Breast Implant Revision Surgery: Considerations
There are times when people who get breast surgery aren’t happy with their “boob job” surgery results. This might occur more frequently when a patient chooses a Surgeon who isn’t highly skilled in customising breast implants. It can also occur if a Surgeon doesn’t perform adequate measurements for pre-surgery planning, or doesn’t explain the limitations that are inherent when you are working with a particular breast base width, level of tissue laxity or ptosis, or very noticeable asymmetry.
It can happen as well when a Surgeon and the patient do not share the same first language or have varying methods of communication preferences (which can interrupt patient-surgeon communication and patient education and decision making understandings). It may even happen if a Surgeon is not fully qualified at the highest levels of plastic or cosmetic surgery training and education. But most frequently, we see requests for revisions when a patient chooses a non-specialist Surgeon who performs ‘production-line’ style ‘cookie cutter’ breast implant surgeries at highly discounted prices. Good surgery isn’t necessarily cheap surgery, and there are many factors of customisation that should go into a breast implant procedure for breast augmentation, to get a suitable result for an individual – one that suits their entire physique as well as their preferences. Expectations, and patient education, each go a long way in satisfaction with good surgery results. Even a great breast implant surgery result may not be seen as such if the patient had expected something different; or wasn’t familiar with how their existing anatomy or nipple position was going to impact the ultimate breast appearance. It helps to be highly informed about what breast implant surgery can – and cannot – accomplish for your OWN body in terms of cleavage.
So choose your Surgeon carefully. We suggest you choose a Specialist who has a lot of pride in getting a quality, long-lasting and natural-looking aesthetic result, and to keep your expectations about what constitutes a great result REALISTIC and APPROPRIATE for your body, breast skin and torso proportions.
Revision surgery is complex and may or may not get you the results you’re wanting, depending on what didn’t go to plan for your first surgery, and whether or not the earlier surgeon ‘botched’ the procedure or whether the issue was more about communication.
Not all things can be fixed, which is why our Team of surgeons emphasises the importance of choosing a Specialist Plastic Surgeon for the FIRST (primary) breast implant surgery procedure, rather than a complex, costly revision of breast implant surgery or other breast surgery procedure.
There’s a lot to think about in terms of revisional breast surgery for your original implants when they still don’t meet your standards OR when a breast implant surgery complication arises.
The questions to ask yourself before consulting with a new Breast Specialists to revise your earlier breast implant surgery include:
- Are your breast implants causing you pain?
- Have your augmented breasts unusually hardened?
- Are you unhappy with the look of your implants?
- Have you noticed breast rippling or movement?
- Are your implants moving or breasts ‘bottoming out’?
- Have you lost your cleavage (a uniboob look)?
- Have you given your original Surgeon a chance to rectify the situation (if they are a FRACS qualified Specialist)?
- Have you gotten any other second opinions?
- Are your expectations realistic in terms of what you started with?
- Can you differentiate between a Cosmetic Surgeon and a Breast Specialist Plastic Surgeon with FRACS (Plas) and ISAPS/ASAPS or ASPS memberships?
- Are you prepared for the fact that a revision surgery may or may not get you what you’re wanting, depending on what you’re dissatisfied with and what can actually BE DONE in a revisional procedure? (Not all things can be fixed, such as if you have a ‘dead nipple’ after getting surgery overseas or in a non Hospital setting).
Before you consider revisional surgery, you’ll want an expert’s opinion on what Breast Implant Revision Surgery can – and cannot – remedy in terms of surgery outcomes and breast appearance.
Our Breast Specialists are renowned for their expertise in complex breast surgery (correcting asymmetry and tuberous breasts) and Breast Implant Revisions. They can help you understand what can and cannot be achieved through Breast Revision surgery, but be prepared for the fact that revisional surgery is complex and often costly; it’s always best to choose your Specialist Plastic Surgeon breast implant surgeon the FIRST time you have surgery, not the second time.
That noted, our Surgeons MAY be able to assist you in getting the look you want, with a Revision Surgery – but NOT everything can be fixed or remedied.
Plus, if you got discount surgery to begin with, you may find you got a cut-rate procedure or cheap breast implants that aren’t of the quality you were expecting. That’s why it’s so important to do proper homework BEFORE you choose your Surgeon, and to think about the longevity of the operation, not just what it will cost you this year. Revisional surgery isn’t cheap and can get expensive depending on what needs to be repaired or corrected through Revisional surgery.
Also, not all breast implants are created equal – some have better reputations for long term effectiveness and durability than others. Quality Australian brands include Mentor or Allergan, and our Surgeons only use quality, reputable implants to aim to get you the best longevity possible – whilst helping you understand the average lifetime of an implant is around 10 years, according to manufacturer’s specifications and research findings.
Some women get longer life out of their breast implants and some shorter.
Life events, such as pregnancy, weight change and menopause, can also impact how good your breast implant surgery results will look over a longer period of time.
