The need for breast implant revision in San Francisco can be because of breast implant scar contraction, hardening, rupture, or deflation of the implant; breast changes from pregnancy; a desire to exchange implants from a saline breast implant to a silicone breast implant (or silicone to saline); or a variety of other reasons. The goal is to improve the breast better than it was before.

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Your Breast Revision Surgery

Revision breast surgery often takes more skill, precision, and artistic ability than primary breast augmentation surgery. Each case requires careful study of a patient’s needs and a personalized treatment plan to achieve the best outcome. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Miguel Delgado has extensive experience and expertise with breast implant revision, and he can guide you through the various decisions that will customize your new look.

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Common Reasons for Breast Implant Revision

There are many reasons or conditions to have implant revision surgery. The most common ones are the following:

Capsular Contraction

When the breast implant is inserted into the body, the body’s response recognizes the breast implant as foreign material. In response, it forms a scar capsule that encases the implant and walls off the breast implant from the body. In some instances, an inflammatory process occurs, which causes the scar tissue to thicken and constrict around the implant, making it unnaturally hard. 

Deflation or Rupture of the Breast Implant

Breast implants are human-made products that can deflate or rupture, causing spillage of the internal material. Saline breast implants are filled with saltwater, and leakage is of no contamination problem. The loss of water is analogous to a flat tire. Sometimes, there is a partial leak due to an incompetent valve, and the implant can reseal itself.

Silicone breast implants are filled with a silicone gel of varying consistencies and cohesiveness. The most popular today is the “gummy bear” implant. The gummy bear implant has a firmer gel consistency. The advantage of this implant is that the firmer gel does not migrate out of the capsule-like a more fluid gel with a rupture.

Skin Laxity and Resulting Changes in Breast Shape

 One of the most common reasons for revision breast surgery is skin laxity. The loose skin will cause the breast mound to drop slowly, and the breast tissue can slide off the ideal position to the implant. The result is a malpositioned breast implant, which only gets worse with time.

One of the more common reasons which cause skin laxity is pregnancy. The breast engorgement from breastfeeding stretches the skin to the point of rupturing the dermis, creating stretch marks. In some women, the skin can bounce back very well after the first pregnancy, especially in younger mothers. As more children are birthed, the less the skin can maintain its integrity, and it begins to sag.

Before & After Breast Implant Revision

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There are various surgical options for breast revision, and the most appropriate technique will depend on the specific needs and goals of the patient. Below, we have highlighted the typical approach to breast implant revision based on several common reasons for seeking surgery.

Breast Capsular Contracture

Patients with breast implant capsular contracture usually have the scar tissue and implant removed and replaced. The replacement of the implants may be with the same size, larger, or smaller breast implants. En-bloc implant removal is the best approach for this situation.

Breast Implant Rupture or Deflation

A damaged implant needs to be removed. If it is a silicone implant, the silicone gel needs to be meticulously cleaned out. If it is deflation of a saline implant, there is no issue but to remove the empty silicone shell. The implant is most commonly replaced in this situation, but another option is not replacing the implant. If the decision is not to replace the implants, then a breast lift may be an option if the breasts have moderate to severe laxity.

Desire to Be Larger or Smaller, or to Exchange Implants 

This is not an uncommon scenario. This is a very simple procedure as long as there are no other complicating factors. The procedure is simple if one wants implant exchange from normal saline to silicone and vice versa.

Breast Asymmetry or Malposition 

This is when the breast has an altered shape due to a change in the implant position. It could be one or both implants which require correction. This usually requires an alteration in the breast capsule to hold the breast in the proper place. Acellular Dermal Matrix (ADM) is sometimes used as an internal bra to hold the breast position. 

Breast Implant Rippling or Wrinkles Around the Edges 

This is a widespread problem with standard saline breast implants. It is a product issue and not a complication of surgery. The problem is compounded in patients with thin breast tissue, the implants being placed on top of the muscle, and if the implants are under-inflated. The easiest and most common solution is replacement with silicone implants.

