What is breast revision?
Breast revision is a surgical procedure to remove breast implants – this is known as explantation. This corrective surgery is primarily aimed at resolving breast implant issues and in some cases, it is possible to combine this procedure with the insertion of new implants.
This procedure can be performed for aesthetic (cosmetic) purposes or for medical/functional reasons, the latter being dependent on strict Medicare eligibility criteria.
When is a breast revision desirable?
This procedure is indicated if:
- One or both of your existing implants has ruptured (or deflated in the case of saline implants), or requires replacement due to age of the implants
- One or both of your existing implants has hardened due to capsular contracture
- You are no longer happy with your breast size or shape, especially following pregnancy or changes in weight
- You no longer wishing to have breast implants
Can I have breast revision surgery if I have had a breast augmentation with another surgeon or practice?
If you have had a breast augmentation performed in Australia or overseas by another plastic or cosmetic surgeon within the past 6 months, and you are unhappy with the results, we strongly recommend seeking assistance from that original surgeon as they will be familiar with your operation, the implants used and the infection control employed. If you are experiencing a complication, infection or wound breakdown, please contact your original surgeon. If you cannot contact them, please visit your GP or present to your nearest hospital emergency department.
If you have had a breast augmentation performed in Australia or overseas by another plastic or cosmetic surgeon over 6 months ago, you are unhappy with the results and you’ve been unable to reach an agreed path forward with your original surgeon, then we recommend you visit your GP and request a referral to one of our Specialist Plastic Surgeons.
How would a breast revision help me?
A consultation with your Specialist Plastic Surgeon is the first step in considering any type of breast revision surgery. You should frankly discuss your goals and expectations, and your plastic surgeon will explain to you what procedure is right for you. You should always keep in mind that the desired result is an improvement, not perfection.
How important are psychological factors in relation to breast revision?
Emotional stability is the primary factor to be considered before any surgery is performed. A “new body” does not guarantee a new life or an end to all personal problems. It is mostly the mental attitude of the individual that determines a successful outcome. Breast revision surgery can improve your appearance and renew your self-confidence; the rest is entirely up to you.
How is a breast revision performed?
The technique used by your surgeon will depend on whether you are having your existing breast implant replaced or removed. If you are having your implant removed/replaced due to rupture or silicone leak, you may be required to undergo an ultrasound or mammogram prior to your surgery.
Incisions are generally made using the scars of your previous surgery, the existing implant is removed and the internal structure of your breast, known as the breast pocket, is assessed. If your previous implant was inserted through incisions in the armpit though, your surgeon will in most cases remove them via an inframammary incision (in the fold where the lower part of the breast meets the chest wall) as this is a more preferred method.
If you are having your implant removed/replaced due to capsular contracture, a capsulectomy will be performed at the same time to remove the capsule of scar tissue around the implant.
If you are undergoing replacement of your breast implant, the new implant will usually be placed in the same position as your previous implant – behind the breast tissue either in front of or behind the pectoral muscle – depending on the reason why the implant is being replaced. Your surgeon may also reshape your breast pocket. Our surgeons use premium silicone implants provided by one of the world’s leading breast implant manufacturers, Mentor (Johnson & Johnson). They do not use, and have never used, Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) implants.
If you are undergoing a straight forward removal of your breast implant, you may be require a mastopexy to lift your breasts. This is because implants can stretch the skin and breast tissue over time, and once an implant is removed, the breast can hang low and the nipple can be left in an undesirable position.
Your plastic surgeon will determine which approach would be most appropriate for you.
The procedure is performed in Perth in a fully-accredited hospital under general anaesthesia. The surgery can be performed as a day procedure or alternatively with a short hospital stay under general anaesthesia, depending on your general health and the extent of the procedure. You should discuss the details of your recovery with your surgeon.
Are there any side effects of a breast revision?
You may have some bruising and swelling of the breasts for 2 or 3 weeks. To prevent any fluid or blood accumulation, thin tubes called drains may be temporarily placed under the skin while you are in hospital. If you have had a new implant inserted, occasionally a capsule of scar tissue forms around the implant that makes the breast feel firm. In addition, an implant may become fixed in a slightly high or low position.
There is no evidence that the implants currently in use cause breast cancer or other concerns, such as Breast Implant Associated-Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) or breast implant illness, nor do breast implants interfere with breastfeeding.
Will the breast revision procedure leave any scars?
Where appropriate, incisions are generally made using the scars of your previous surgery. Any new scars will usually be just a few centimetres long and are located in such a way as to become barely noticeable as they fade with time. Scars are the inevitable result of any surgery, your surgeon will make every effort to keep your scars as inconspicuous as possible. Some patients have a tendency to develop thick scars and you should advise your surgeon if you are aware of this tendency in yourself.
What results can I expect from a breast revision?
Regardless of whether you are having your implant replaced or removed, the goal of your surgery is to resolve any current issues you are experiencing and leave you with breasts that are the best proportion with your physique, and that make you feel more comfortable. Your surgeon is the best person to determine whether your expectations are achievable.
When can I resume normal activities following a breast revision?
Recovery times differ depending on whether you have had a straight forward breast implant removal or whether you have had your breast implant replaced. You should be able to resume your normal routine though in 2-3 weeks however, you may wait a little longer before undertaking strenuous exercise. Returning to work or your normal activities is an individual matter and your surgeon will advise you. You will have to wear post-surgical compression garments for up to six weeks to reduce swelling and assist with the healing process.
How much does this procedure cost?
Please contact us online or call us on (08) 9380 0333 and one of our medical secretaries can provide you with more information. Please note that pricing does vary from case to case.
The Australian Foundation for Plastic Surgery (part of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons) is a helpful and reliable source of information online. Their website is an excellent place to research a range of surgical procedures and non-surgical treatments, and view video animations. Click here to visit their website.