Breast Implant Revision

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Breast implant revision is a surgical procedure designed to replace older silicone implants with new saline-filled implants (or in certain patients, with newer silicone-filled implants).

Women have been taking advantage of breast implant surgery since the 1960s, and many are still opting for the procedure. However, some women experienced problems with their silicone gel implants in the 1990s, leading to questions about the safety of these implants. The life of the average silicone gel implant is about ten years. Therefore, women who had silicone gel implant surgery several years ago may want to consider having them replaced with saline-filled implants. Some doctors recommend having them replaced before there are signs of a problem. Other doctors suggest leaving them alone. In addition, if you have undergone an unsatisfactory breast enhancment surgery, you may be interested in breast implant revision.

If you're considering breast revision surgery, the following information will provide you with a good introduction to the procedure. For more detailed information about how this procedure may help you, we recommend that you consult a plastic surgeon that has completed a residency program that includes instruction in this procedure.


*The average cost of Breast Implant Revision is between $3,000 to $3,500.

*Breast Implant revision procedure is very beneficial for women, who want to change the appearance of their breasts or to keep their breast larger and symmetrical.

*Guarantee cannot be given for how long a new placed breast implants will last. It is very individual but modern breast implants can last decades without changing, and the breast still look good.










  1. What are some of the most common benefits of breast surgery revisio
  2. How is breast surgery revision done?
  3. How long does the surgery take?
  4. Do I have to stay in the hospital?
  5. How much pain is there?
  6. What can I expect after surgery?
  7. What is the recovery period like?
  8. What is the long-term outcome like for most people?
  9. How long do the results last?
  10. Ideal candidate:
  11. Possible complications:
  12. Risks:


What are some of the most common benefits of breast surgery revision?

Breast implant revision surgery allows a woman to keep the fuller, larger breasts that she desires while minimizing risk. This procedure can help correct an unpleasant result or complication from previous breast surgery. Check with your doctor for more details.

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How is breast surgery revision done?

During the procedure, your surgeon will make an incision to remove the existing implants and place new implants in the same area. If possible, the incision is made in the same place as the original incision.

An incision may be made in any one of the following places: the crease below the breast, around the areola, under the armpit, or, in rare cases, through navel. The silicone implants are usually taken out through the same incisions used to put them in.

The new implants can be placed either under the chest muscle or directly under the breasts. Placement considerations include the anatomy of your breasts, toleration of soreness after surgery, and possible interference with mammograms. In addition, if you have some hardening or contracture in one location, your surgeon may choose to move the new implant to another site.

A general anesthetic will be typically used this will allow you to be completely asleep during the procedure. Rarely, the surgery is done under intravenous sedation. The choice of anesthesia should be discussed with your doctor during the initial consultation.

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How long does the surgery take?

Breast revision surgery usually takes about one to three hours to complete. The length of the procedure varies according to the technique used and your anatomy, as well as any existing capsular contracture, asymmetry, or other factors related to the previous implants.

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Do I have to stay in the hospital?

Probably not. Most breast implant revision is performed in a surgical suite as an outpatient procedure you'll be able to return home within a few hours of the surgery. However, if you have a severe infection or hardening of the breast, you may have to stay overnight in a recovery center.

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How much pain is there?

Breast augmentation stretches the tissues, and can be painful. This may be true for breast revision surgery as well, especially when the implants are placed under the muscle or the pocket location is different. The pain is greatest within the first 48 hours, but improves with each day and is somewhat relieved by pain medications.

When you wake up you will feel tired, sore, and stiff. It is important to take the medication prescribed to you by your doctor.

Your surgeon may prescribe an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory medication to be taken after the breast revision. It is a good idea to have these prescriptions filled beforehand.

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What can I expect after surgery?

Your breasts will be wrapped with gauze bandages, as well as a tighter bandage for protection and support. You also may have drainage tubes coming out of the incision for several days, to help drain some of the excess fluid. (This decision is based on your surgeon's experience and the particular findings during your surgery.)

It is important to take the medication prescribed to you by your doctor. Someone will need to drive you home, and you may need assistance at home over the next couple of days as well.

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What is the recovery period like?

Your scars will be pink for several weeks. After several months, they will begin to fade. It is critical that you review post-procedure care with your doctor. Following his/her instructions carefully will help promote a speedy, healthy recovery. Also keep in mind that:

  • Rest is important to the healing process, so get as much as possible following your procedure! Drink plenty of fluids, and be sure to take the doctor's prescribed medications.

  • For at least three to five days, you should try to keep arm extension to a minimum. Elbows should not be raised higher than the armpit. The tissues will heal more quickly if you avoid stretching and separating the muscle/tissue surrounding the breast implants.