The Value of a Second Opinion for Breast Augmentation Surgery using Breast Implants
But if you feel your original breast implant surgery was disappointing, then you can contact our Surgeons for a second opinion on what may be done to help remedy the situation, such as engaging in a Revisional Surgery.
Most often, however, you’ll be advised to (a) discuss your expectations to be sure they are realistic in relation to what you started with in terms of skin condition, breast tissue and related aspects of your physique; and (b) give your original Surgeon a chance to review and remedy the situation especially if the Surgeon is a reputable, highly qualified FRACS surgeon – for most Surgeons who promise quality work will perform revisions when necessary; and occasionally surgery revisions may be necessary.
Our expert breast revision specialists perform surgeries for:
- Asymmetry – breasts that are dissimilar or lopsided
- Bottoming Out – implant has dropped below nipple – nipple sits too high on breast
- Capsular Contracture – a complication resulting in hardening of the implant pocket
- Double Bubble – a crease across the lower part of the augmented breast (2 breast mounds)
- Implant Removal – removing ageing or unwanted implants
- Implant Removal and Replacement – typically for a modern implant or size change
- Rippling or Wrinkling – wavy, unnatural skin texture usually on top of breast
- Ruptured Implant – to remove, rectify and possibly replace an implant
- Symmastia – implants too close together crossing the midline (creating a uniboob)
Breast Revision Solutions to ‘Botched Boob Jobs’
Breast Augmentation with Implants is the most popular plastic surgery procedure in the world.
Sadly, not every surgeon gets it right the first time. Patients unhappy with their results usually seek out a more experienced surgeon to correct the problem with Breast Revision Surgery.
All medical devices like breast implants have a lifespan. Many patients will undergo another breast operation in their lifetime, whether it be to exchange their ageing implants, adjust the size or improve their overall appearance. This is also known a Breast Revision Surgery.
Even with the best surgical outcome, some things just happen over time. Skin may stretch, scar tissue develops, or gravity and childbirth can also take its toll. As a result, many women with breast implants will eventually need Breast Revision Surgery.
Breast Implant Revision Surgery can also correct a variety of other problems. Some relate to implant location, such as bottoming out (nipple sits too high on your breast) or symmastia (the uniboob look). Other problems can be due to a patient’s anatomy, pregnancy, or weight change. Revision surgery could also be required to treat complications such as an infection, haematoma or capsular contracture (hardening or scarring around the implant pocket).
Common Breast Revision Procedures
Breast Implant Removal
(sometimes called implant explantation)
- This surgery seems to be more popular with older rather than younger patients, but it varies between patients
- This procedure involves removing breast implants entirely and not replacing them with new implants
- A Breast Lift may be performed at the same time to achieve a smaller but natural look – but options and outcomes often depend on the amount of existing breast tissue and elasticity of your skin
Breast Implant Removal and Replacement
- This is surgery to remove existing implants and replace them with newer ones.
- For patients who want to change their implant size, replace old implants, or reduce implant visibility or rippling (sometimes seen with saline implants where the existing breast tissues are insufficient to fully cover the implant effectively).
- This can involve changing your implant position from on top of the muscle (sub-glandular) to beneath the muscle (sub-pectoral) or vice versa.
- Some patients also change from older-style saline breast implants or a ruptured implant to modern silicone cohesive gel breast implants.
Pocket Revision Surgery
- This involves modifying the space (or pocket) where the implant is located using surgical dissection or repair of sutures.
- Pocket revision surgery can helps to improve your breast shape, gain cleavage, release the muscle or allow for a size change.
- This is reconstructing the implant pocket inside the breast using sutures
- Used to reposition breast implants that are either too close (symmastia), too low (bottoming out) or too far apart (laterally displaced)
Capsulectomy / Capsulotomy
- This involves removing scar tissue (capsulectomy) or making incisions in the scar tissue (capsulotomy) that surrounds the implant
- Helps produce a softer, more natural appearance and feel especially after capsular contracture.
*Disclaimer: Individual results can vary significantly from patient to patient.
The information we provide is of a general nature.
To find out what to expect for your preferred procedures, arrange to see one of our Specialist Plastic Surgeons for a full-history and surgical consultation. Read more about surgical outcome variability on our Disclaimer Page.
Breast surgery in Thailand and other overseas locations – Don’t Risk It!
Sadly, many candidates for Breast Revision Surgery, are a result of having been overseas or to a clinic interstate to save money on their surgery.
Breast Augmentation surgery needs to be done well the first time by an experienced and qualified plastic surgeon. It should definitely be done in Australia as it needs lots of aftercare and follow up. The risks of infection and complication are also higher when overseas and travelling on planes.
Please don’t risk it – come and see what we can work out for you.
