Breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the United States. With a satisfaction rate above 96%, hundreds of thousands of women who receive this cosmetic treatment each year are happy with the outcome. However, a small percentage of these patients may be unhappy with their new breasts due to imperfections or complications.

Reasons for Breast Implant Revision Surgery

There are many reasons why a woman may choose to undergo breast revision surgery. These may include the following:

Capsular contracture  – refers to the formation of excess scar tissue around the implant after the initial augmentation surgery. This breast augmentation complication may lead to a stiff feeling in the breast and can even cause pain. Silicone implants tend to have a higher risk of capsular contraction (10-15%) compared to saline implants (5%). Dr. Arroyo will typically address this issue by removing the scar tissue along with the implant in a breast revision procedure known as en bloc capsulectomy.

Implant rupture – there is a slight chance that breast implants may rupture, necessitating a revision plastic surgery. Saline implants tend to visibly deflate when they leak; however, silicone implants come with the risk of a ‘silent rupture.’ This means that if the implant ruptures, there will be no visible change. Dr. Arroyo recommends that patients who have silicone implants receive periodic MRI scans to ascertain that the implant is still intact. The surgeon will address a rupture by removing and addressing the affected breast implant.

Breast rippling – this refers to wrinkling that can occur underneath or along the side of the breast. This breast augmentation complication is more common with saline implants and results in an unnatural appearance under the skin. Breast implant rippling is more common in women who are very thin. There are multiple ways to address this issue that you can discuss with Dr. Arroyo during your consultation.

Double bubble – a rare breast augmentation complication that occurs when implants drop down behind the natural breast crease. This gives the breasts an unnatural, double-fold appearance. Double bubble implants are typically caused by incorrect placement of breast implants in the original surgery. The method selected for correcting this condition will be determined by its cause, as well as the patient’s aesthetic preferences.

Bottoming out – breast implants tend to ‘ride high’ immediately after a breast augmentation and indeed take time before they settle in the correct position. If there is no adequate support during this process, the implant may drop far too down within the breast pocket. This complication is caused by weak tissue, having implants that are too large for you, or improper surgeon skills. Dr. Arroyo will perform revision breast plastic surgery to move and support the implant into the proper position.

Dissatisfaction with breast size – a small proportion of patients will be dissatisfied with the size of their new breasts. At a later date, they may decide to have breast revision surgery to replace the existing implant with one that has a more fulfilling size, shape, or texture. Some women may opt to change their type of implant from saline to silicone. Dr. Arroyo will address the revision procedure to suit your personal needs and preferences.

There are also patients that may wish to have their implants removed due to lifestyle changes, complications, or breast cancer diagnosis. Depending on the patient’s needs, Dr. Arroyo may remove the implant and perform a breast lift procedure to maintain a pleasing breast appearance.

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Your Consultation With Dr. Arroyo

During your visit to Dr. Arroyo’s office, he will listen to your concerns, examine your breasts, and let you know whether this procedure can benefit you. Detailed measurements of your breasts will be taken, and he will evaluate your skin quality and nipple positioning. Once Dr. Arroyo has all the necessary information, he will discuss a customized treatment plan to meet your goals. Using a state-of-the-art virtual consultation tool, he will show you what the procedure will entail, where scars may be located and what you can expect using your pictorial anatomy. This initial consultation is essential to create your breast revision surgery road map and answer all your questions. 

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Procedure Approach

Your revision breast surgery will start with sedation to keep you comfortable throughout the procedure. The surgeon may then use your prior breast augmentation incision to access the underlying implants. The following procedure steps will depend on whether there are complications and your goals for the revision procedure.

Once the surgery is complete, the surgeon will close the incisions using state-of-the-art techniques to minimize scarring and place gauze and bandages on the treatment area. This procedure takes about 2-4 hours to complete depending on the complexity of the surgery. Because breast revision is considered an outpatient.

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Dr. Arroyo’s Sedation Method

During a breast reduction procedure, Dr. Christian Arroyo uses a sedation method known as Total Intravenous Anesthesia (TIVA) Sedation. This technique is considered to be generally safer and allows the patient to breathe on their own without any intubation during surgery. The process begins with an oral medication before surgery; then, once the patient is brought into the operating room, they are given an IV to start comfortable sedation. The befits of this method include less intravenous medication, as well as fewer anesthesia side effects.

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Breast Revision FAQs

Can I change the size or type of implant?

How much does breast revision surgery cost?

How long is the recovery period?

Will there be more scarring?

Can I change the size or type of implant?

Yes. One of the most common reasons women choose to pursue breast augmentation revision is to change the shape, size, or type of implant selected for the initial procedure. Regardless of your concerns and reasons for revision surgery, Houston plastic surgeon Dr. Christian Arroyo will work with you to achieve the desired outcome.

How much does breast revision surgery cost?

The cost of breast implant revision is influenced by the implant type, implant placement, among other factors. Many of Dr. Arroyo’s pay between $6,000 and $16,000. Health insurance companies may not cover breast revision. In some cases, the implant warranty will cover some of the costs associated with this surgery. During your initial breast revision consultation with Dr. Arroyo, the surgeon’s team will provide a cost estimate to arrange financing.

How long is the recovery period?

Recovery after breast implant revision may vary from patient to patient. The majority of patients can resume normal activities within two weeks. However, your plastic surgeon will ask that you desist from any strenuous activities or heavy lifting.

Will there be more scarring?

Whenever possible, Dr. Arroyo uses your initial breast augmentation surgery scars to perform the revision – to minimize the possibility of additional scarring. Following the procedure, the surgeon will also provide a stringent scar care regimen to help fade scars resulting from this treatment as much as possible.

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