What is a Breast Implant Revision?

Alexis W.

A breast implant revision is a type of plastic surgery procedure designed to correct or revise existing breast implants. Breast implant revisions are common in the plastic surgery industry, as artificial breasts may tend to sag or develop problems over time. A breast implant revision is also necessary if the original surgeon made an error, or if there have been technology advances and a woman wishes to have newer implants used.

A breast implant revision will likely be a more complicated surgery than the initial breast implant surgery.
A breast implant revision will likely be a more complicated surgery than the initial breast implant surgery.

Breast implants are traditionally either saline or silicone. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, but silicone breast implants tend to have a more natural feel according to some plastic surgeons. Unfortunately, silicone implants were taken off the market in the early 1990s due to a potential cancer risk, and were only FDA approved again in 2005.

As a result, there are many women have saline implants but would prefer silicone. A breast implant revision allows women to have their silicone implants removed and have saline implants inserted instead. This is a popular form of elective breast implant revision.

Both saline and silicone implants can also develop problems over time. For example, rippling can occur, in which the skin begins to look textured or puckered. The implant can also shift out of place, or even puncture and begin leaking.

If problems occur, a breast implant revision may not be an elective procedure. It may become necessary in order to restore a normal appearance to the breasts. It may also become necessary if a woman's breasts begin to sag or droop with age, causing the original implants to look unnatural or unappealing.

Finally, some women opt for a revision in order to make their breasts either smaller or larger. Some women develop back problems with very large breasts, and as such may decide that they want or need to insert smaller implants. Other women are satisfied with their implants, but decide that they want larger ones, necessitating revision.

Any board certified plastic surgeon can do a revision, but patients should generally opt for a surgeon who is experienced in revising existing breast implants. Revision can be more complicated than an initial breast implant surgery, since existing scars from incisions and existing implants must be addressed before the new implants can be inserted.

It may be especially important to choose a surgeon with experience in revisions if he has corrected mistakes that another surgeon made, or problems that developed as a result of implants. Correcting problems can take extreme amounts of skill and experience, and a surgeon who has done revisions will have the greatest chance of achieving natural results. He or she should always be clear upfront in what he can do, before a patient undergoes a revision procedure.

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