  • After several days, the gauze dressing will be removed. You may be required to wear a support bra to help your breasts form and maintain a pleasing, balanced shape. You may or may not be able to shower, depending on where your stitches are.

  • The stitches will come out within a week to ten days, but swelling may continue, gradually subsiding over several weeks. With the swelling, your breasts may seem hard and unnatural, but eventually they should soften to a more natural feel.

  • Because breast revision surgery can range from minor surgery performed on soft breasts to a major procedure on hardened breasts, you should check with your surgeon to find out when you'll be able to return to your normal activities. Recovery varies from patient to patient and depends upon the technique, type of implant, and site of placement that the doctor uses, as well as the level of activities in your daily routine.

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What is the long-term outcome like for most people?

The long-term outcome for breast revision surgery is good. This procedure allows women to continue their daily lives without the worry of complications. Mentor and Allergan, the two makers of saline implants, guarantee their saline-filled implant products for life.

An overwhelming percentage of women express high satisfaction with the results of their breast revision surgery and feel that it has a positive impact on their lives. Following FDA instruction, these two companies have published information pamphlets about such topics as wrinkling, leakage, contracturem, and asymmetry. When you have your surgery, you will be provided with information about one of these companies. Please discuss this with your doctor.

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How long do the results last?

There is no one answer for how long implants last. It may be between six to eight years or as long as 15 years, but predictions in individual cases are nearly impossible. Many doctors have patients that are pleased with their implants even as long as two decades later. You should periodically return to your surgeon to determine how well your implants are lasting.

Keep in mind that larger breasts sag faster than smaller breasts, and augmented breasts do this as well. Gravity, unfortunately has no exceptions. Successful augmentation patients will look far improved over those who haven't had surgery 10 ro 20 years after surgery

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Ideal candidate:

In general, the best candidates for breast surgery revision are:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Not currently pregnant or nursing
  • In good physical health
  • Psychologically stable
  • Wanting to improve their appearance
  • Realistic in their expectations
  • Having this surgery for the first time

The above is only a partial list of the criteria that your surgeon will consider in determining whether or not this procedure is appropriate for you. Be sure to ask your surgeon if he/she considers you an ideal candidate for breast implant revision.

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Possible complications:

Some of the more common possible complications include postoperative infection, hematoma (a blood clot in the breast tissue requiring evacuation of the blood clot during a subsequent surgical procedure), implant rupture, deflation or leakage, capsular contracture, calcium deposits, changes in nipple or breast sensation, interference with mammogram readings, and/or shifting of the implant. A detailed description of the complications along with further readings is available from the FDA's Web site.

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There are several concerns regarding any breast surgery: the surgery itself, the implants, breast cancer, and the risk of anesthesia. All surgeries carry some risk and the possibility of complications can include (but are not limited to) infection, unsatisfactory results, excessive bleeding, adverse reaction to anesthesia, and the need for second or sometimes third procedures.

There is no known association of breast implants with breast cancer in human beings, and in fact several large studies have shown a lower incidence of breast cancer in women with breast implants. (Breast implant type devices have been shown to cause a rare form of cancer in rats that are prone to cancer, but this cancer has not been reported in humans with breast implants.)

Other side effects specific to breast revision surgery include:

  • Capsular contracture: occurs when the scar or area around the implant begins to tighten, causing the breast to feel hard.
  • Nipple sensitivity or loss in sensitivity: usually disappears after several weeks, but for some this is permanent.
  • Rippling: indentations on the breast, often caused when the implant moves. This tends to be more common with textured implants than smooth implants.
  • Rupture: when the breast implants tear and/or leak. If your implant ruptures, it will require a second operation to replace the implant. Rupture of a saline implant is generally not an urgent matter, and will almost certainly have fewer problems than rupture of a silicone implant. Silicone gel has the consistency of glue, and may irritate the body.
  • Symptoms of immune system disorders: some women have reported having symptoms such as joint pain swelling, fever, fatigue, or breast pain. Although research has not found conclusive evidence correlating breast implants with these symptoms, the FDA has requested further studies.

Many times, patients will not be aware of complications until days or months after the procedure has been performed. Often they will report some gradual hardening, tenderness, redness, or a lump in a particular part of the breast. In these cases, they may require additional (typically non-emergency) surgery.

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The information on this web site is only intended as an introduction to this procedure and should not be used to determine whether you will have the procedure performed nor as a guarantee of the result. The best method of determining your options is to consult qualified surgeons who are able to answer specific questions related to your situation.

*Disclaimer: Source: Most surgeons offer convenient payments plans for this procedure. Cost does not include anesthesia, operating room facility, hospital stay, and other related expenses. Costs may vary depending the extensiveness of the procedure, location, and other factors. Costs are provided solely for research purposes. For specific estimates, please contact a qualified plastic surgeon. 

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