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Corrective Breast Revision – What are the options?

Breast revision surgery refers to a range of surgical procedure that aims to correct issues following breast surgery.

Tagged: Body & Breast

Author: Mr. Bryan Mayou, MB ChB FRCS

Date: 14th July 2021

Medically Reviewed by:  Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396)

Last reviewed: 7th February 2024

What is Breast Revision Surgery?

Breast revision surgery refers to a group of surgical procedure performed to address or correct issues related to a previous breast surgery, such as breast augmentation, reduction, lift, or reconstruction.  

Motivations for breast revision surgery vary and can include the need to update or improve the results of previous breast surgeries, address complications that have resulted from previous surgeries, or following changes in personal preferences post – surgery.  

There are several reasons why a woman may opt for breast revision surgery, and these vary according to which breast surgery was undergone. Some common themes include:  

  • Asymmetry: A woman may still have uneven (asymmetrical) breasts even after surgery. 
  • Pain: a patient may be left in a degree of physical discomfort following breast surgery that needs to be addressed  
  • Excessive scarring: The presence of excessive scarring after breast surgery could be down to a number of factors, from the patient’s genes and ability to heal after surgery to the skill of the surgeon and the surgical technique used. 
  • Ageing: Although breast augmentation and other aesthetic surgeries can stop the clock on the ageing process, it cannot halt the process completely. Sagging skin is a natural part of ageing and eventually this will affect breast augmentation results. 
  • Dissatisfaction with the result: Sometimes the original surgery may have simply failed to live up to the patient’s expectations. For example, it may be that the breasts have not had a sufficient increase in size or shape 

Sometimes these issues aren’t obvious immediately after the initial breast surgery. It takes a while for post-operative swelling to subside and the breasts to settle into their new shape. Only then may any issues become apparent. 

What Are the Different Types of Breast Revision Surgery?

The type of breast revision surgery that will be suitable for you will depend upon the issues that you are experiencing and the result that you are hoping for.  

Our surgeons can offer guidance so that you can find the best solution but common Breast revision surgery can include: 

  • Breast implant replacement: It may be that you have experienced complications with breast implants such as a rupture. It could also be the case that you are seeking to increase/reduce the size of your breasts, trying to have issues with symmetry corrected, or simply have reached the stage in the implants' life cycle where they need to be replaced. This is where breast implant replacement is likely to help. 
  • Breast implant removal: It could be that you have experienced issues with breast implants or have been less than satisfied with the results. In this case, you may seek the removal of breast implants without there being any replacements. 
  • Breast lift revision: suitable for when initial results from breast lift are not as desired or the ongoing ageing process has caused breasts to change in appearance  
  • Breast Reduction Revision: suitable for when patients are in discomfort following preliminary surgeon or further volume reductions are required or the breasts are asymmetrical  
  • Scar revision: suitable for unsightly scars following surgery. Surgeons always aim to minimise scarring following any procedure, but there are times when patients may be left with scarring that is uncomfortable or, in their mind, unsightly. There is a range of options available to reduce/remove scarring. 
  • Fat Transfer to Breast: a useful tool to touch up the effects of an array of preliminary breast surgeries to deliver the optimal result e.g. improve contouring of the breast, or as a follow up to previous fat transfer surgeries where not enough fat has been ‘taken’ in the target area  

Why is Breast Revision Surgery Sometimes Necessary?

Breast revision surgery is sometimes necessary as physical attributes, including shape, size, and texture, of a woman's breasts can exert a substantial influence on an individual's physical and emotional well-being.  

This might manifest in diminished self-confidence, heightened anxiety in social situations (including the intimate), or the development of various other mental health challenges. There may also be a level of physical discomfort or pain.  

This explains the prominence of breast surgery as the most popular form of cosmetic surgery in the United Kingdom, as well as reflects the potential for such surgeries to address both physical and psychological aspects of well-being. 

Equally, this underscores the importance of why any ongoing issues following breast surgery do need to be addressed. 

What Issues Does Breast Augmentation Revision Target?