Dr Ben Burt, lower right, is our eyelid surgery specialist; all other Specialist Plastic Surgeons perform breast augmentation surgery or can provide a second opinion on Breast Surgery and Breast Implants. Ask our Patient Care Advisors which of our Breast Specialists is right for your revisional surgery – but if you are still at the investigative stages of breast augmentation and want to avoid a botched procedure, come see one of our highly knowledgeable Plastic Surgeons and Breast Specialists FIRST so you can get to know how we differ from other Surgeons and other groups. There IS a notable difference – and if you speak with one of our breast experts, we know you’ll have confidence that you’ll be in the right hands and right clinic for your breast procedure (Breast Reduction, Breast Lift, Breast Augmentation) or other plastic surgery/cosmetic surgery procedure.
Please phone us if you would like to meet a Specialist Plastic Surgeon to find out what makes a high-quality augmentation, breast lift, implant replacement or revision surgery.
Always choose a Plastic Surgeon who is a Breast Revision expert
Most Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons perform Breast Implant Surgery.
There are even many other types of doctors who are not certified Plastic Surgeons, but who put implants in, with minimal training or less qualifications than a qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon.
Plastic Surgeons have learnt by experience to recognise the subtle details of a patient’s anatomy and tissue characteristics. They have ‘skin sense’ and proportion sense and highly trained aesthetic eyes to help you make good choices about your breast implants or other breast surgery.
Our Team is renowned for correctly (some say obsessively-precisely) measuring and analysing breasts, as well as selecting the right size and type of breast implant to meet the patient’s aims. They are experts at performing the right operation with minimal trauma to the breast area and minimal handling – if any – of the implant; and they follow important steps to reduce the risk rates of capsular contracture.
Such surgical expertise for Breast Surgery can only be acquired through proper training, qualifications and years of experience.
Check the qualifications and training and memberships – as well as actual Hospital operating privileges – of any Surgeon you are considering for your breast or body or face surgery.
Why is it important to use a Specialist who’s so highly Qualified?
Because if you choose a junior, non-Plastic Surgeon or overseas Surgeon, you could end up with costly revisional surgery requirements We prefer patients get the look they are really wanting the first time – not complex revisional surgeries that are required to fix a ‘botched’ procedure performed by an under-trained or non-Specialist Surgeon
“The best time to get surgery right is the first time. Sadly, not every surgeon gets every breast surgery right the first time and some things just can’t be fixed.” – Dr Craig Rubinstein
Surgery should never be taken lightly, and there are risks involved – do read our FAQs and Disclaimer pages about how results can vary significantly between patients.
Yet sadly, some Surgical outcomes simply aren’t what patients wanted – or the procedure choices were a mismatch to the patients body shape, procedure desires or overall appearance aims.
Revision Breast Surgery is also a highly specialised field – so choose only the highest-qualified and most experienced Plastic Surgeons who regularly perform complex revisions.
Few Surgeons are highly-experienced in meeting the challenging demands of performing a Revisional Surgery procedure. Even fewer Surgeons are experts at getting successful outcomes from a complicated breast revision.
At Cosmetic Surgery for Women and Aesthetic Surgery for Men, we have assembled a team of Australia’s most experienced Plastic Surgeons who are also Revisional Surgery Experts.
They work co-operatively and collaboratively as a Team for very highly complex cases. If you have a very complex Revisional Surgery need, you can seek the Team’s opinion in a Group Consultation, usually on a Friday morning, by special arrangement.
Funding Your Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Procedure
Specialist Surgery and Revisional Breast Surgery can be costly. Some revision patients need help with funding to be able to resolve their implant concerns or to enable them to have a Revisional procedure.
For further information about funding your surgery and which payment option is best for you, please see our Funding Surgery Page.
We also suggest that if you’re looking into options for funding your surgery, you send an enquiry and ask for the links to financing options.
Next Steps on your Surgical Journey
How to Book your Initial Consultation
- Email us or Call on (03) 8849 1444 to arrange your surgeon consultation
- A Referral from your GP or specialist is helpful but NOT essential – you can have a consultation without a GP Referral
- Book a consultation with your Surgeon by paying the $200 consultation fee
What to Bring to your Surgeon Consultation
- Bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices
- Take lots of notes and read the documents provided thoroughly
- You may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes
Want more information before scheduling your Surgeon consultation?
- Request more information about the procedure – call or contact us
- Book a Complimentary Nurse Consultation (FREE)
- Organise a phone call with Patient Advisor (FREE)
- Attend our Regular Practice Events and hear from our Breast Plastic Surgeons and their top support team (FREE)
- Organise a Skype call consultation with a Surgeon (available for Interstate patients)
- Speak with a past patient that has had the procedure – call or contact us
- Browse our Frequently Asked Questions including how to choose a Surgeon for your procedure
Please contact us using this form to arrange to book a consultation with one of our Breast Specialist Surgeons or to arrange to speak with our Patient Care Advisor.
Send an enquiry form today or phone Michelle on (03) 8849 1444 (Hawthorn).