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What Is Revision Breast Surgery?

Revision breast surgery is a secondary procedure intended to improve the outcome from a previous surgery, such as breast augmentation. Common reasons patients desire a revision include exchanging breast implants, completely removing implants, or correcting disappointing results. Since revisions to a previous surgery can be more complex, due to scar tissue and other factors, it is essential that you find a qualified plastic surgeon experienced in revision breast surgery to ensure the best possible outcome. Our board-certified plastic surgeons at The Aesthetic Institute of Chicago, Dr. Brian Braithwaite and Dr. Lorri Cobbins, are committed to helping patients achieve the breast appearance they desire by repairing complications from their previous surgery.

What Does the Revision Breast Surgery Consultation Involve?

When you come in for your consultation, Drs. Braithwaite or Cobbins will listen to your concerns, go over your medical history, and discuss your goals with revision breast surgery. You should bring any implant records from your previous surgery if you have them, as this can help our team in planning your revision. Based on the reasons for your revision surgery, Drs. Braithwaite or Cobbins will explain the best options to address your concerns and customize a treatment plan to help you obtain your desired results.

Throughout your visit, you are encouraged to ask any questions you may have so our team can help you understand what to expect from your procedure. Please keep in mind that you will need to have realistic expectations for your results to be a good candidate. When you leave your appointment, you should have a clear view of what your procedure can help you achieve.

What Can I Expect in My Revision Breast Surgery?

Breast Implant Exchange

New implants may be desired for cosmetic reasons or to address a complication. Some patients choose to exchange their saline implants for silicone gel implants, as this material often looks more natural. Other women may desire to change their implant size or projection for a different look. Drs. Braithwaite and Cobbins will listen closely to your aesthetic goals to help you choose the right implant details for your revision surgery. Breast implant exchange has become a common procedure for altering previous results from breast augmentation. However, replacing implants can be a more challenging procedure than the original augmentation, which is why you should find an experienced surgeon to provide your new breast implant look. Drs. Braithwaite and Cobbins work with patients to ensure all concerns are met and they receive the best possible results.

Capsular Contracture

Capsular contracture is a condition where excess scar tissue forms around the breast implant. While it is normal for a thin layer of scar tissue to form around an implant, the scar tissue in a capsular contracture is excessively thick and firm, often leading to unfavorable shape changes and firm breasts. Capsular contracture seems to have been a greater problem with earlier implant designs, and radiation therapy for breast cancer clearly increases the risk for its development. To correct this problem, the deranged capsule is removed, a procedure called a capsulectomy, or the scar tissue is released, a procedure called a capsulotomy. The existing implant may be salvaged or we may replace them with new implants, depending on their age, design, and patient preference. Our doctors are usually able to revise capsular contracture problems using existing breast scars. The goal of this revision surgery is to restore soft, symmetrical breasts.

Breast Implant Removal

For a variety of reasons, some women decide to have their breast implants removed and not replaced. For some patients, implant removal is a simple procedure and the breasts resume their previous size and shape in no time at all. For others, severe capsular contracture or silicone implant rupture can make the procedure much more involved. In these instances, the capsules are almost completely removed so that the breasts remain soft. In patients with overly large implants and thin tissues, implant removal may result in loose, drooping breast skin that does not resume its former shape. This change is usually seen in women who have had breast implants for a long period of time because the breasts have also aged through the years. These patients may be candidates for a breast lift, or mastopexy, to restore their previous breast form. Depending on existing conditions, breast implant removal may or may not require general anesthesia. During your consultation with Dr. Braithwaite or Dr. Cobbins, they will address all your concerns related to implant removal and you will leave our office fully informed of your options.

Breast Implant Deflation

“Thank you for being a perfectionist and allowing God to bless you…All of your patients are truly blessed to have you as their doctor.”

Breast implants are not lifetime devices and saline implants sometimes deflate as they age. We understand how inconvenient and upsetting an implant deflation can be and we are available to provide prompt assistance. If the implants are older, most surgeons agree that both implants should be replaced after a deflation in order to avoid another potential procedure. Depending on their goals and desires, some women elect to use this occasion to change the size or style of their implants. Many women are unaware that various warranties are available to help defray the costs of replacing deflated saline breast implants, depending on the manufacturer and age of the implants. Please be sure to bring any implant records to your consultation so that we can investigate your warranty coverage.

How Much Does Revision Breast Surgery Cost?

The cost of revision breast surgery will greatly vary from patient to patient, due to the highly personalized nature of the procedure. During your consultation, your plastic surgeon will go over the details of your revision surgery, and you will be provided with a cost quote to help you budget for your treatment. If you are undergoing breast implant exchange, you may be eligible for full or partial coverage if your implants are still under warranty. This is why we request that you bring any implant records you may have to your consultation.

For more information about revision breast surgery or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Brian Braithwaite or Dr. Lorri Cobbins, please contact The Aesthetic Institute of Chicago today.