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Breast Implant Exchange/Revision Breast Augmentation

What is a Revision Breast Augmentation?

Breast implants are not designed to last a lifetime. They frequently need to be exchanged after 10-15 years. Reasons for exchange include rupture, malposition, breast ptosis (nipple descent) or a desire for a change in size. Sometimes implants can develop capsular contracture, which is a thickening of the capsule around the implant. This is best treated with removal of the capsule and implant replacement, if desired.

Who is a Candidate for Revision Breast Augmentation?

You may want to consider a revision breast augmentation if:

  • You would like to exchange your current implant for a larger or smaller size
  • You would like to change the position of your implant
  • You need a breast lift (nipple reposition)
  • You have confirmed implant rupture
  • You have capsular contracture

How Are Revision Breast Augmentation Procedures Performed?

Revision breast surgeries can be quite complicated. If the procedure is a simple implant exchange, frequently the old incision can be used and the implant size changed as desired. However, patients frequently require a breast lift at the time of their implant exchange, which may require additional incisions on the breast (insert mastopexy link). If the procedure is being performed for capsular contracture, then a capsulectomy is also performed. Drains may be left behind to drain any post-operative fluid that develops.

Risks

All surgery is associated with risks. Risks associated with revision breast procedures are similar to breast augmentation and breast lift surgeries. This includes bleeding, infection, capsular contracture, changes in nipple sensation, nipple loss, wound healing complications, and need for revisional surgery. It is important to talk with Dr. Rovelo about the risks of your surgery and how the risks can be minimized to provide the best possible outcome.

Recovery

A revision breast surgery is performed in the outpatient surgical setting, under general anesthesia. Patients will have a surgical bra placed after surgery, and they may also have drains. Patients will go home the same day. Patients will be seen in clinic the following day and then one week later, at which time, the drains will be evaluated and possibly removed. Most patients will be able to return to light activity and work within one week. Heavy exercise and weight lifting may be resumed after 6 weeks. Post-operative swelling may take up to 6 months to fully resolve.

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