incision lines as before), additional surgery always results in more scarring. The good news is that the scarring is typically not very noticeable, especially when the procedure is performed by an expert surgeon like our Chicago surgeons.
What can a breast revision fix?
Breast revision can be performed to fix a number of potential problems associated with breast enhancement procedures. Ruptured or leaking breast implants, rippling, capsular contracture, asymmetry, or a poor aesthetic outcome are problems some breast augmentation patients experience, and these can be addressed during revision surgery. Breast lift patients who are dissatisfied with their results may also want to consider breast revision surgery.
How different will the experience be from my initial surgery?
The experience of undergoing revision surgery will be similar to your initial surgery. The procedure is more difficult for the surgeon, but most patients don’t find the process or the recovery to be much different from their initial experience. Generally, the biggest difference will be a positive result!
What if I have another bad experience?
While it is possible to have another poor outcome from revision surgery, it’s unlikely. Experienced breast revision surgeons have nearly seen it all, and have the talent to help you get the results you’re looking for. By choosing the right surgeon, you can prevent a lot of potential problems that can crop up during breast enhancement surgery.
Will there be changes in sensation following my breast revision surgery?
As with the initial surgery, changes in sensation can be difficult to predict, and patients’ bodies react differently to the procedure. Some patients will experience an increase in sensitivity, others, a decrease. Until healing is complete (6-12 months or more), however, it’s impossible to say what final sensitivity will be following breast revision surgery.
Are the results of a revision procedure permanent?
If you are seeking revision for breast implants, then the same rules apply for a secondary procedure: implants do not last forever and may need to be replaced again if they rupture, leak, or develop other problems. Breast lift revision procedures are considered to be permanent, but they cannot stop time from taking its toll. The breasts will still age over time, and patients may once again become dissatisfied with the shape and firmness of the breasts, prompting them to seek further solutions.
Can the implants be removed without replacement?
Some women do choose to have implants removed without replacement. However, this often leaves the breasts looking saggy and deflated, since the implants helped hold the breasts up and have stretched the skin to fit over them. Most women opt for replacement for just this reason.
How long do breast implant warranties last?
Breast implant warranties vary, and it’s something your surgeon should go over with you before the procedure. Some warranties last as long as 10 years, which can help with costs should you need a revision procedure within the first few years after your implant procedure.
Let Us Help
Worried about the idea of another surgery? Let us help! We’ll help set your mind at ease by pairing you with an experienced plastic surgeon in our Chicago office. Our surgeons understand the anxiety that comes along with a revision procedure, and they will make sure you understand the process every step of the way. For more information or to schedule a consultation with our experts, give us a call today!