Breast Revision Surgery

As with any surgery, breast augmentation procedures carry the potential for complications. Some women continue to undergo such procedures at the hands of inexperienced surgeons and are left unhappy with the final result, or endure complications such as implant rupture or capsular contracture.

Unfortunately, some complications are outside the surgeon’s control, and because breast implants are not designed to last a lifetime, many women will need revision procedures in order to replace implants that have outlived their product lifespan. The reasons for revision surgeries fall into one of three broad categories: problems with implant placement, problems with the patient’s tissue characteristics, and problems with the implants themselves. Appropriate initial implant selection, tissue match, and implant placement can greatly reduce the need for revision surgery.

Breast Revision Surgery

Reasons for Breast Implant Revision

Implant Placement

The primary indications for revision surgeries are implant rupture, capsular contracture, and device deflation. Implants can rupture as a result of blunt or penetrating trauma, compounded with the natural chemical degradation of their shells over time. Similarly, some implants may deflate gradually over time. Surgeons agree that ruptured implants should be replaced, whether or not they are causing pain or discomfort. Capsular contracture is one of the more serious complications of breast augmentation, and involves the formation of a hard, fibrous “capsule” that may squeeze the implant and surrounding tissue, causing significant pain and discomfort. In the case of a capsular contracture, corrective surgery may include excising the hardened “capsule” of fibrous tissue.

Problems with the Patient’s Tissue Characteristics

Some women find that their implants have shifted in the breast cavity, often as a result of tissue changes that can occur with age, pregnancy, or weight loss/gain. Patients who have undergone breast augmentation surgeries for reconstructive reasons (e.g. following a mastectomy) may be more likely to require revision surgeries due to post-mastectomy changes to breast tissue, especially in women undergoing radiation therapy. Some women are simply unhappy with the original size of their implants or want to “update” from saline to silicone gel implants.

Aesthetic Reasons

Other conditions which may require correction for aesthetic reasons include symmastia (where the breasts touch unnaturally across the sternum), asymmetry, malpositioned implants, rippling or wrinkling, excess scarring, “bottoming out” (where the implants are no longer supported by breast tissue and fall below the nipples), and a “double bubble” effect (wherein the breasts’ natural sagging creates a second crease). Many of these aesthetically unappealing conditions are easily preventable in the hands of an experienced, qualified surgeon. However, it is a truly skilled surgeon who can salvage the mistakes of others in order to present the patient with a satisfactory result following a breast revision surgery.

Breast Revision Surgery: What You Should Know

A breast revision procedure most often involves the removal and/or replacement of implants. Many breast implants carry a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer, which can significantly lower the cost of the procedure. In certain cases, the implants will be moved from a subglandular position to a submuscular position. This is the most common solution for complaints of implant “rippling.” You or your surgeon may also decide to change the type or size of your implants at this time. Depending on the initial incision used, your surgeon may be able to reopen the same incision, greatly reducing the risk of additional scarring. Transaxillary (armpit) and transumbilical (navel) incisions generally cannot be reused, and require a secondary incision. In rare cases, where there is insufficient tissue present to perform an adequate correction, donated dermal tissue such as AlloDerm™ may be needed to be grafted from other parts of the body to the breast pocket, to provide enough support for breast implants.plants.

Alloderm™ Tissue Matrix

AlloDerm™ is a sheet of human dermal tissue from donated cadavers. This sheet of human tissue acts as a support for weakened thin tissue, and in procedures where there is lost or damaged tissue. AlloDerm behaves in the same way as your own tissue, and as a result, it is positively recognized by your body. This familiar recognition leaves the risk for rejection and complications, very minimal. The AlloDerm™ Tissue Matrix provides reinforcement of thin tissue along the lower pole of the breast, resulting in a more elastic breast pocket, and this is why your surgeon at Clinic 360 might suggest to use this during your breast revision surgery.

You can feel at ease with AlloDerm, as it is a safe tissue matrix that is derived from donors of the American Association of Tissue Bank-compliant sources. These donors are not only screened to ensure they fit the criteria for tissue donation but, in addition the medical records and social histories of these donors are reviewed. To date, the AlloDerm Tissue Matrix has been used in more than 1.4 million grafts and implants. As a result of the rigorous care and research, AlloDerm is confident in ensuring the quality of their product. AlloDerm has been used for more than 20 years with zero documented disease transmissions.

If your surgeon suggests that using a tissue matrix will give you the best result, pricing for AlloDerm starts from $3,000 plus tax, based on the size of the sheet(s) needed.

How is a Breast Revision Performed?

Like your initial breast augmentation surgery, the procedure will be performed under general anaesthesia and usually takes about 1-3 hours to perform, depending on the extent of correction needed. Patients can usually be discharged the same day. Breast implant revision typically costs less than a “new” breast augmentation procedure, but Breast revision pricing starts from $8500 plus HST and is based on the complexity of correction. It is important to keep in mind that each revision surgery carries the same surgical risks as an initial breast augmentation, so it is ideal to have the surgery performed correctly the first time in order to avoid the need for multiple revision surgeries. Except in rare cases, patients are advised to wait a period of at least 6 months between surgeries, in order to allow scar tissue to form and for the tissue to “settle.”

Book a Consult!

Our surgeons are highly qualified experts who are specially trained to perform not only breast augmentation, but breast revision surgeries as well. Because every situation is unique, your revision procedure will be tailored to suit your needs and address your specific concerns. Patients can rest assured that regardless of their situation, at Clinic 360 they will receive quality treatment and a satisfactory result that should not need further revision.