Breast Revision Surgery
Breast revision surgery may be performed for a variety of cosmetic and reconstructive reasons. Revision surgery is often needed to improve the surgical outcome from a previous breast operation, such as breast augmentation, breast reduction, or breast lift.
Asymmetries, capsular contracture, bottoming out, rippling, ruptured implants, and excessive implant size are a few reasons why women may be dissatisfied with their prior surgical result and desire a corrective breast surgery. Revision surgery is sometimes performed to improve congenital abnormalities, including tuberous breast deformity, breast asymmetries, inverted nipples, and enlarged areolas.
What is breast implant revision?
Breast revision is a surgical procedure designed to correct unsatisfactory results from previous augmentation surgery, or to address conditions that have changed with a woman’s implants. In revision surgery with Dr. Belz, the goal is to correct a problem such as capsular contracture or rippling. Also, revision surgery is the term for replacing leaking or ruptured implants. There are a variety of reasons a woman would choose to have revision surgery.
In the majority of these surgeries, revision procedures are easier than the original augmentation because Dr. Belz can enter through the original incisions.
Why do patients opt for breast implant revision?
Changing the Implant Size:
When a woman is unsatisfied with the size of her implants, Dr. Belz suggests she wait one full year before opting to make a change. This allows for any swelling to fully subside and for the implants to settle. If the patient still wants to change her implant size, Dr. Belz will enter through the original incision.
If a larger implant is desired, she will increase the size of the pocket, the space in the breast to hold the implant. If the patient seeks smaller implants, she will reduce the size of the pocket with sutures to fit the smaller implants. In cases of reduction, a breast lift may be done in conjunction with the implant revision to remove any sagging tissue and possibly relocate the nipples.
The body reacts when an implant is placed. This reaction is called the “capsule” and it is made up of calcified cells and scar tissue. If this capsule becomes very thick and causes the implant to shift or the breast to feel very firm, or if there is pain from the constricting scar tissue, this is called capsular contracture. If the capsule is very calcified, Dr. Belz will remove it along with the implant.
If it isn’t, she usually will leave it in place. If there is a rupture of a silicone implant, the capsule may contain silicone shell fragments, silicone gel, and inflammatory cells that all need to be removed prior to placing new implants.
Sometimes, particularly with saline implants placed atop the chest muscle, the implants show rippling, and the edges may even be able to be felt. In these cases, Dr. Belz enters through the original incision and replaces the implants with better muscle coverage. This may involve switching implant types and/or placing them in new breast pockets.
Sometimes the implant pockets were created either too far away or too close together and the patient is not happy with the placement. In these cases, Dr. Belz will use scar tissue from the capsule and will reconstruct new pockets for the implants in better positions.
When a patient decides she no longer wants to have her implants, they are removed through the same incisions. Dr. Belz will also remove the capsule if it is calcified and thick. She may recommend a breast lift at the same time to remove excess sagging skin and breast tissue.
Am I a good candidate for breast revision?
Every breast revision procedure is unique, and Dr. Belz will discuss your specific expectations and goals during your personalized consultation.
Don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with Dr. Belz. She is ready to provide you with personalized care and a feminine perspective to help you achieve your aesthetic goals.
Do you reuse my old implants?
No. Even if the implants are intact, they will never be placed a second time. Implant durability is improving anyway, so it makes sense to place new implants.
Should I remove my old implants completely?
If a patient has a rupture in one implant or rippling in one implant but not the other, Dr. Belz sometimes is asked if she plans to keep one implant. This is not done. Both implants need to be the same age and placed at the same time. That means both implants will be removed and replaced together.
Can breast implant revision fix asymmetry between my breasts?
Sometimes implants can settle to different degrees. This is not typical, but it can happen. When this does happen, it creates asymmetry between the breasts. Dr. Belz can correct this with revision surgery.
Should I return to my original surgeon to perform my revision?
If you’re coming to Dr. Belz because your prior surgeon didn’t place your implants in positions that you like or if there were other issues, there isn’t any reason to return for a second go. Otherwise, if you’re dealing with a rupture or capsular contracture, there isn’t any advantage to returning to the surgeon who performed your initial augmentation.
How will my breasts look after having revision surgery?
Your breasts will look great. Whatever your reason for seeking revision, Dr. Belz’s training, experience, and board certification ensures you’ll be happy with your revision procedure and its results.
Will insurance cover breast revision surgery?
That depends. If you have simply decided that you want to change the size of your implants, those situations would likely not be covered. But most other cases of revision surgery would be covered. This is the case particularly with these factors necessitating revision:
- Overly firm breast implants or capsular contracture
- Ruptured breast implants
- Breast deformities after surgery
- Poor incision healing
Of course, health insurance varies widely between patients and with different providers. If you wonder if your insurance company will cover your revision surgery, it’s a good idea to check the parameters of their coverage beforehand.
"Dr. Belz is simply amazing! I have been wanting to get this procedure for over a decade now but was still nervous when I went in for the consultation. Dr. Belz sat down with me and we talked through everything. She explained the entire process and what to expect. Even on the day of surgery when I was still a little anxious, Dr. Belz came in and calmed my nerves instantly.
She was also extremely diligent in prepping my body for surgery and took additional time while in surgery to guarantee success. I could not be more thankful for Dr. Belz and the care she provided me." - K.C.
"My experience with Dr.Belz was beyond great. She took the time to explain everything so clear and made sure I had all my questions answered. She made me feel so comfortable from the day of consult to the day of my surgery. It was such an easy process. She knew exactly what I wanted and made it happen. I couldn’t be happier with my breast size and shape. I definitely recommend Dr. Belz." - S.A.
"Wonderful and caring. Explained the procedure in detail. Excellent surgeon! I am very happy with my result. She has a very supportive staff. I’m so glad I chose Dr. Belz!" - K.D.