Breast Augmentation Revision surgery typically targets some common issues such as: 

  • Implant Rupture or Leakage 
  • Capsular Contracture in which scar tissue forms around the implant leading to a firmness to the touch or a distortion in the position or shape of the implant. In worst case scenarios, this can cause pain or discomfort and need to be removed  
  • Positioning / Symmetry issues that result in an overall unnatural aesthetic or asymmetry  
  • Increase or decrease in size: often occurring some years later when a woman changes her mind regarding her preferred breast size or shape 
  • Rippling: relates to a visible rippling of implants often driven by the age of implants, thin surface breast skin or an incorrect positioning of the implant. Weight loss or postpartum body changes might also be a factor  
  • Bottoming Out: implants drop below the inframammary fold, leaving an unnatural look   
  • Double Bubble: two creases form on the breast, leaving an unnatural look 
  • Sagging (Ptossis) 
  • Scarring  

What Are the Risks of Breast Surgery?

Like all forms of cosmetic surgery, breast surgery comes with its own risks and potential complications.  

It is important that you are aware of these before surgery, however rare they may be. Some key breast surgery risks that may require further attention post operatively include infection, bleeding, swelling, scarring, temporary or permanent changes in sensation, implant-related issues such as capsular contracture, asymmetry and poor wound healing.  

What Can You Do to Minimise Breast Surgery Risks?

Whilst it is impossible to minimise and eliminate all risk, there are some things you can do to manage breast surgery risks.  

The most important thing is to choose a qualified surgeon that you trust. A surgeon with the right expertise and credentials will significantly reduce the chances of breast revision surgery further down the line due to either incompetence or lack of care.

Some breast revisions are not due to the surgeon’s care or capability, so in general we advise you to follow all pre and post operative instructions closely, arrive on the day of surgery at a stable weight and following a healthy lifestyle, and make sure you monitor closely your recovery for complications, with a view to communicating these immediately to your aftercare team should you observe any. The sooner complications are picked up the quicker and easier they are to treat. 

Finally, it is vital to stop smoking in the weeks running up to surgery as this can cause healing complications postoperatively.    

Is Breast Revision Recovery Longer?

Breast revision recovery times vary depending on the nature of the surgery performed and the condition that is being corrected. There is no general rule that can be applied  

It is possible that breast revision recovery times might be slightly longer, however, as often they are longer, more complex procedures.

How Long Do Breast Revision Scars Take to Fade?

Breast revision scars will start to fade at six months and should be barely visible by 12 months. 

When scars start to heal, they appear red and raised but will change to pink and then white as the healing process continues. Once the scar has healed, it will no longer be raised but instead sit flat to the skin. 

It is important that you always follow the aftercare advice issued by your surgeon to help your recovery, and there are treatments and/or steps you can take yourself to encourage scar healing. 

What Can I Do to Encourage Scar Healing and Avoid Scar Revision?

If you want to encourage natural scar healing, therefore avoiding the need for scar revision, then there are a number of things that you can do at home. 

  • Follow all post-operative instructions 
  • Gently massage the area 
  • Avoid sun exposure 
  • Avoid exfoliating or irritating the skin 

When is Breast Surgery Correction Medically Necessary?

Some women undergo boob job revision surgery because they are unhappy with the results of previous surgery. But there are situations where breast revision surgery is medically necessary. 

Revision surgery may be necessary if you experience: 

  • Ongoing breast pain 
  • Back pain 
  • Thick scarring that won’t fade 

There are also complications caused by implants that can be resolved through corrective breast revision. 

These include: 

  • An implant rupturing 
  • A rippling effect on the skin where the implant is under thin skin/tissue 
  • An implant rotating/moving out of place 
  • Asymmetry 
  • Pain in the breast and/or nipple 
  • The breast tissue loses its substance 
  • The skin on the breasts becomes thinner 
  • Scars tighten and become uncomfortable 

If you have had breast surgery and the results were not what you had hoped for, then breast revision surgery can help. There are several different types of breast revision surgery, depending on the issue which needs to be addressed. If you are considering breast revision surgery, then make an appointment with one of our expert surgeons in Chelsea, London to discuss how the procedure could benefit you. 

Book a private consultation to discuss your concerns today.

Words From Our Founder

Mr. Bryan Mayou

Breast revision surgery is an essential element of surgical practice, often addressing unforeseeable complications beyond a surgeon's control. It's crucial for patients to understand that while we always aim for a perfect result, occasional issues may arise. Revision surgery allows us to correct these issues, ensuring patients achieve the desired results as well as maintaining their safety and satisfaction throughout the entire process.
Mr. Bryan Mayou

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