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FAQ’S FOR BREAST REVISION SURGERY

What is a breast revision?

Breast revision is a surgical procedure that corrects problems which have developed following previous breast augmentation. One or more revisions will be desirable in nearly every patient over her lifetime.

Problems can include hardening from capsule contraction (concentric scarring), changes in breast shape following pregnancy, deflation, or rupture of a breast implant. Breast revision is also done for elective changes, such as when a woman wants to change the style, composition, or size of her implants. This would include switching from saline to silicone breast implants, or vice versa. The objective of the procedure is to restore the appearance of the breasts.

Elective changes can wait until revision surgery fits a patient’s schedule and financial situation. Ruptured implants should be removed promptly. This minimizes further scarring, and in the case of silicone breast implants, the spread of silicone into the breast tissue.

What procedure will be required for breast revision?

It depends on the problem. If it is capsular contraction (concentric scarring) around the breast implant, the scar tissue needs to be removed and the implant replaced. If an implant has deflated or ruptured, then that breast implant needs to be replaced. If the breasts are now sagging following a pregnancy and breastfeeding, a breast lift or larger implants may be required.

May I just have the implants removed?

You may choose to just have the implants removed. However, you might then find your breasts look deflated and aesthetically unpleasing. If this is the case, a breast lift can restore youthful shape and volume.

If the breast implant fails, is there any manufacture warranty?

Yes. Dr. Delgado uses Mentor breast implants which come with a ten-year warranty which covers replacement implants, plus a few thousand dollars towards surgery costs. For an additional fee, you can purchase an extended warranty.

Should I go back to the same surgeon who placed the initial breast implant?

If you are comfortable with your surgeon and confident in his or her skill level, there is no reason not to return. However, you should be aware that breast revision surgery is more complicated and requires more skill than the initial surgery. If you want a second opinion, you should seek out a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has experience with the problems you are having. Dr. Delgado is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has done hundreds of both primary and revisional breast surgeries. Approximately one in three of Dr. Delgado’s breast surgeries are revisional. In many of these cases, he was not the initial surgeon.

Is a second breast revision surgery ever needed?

It is not unusual for a woman to need more than one breast revision surgery over her lifetime. If the breast implants are placed in her early twenties, and a woman’s average life span is nearly 80 years, that leaves roughly 60 years for the aesthetic results to be impacted by contracture, rupture, or simply aging of the breast tissue.

What is the cost of breast revision surgery?

It depends on what surgical procedure is required.

For breast contraction (concentric scarring), removal of the scar tissue and replacement with new breast implants will cost approximately $6000-$7000. If a breast lift is also required, it may cost an additional $1000-$2000. If only implant removal is performed, the cost is approximately $2500.

A warranty may cover the replacement of ruptured implanted, plus $1200-$2500 towards the revision surgery.

Is breast revision surgery painful?

Breast revision surgery is usually more complicated than primary augmentation surgery. If scar tissue is removed or a breast lift is performed, there may be more discomfort than experienced with the initial surgery.

When can I return to work, drive a car, and resume exercise?

This depends on the extent of the surgery and the type of activities your work requires. One can drive after about one week, if pain medications have been discontinued. Generally, a patient can return to work at the end of the second week. Exercise can usually be resumed in approximately five to six weeks.

Are silicone breast implants safe?

Yes, silicone breast implants are safe. This implant was taken off the market for nearly 10 years for health concerns. The Federal Drug Association (FDA) wanted scientific proof of their safety. Many studies have been completed and all have proven the safety of silicone breast implants. Silicone breast implants are back on the market and enjoy great popularity.

Should I change from normal saline to silicone breast implants?

There is nothing wrong with normal saline breast implants. There are advantages and disadvantages. If the ripples and slightly firmer feel isn’t an issue, then I would recommend waiting until a revision is required for other reasons.

Should I replace my PIP implants?

The recommendation by the American Society of Plastic Surgery is to have them replaced. Some of the silicone breast implants were filled with industrial grade silicone which is not medical grade. The industrial grade contains various impurities within the silicone and we do not know how it interacts with human breast tissue. Even the PIP normal saline implants have a higher rupture rate due to the thin silicone shell. If you would like more information on this subject, click here to read a good review article.

I do not know what type of implant I have. What should I do?

It is important to know the manufacturer, the size, and whether you have normal saline or silicone breast implants. Start with contacting the plastic surgeon who performed the breast implant procedure. Ask him or her for a copy of the operative report because this will give great detail about the operation. Another option would include contacting the surgery center where the surgery was performed. Most facilities keep this information for at least seven years. If seven years has passed since your procedure, obtaining the information may be more difficult.

When any breast implant surgery is performed, it is important that you obtain this information and keep it in a safe place.

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