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What Is A Breast Surgery Revision?

When performed by a highly skilled and experienced board-certified plastic surgeon, breast augmentation typically delivers beautiful results that last a long time. That being said, breast implants aren’t meant to last forever. As with all medical devices, your implants will wear out at some point and need to be replaced. The good news is that in most instances, you shouldn’t have to worry about this issue for 15 years or longer. If you’re happy with your results and there are no signs of complications, there’s no reason to think about undergoing breast augmentation revision. However, if you would like to exchange your breast implants or remove them entirely, Dr. Papanicoalou can help.

What are common reasons for a breast augmentation revision?

There are many reasons why you may need a revision procedure. Some of the most common include:  

  • Dissatisfaction with your current breast appearance – This can be due to a poor cosmetic outcome from your initial breast augmentation or to changes in your breast appearance over time that are related to factors such as pregnancy, aging or fluctuations in weight.  

  • Interference with physical activity – Some women find that their breast implants make it harder to participate in their favorite athletic activities. Changing to a more moderately sized implant can often facilitate an active lifestyle.  

  • Changes in style over time – Body image trends are constantly evolving. A breast appearance that was considered attractive a decade ago may no longer be in style. A revision procedure can help ensure your breast appearance reflects the most up-to-date beauty trends.  

  • Desire to upgrade from saline to silicone breast implants – Breast implant technology is constantly evolving, and today’s silicone implants are more natural looking than ever before. Many women who initially chose saline implants may want to replace them with silicone implants in order to achieve a more natural look and feel.  

  • Complications from a prior breast augmentation – Breast implant revision can be performed to address complications such as capsular contracture, rippling, implant rupture or necrosis of the tissue around the breast implant.  

  • Development of breast implant illness – While rare, some women need to have their implants removed due to an adverse reaction associated with the presence of a breast implant in their body.  

Correcting an Implant Rupture:

Modern implant shells are very durable and as a result, ruptures are rare. However, they do occur on occasion and you will need a revision procedure to correct the issue.


When saline implants rupture, the sterile saline solution used to fill the implant will be safely absorbed by your body. However, this will result in a deflated and asymmetrical breast appearance that is noticeable immediately. You’ll need to replace the implant in order to restore a more natural looking and symmetrical breast appearance.


Silicone breast implants are filled with a form-stable, cohesive material that will hold its shape in the event of a rupture. This makes it much harder to detect a rupture in silicone implants. For this reason, it’s important to undergo an MRI periodically in order to make sure you haven’t experienced a rupture. While the silicone gel in these implants doesn’t pose any danger to you, you will most likely want to replace the ruptured implant at your convenience.

Breast Implant Removal:

Whether you’ve developed back pain due to a larger breast size, suffered breast implant illness or simply decide you prefer your original breast size, our surgeons can perform a breast implant removal procedure. Your surgery will be performed under general anesthesia and take between 1-3 hours, depending on the specific circumstances associated with your procedure.

Often, we recommend a breast lift in association with the implant removal procedure in order to restore a perkier, more youthful appearance. Fat grafting can also be performed to provide a little extra volume in the upper portion of the breast.

Recovery after Breast Implant Revision:

When you’re replacing an implant, the recovery process for the revision procedure is similar to what you experienced with your initial breast augmentation procedure. When your implants are being removed, the recovery is typically easier than what you experienced during the initial breast augmentation. That being said, its important to understand that the recovery process will vary based on the extensiveness of your revision procedure and your body’s unique healing ability.


Dr. Papanicolaou recommends that you wear a supportive bra 24 hours a day until the surgery sites have healed completely. This may take up to a month. You will most likely experience some swelling and soreness, but this will subside as you heal. While you’ll notice initial results right away, it may take up to three months for your final breast appearance to become apparent.


It’s important to avoid any exercise or heavy lifting until our plastic surgeons clear you for this level of strenuous activity. In most instances, it may take between 6-8 weeks before you can engage in any activity that uses your chest muscles.

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