Breast implant revision is a surgical procedure designed to replace older silicone
implants with new saline-filled implants.
average silicone gel implants last about ten years. Therefore,
women who had silicone gel implants 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.
recent years, serious questions have been raised about the connection
between silicone leakage and chronic ailments from mild fatigue
to lupus. While there is no medical evidence to support these
claims, there is still a great deal of controversy surrounding
silicone gel implants.
the FDA ruled that saline-filled implants (made by Mentor and
McGhan) were safe to use in breast augmentation surgeries. Unlike
liquid silicone, saline is a salt-water solution that can be
safely absorbed by the body without side effects. So, if one
of these implants breaks, the leaking fluid will not present
the same kinds of risks.
implant revision allows a woman to keep the fuller, larger breasts
that she desires while minimizing risk.
is breast implant revision performed?
the procedure, your surgeon will make an incision to remove the
existing implants and place new implants in the same area.
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.
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.
long does breast implant revision take?
implant revision 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.
type of anesthesia is used?
implant revision is usually performed using general anesthesia,
causing you to be asleep during the whole procedure.
is the procedure performed?
implant revision is usually performed on an outpatient basis,
in the surgeon's office-based surgical suite, an outpatient surgery
center or hospital.
can I return home and resume normal activities?
will 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. Resumption
of normal activities varies according to each individual case.
do I prepare for breast implant revision?
your initial consultation, your surgeon will discuss the changes
that you would like to make to your appearance. Since the appearance
of your breasts is a matter of personal perception and preference,
you will need to discuss your concerns in detail so your surgeon
can determine the appropriate alternatives. You also should make
arrangements ahead of time for someone to drive you to and from
your procedure and to assist you with your daily activities during
your recovery period.
to your surgical procedure, the surgeon will perform a complete
health history and physical. Knowledge of your allergies, medications
and previous surgeries should be brought to your surgeon's attention
at this time. Specific instructions to assist you in preparing
for this procedure will be given to you after the health history
and physical is complete. Depending on your individual health
status, the instructions may include guidelines regarding your
diet, alcohol intake, smoking and which medications to take or
avoid. Your experience will be much smoother if you remain compliant
with your surgeon's instructions.
precautions are necessary during recovery?
should keep your elbows at a level lower than your armpit after
the procedure. The tissues will heal more quickly if you avoid
stretching and separating the muscle and tissue surrounding the
breast implants. 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 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.
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.
are the possible complications after breast implant revision?
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, shifting of the implant. 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 lump in a particular
part of the breast.
procedure is without risks; however, the majority of complications
known to be associated with a breast implant revision are minor
when the procedure is performed by an experienced board certified
plastic surgeon. It is always important to be informed about
the possible complications before any surgery. Be sure to discuss
any concerns you may have with your surgeon.
results can I expect after breast implant revision?
augmentations stretches the tissues, and can be painful. This
may be true for breast surgery revision 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 may be relieved by pain medications.
you wake up you may feel tired, sore and stiff. Your surgeon
will prescribe medication to alleviate this discomfort. You should
arrange for someone to drive you home and assist you with your
daily activities for the first few days.
breasts will be wrapped with gauze bandage 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.
long-term outcome for breast surgery revision is good. This procedure
allows women to continue their daily lives without the worry
of silicone leakage and complications. Mentor and McGhan, the
two makers of saline implants, guarantee their saline filled
implant products for life.
overwhelming percentage of women express high satisfaction with
the results of their 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, contracture and asymmetry. Your surgeon will provide
you with further information about these two saline implant makers.