Desire to No Longer Have Implants 

This is not uncommon when a woman reaches an age where the implants are becoming a burden. They may become too large and heavy for her body, interfering with activities, or an issue has occurred, and taking them out is the best option. In addition, Dr. Delgado is seeing more patients who complain of “breast implant illness” symptoms and want the implants removed.

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A personal consultation is the first step for every patient considering breast revision surgery. Dr. Delgado will ask you to discuss your concerns about your appearance. 

He will go over your breast surgery history in great detail to understand the previous procedures. During this meeting, he will discuss your current conditions and what goals you wish to achieve. A physical examination will be done and your medical history reviewed to determine if surgery is the best option for you. You will be given a preoperative instruction booklet that will explain your medications and any preparations that you need to make at home. 

Breast Augmentation | Implant Revision Surgery - Part 6 of 6 - Patient Impressions - Before & After

Breast Augmentation | Implant Revision Surgery - Part 6 of 6 - Patient Impressions -Before & After

What is Recovery From Breast Implant Revision Surgery Like?

The recovery period is generally seven to ten days. Once the bruising and tenderness are gone, you will likely be able to return to your normal activities. Most patients can drive a car and return to work or social activities after a week. Strenuous exercise should be avoided for four to six weeks following surgery, as it can cause uncomfortable swelling to occur.

If your work does not require any heavy lifting, returning by the end of the second week is often possible. Usually, one can drive after a week if no longer taking pain medication. You will need to wait to resume exercise for about five to six weeks.

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Breast Implant Revision FAQ

What is the cost of breast implant revision surgery?

Will I have new scars from breast implant revision?

Are there any risks or complications with breast implant revision?

How long should I wait after my initial procedure before undergoing breast implant revision?

Can the breast implants just be removed?

Is there a manufacturer warranty for failed implants?

What is the cost of breast implant revision surgery?

The specific concern(s) treated and surgical technique utilized for breast implant revision will determine the cost.

If the correction is capsular contracture caused by scarring, the cost of breast implant revision is generally about $8,000–$10,000 to remove the scar tissue and replace the implants. Some women may need a breast lift in addition, and then the cost may be as much as $10,000–$12,000; but if it is for removal only, then approximately $2,500.

If the breast implant is ruptured or deflated within the warranty period, the implants are at no cost, and $1,200–$2,500 will be awarded to offset the expense of revisional surgery. Your out-of-pocket expense will be reduced significantly.

An additional cost for breast implant revision may be the use of Acellular Dermal Matrix for reconstructing the implant pocket. This is very expensive ($3,000 per sheet) and is only advised when necessary.

Will I have new scars from breast implant revision?

As with any surgery, incisions or scars are a part of the breast revision process. Dr. Delgado is very concerned about incisions and most often uses the incisions from the previous surgery. During this process, the previous scars can often undergo a scar revision. New incisions may be required if a breast lift is added, and Dr. Delgado provides a scar management program to improve the long-term outcome of these incisions.

Are there any risks or complications with breast implant revision?

The risks and complications of revision breast surgery are the same as breast augmentation, except if a breast lift is done, more scar management is required. Each year, thousands of women have secondary breast implant surgery. It does not guarantee that you will never need another revision procedure in the future. As with all surgery, the risks of bleeding, infection, and anesthesia exist.

How long should I wait after my initial procedure before undergoing breast implant revision?

When breast implant revision surgery can be performed depends on the problem. As a general statement, six months is usually a reasonable time frame. The scar tissue has softened, and the outcome of the surgery will be seen.

Can the breast implants just be removed?

You can always remove the implants. However, your breasts may look aesthetically unacceptable and deflated. A breast lift may rebuild the breasts to a very nice shape and volume, but only if there is enough breast tissue.

Is there a manufacturer warranty for failed implants?

Yes. Mentor Implants, which are the type that Dr. Delgado uses, have lifetime replacement for failed implants and a ten-year warranty for compensation toward replacement surgery. Also, the patient can purchase an extended warranty for $100, which increases the amount of compensation towards surgery. Allergan also produces a great breast implant product with a wide variety of sizes and shapes with their own warranty.


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