Breast Implant Revision

Breast Implant Revision: Adjusting Your Implants

Fix complications, adjust implant size or upgrade to the latest implant technology
Last updated on
February 4, 2024
Breast Implant Revision

Update your breast implants or rectify complications

What is breast implant revision surgery?

Individuals who are dissatisfied with their previous breast enhancement surgeries may benefit from a breast implant revision procedure. This approach addresses multiple issues and aims to refine the look and feel of the breasts. Some people go for this intervention to adjust their implant size or upgrade to the latest implant technology. However, many pursue revision surgery to rectify concerns such as:

  • Capsular contracture, a side effect necessitating revision
  • Ruptured implant 
  • Rippling and wrinkling
  • Cases of asymmetry or misposition that arise when an implant drifts from its intended position
  • Symmastia, colloquially referred to as 'uni-boob,' occurs when implants are too closely positioned

Ideal candidates for breast implant revision surgery are healthy non-smokers at a consistent weight, seeking enhancement in breast size, shape, aesthetics, and feeling or those needing to rectify a complication.

A substantial number of women also want to switch from older saline implants to contemporary silicone gel implants, noted for their authentic look and feel.

What are the pros & cons of breast implant revision surgery?


  • An implant revision operation can adapt your breast dimensions and contours to align with your updated preferences.
  • It's an effective solution for painful side effects such as capsular contracture.
  • The recovery process post-revision surgery is generally smoother compared to the initial breast implant procedure.
  • Your initial implant surgeon may provide discounts on revision surgery, particularly if the implants are covered by the manufacturer's warranty.


  • New implants can still face complications in the future, possibly leading to another revision surgery.
  • As you age, your breast shape will evolve, emphasizing the need for sensible expectations concerning the durability of your results.
  • The procedure can be costly and is not typically covered by Medicare or private health insurance.
  • Modern implants still come with their own set of risks and potential side effects, though advancements in implant technology, like superior shells and more cohesive silicone gels, may lower these risks.

How much does it cost to redo breast implants?

Average Cost: $9,250

Range: $5,100 - $14,900

The cost associated with breast implant revision surgery will vary based on several crucial elements, including the surgeon's level of expertise, the geographical location of their clinic, the chosen implant type, along with other aspects.

What are the risks and side effects of breast implant revision surgery?

When executed by a qualified plastic surgeon, breast implant revision surgery boasts a remarkably high success rate. However, similar to any surgical operation, it's not entirely devoid of risks.

Potential adverse effects include infection, bleeding, hematoma, scarring, capsular contracture, implant rupture, anesthesia allergies, and potentially dissatisfying outcomes necessitating further revision surgery.

How long do breast implants last and when do they need to be replaced?

A general misunderstanding suggests that implant replacement is required every 10 to 15 years. However, if your implants present no issues, no additional intervention is required. It is, nevertheless, crucial to routinely check the condition of your implants.

With saline (saltwater) implants, monitoring their condition is as simple as a glance in the mirror. Any leaks are immediately visible, given a ruptured implant will cause deflation. Although the body can safely absorb saline, most patients opt to replace a deflated implant.

Regarding silicone implants, the doctors currently advise having an MRI 3 years after initial placement and every 2 years thereafter, to screen for silent ruptures. If you're not facing any complications and you're content with their appearance, you most likely won't need to consider replacing your implants.

How soon after a boob job can you change your implants?

Anticipate a waiting period of several months to a year following your initial breast implant operation before undergoing revision surgery.

It's advisable to hold off for a minimum of 4 to 6 months before contemplating a revision, this waiting period allows your breasts to settle. If your recovery pace is slower than average, it would be prudent to extend the waiting period.

What happens during a breast implant revision?

The duration of a breast implant revision typically ranges from 1 to 3 hours, contingent on the intricacy of the surgery, the surgeon's method, and if a concurrent breast lift is being performed.

Every revision procedure incorporates a personalized surgical strategy, tailored to meet the patient's individual needs and objectives. During your consultation, your surgeon will ask whether you wish to address particular issues or simply modify your implant size. You’ll have the option to select from a range of sizes, shapes, materials, and brands. 

This same-day procedure is commonly conducted under general anesthesia (which means you’ll be fully unconscious), but can also be performed using local anesthesia with intravenous sedation.

Your surgeon will likely use the same incision area as in your initial procedure.

  • If you are altering your breast size or implant position, your surgeon will adjust the space within the breast tissue to better accommodate the new implant. The placement of a bigger implant may necessitate expanding the implant pocket. In some cases, they may need to use an acellular dermal matrix (surgical mesh), to provide additional support within the breast tissue.
  • In cases of capsular contracture, where painful scar tissue builds around and compresses the implant, your doctor will discharge or extract the hardened capsule in a process known as a capsulectomy, before placing a new implant.
  • For patients with symmastia, scar tissue will likely need to be excised first. Subsequently, the unified pocket, which can result from excessive dissection along the middle chest, will need to be mended. The implants will then be separated and moved (or replaced with smaller implants), and permanent internal stitches will be used to maintain the implant’s proper position.
  • Certain women undergo a breast lift as a part of the revision surgery, which typically needs additional incisions. Based on the lift required, the incision can range from a small part of the areola to its entire circumference, with a vertical incision going down to the breast fold. If large amounts of sagging skin need to be removed, an incision along the breast crease may also be needed.

Upon regaining consciousness, your incisions will be covered with bandages, and you’ll be fitted with a surgical bra. Once the effects of the anesthesia subside, you'll be able to head home the same day. Ensure a trusted individual is present to safely take you home.

Does breast implant revision surgery hurt?

Anesthesia will be administered before the procedure, ensuring you won't experience any discomfort.

The healing phase post-revision surgery is usually less distressing than after the original breast augmentation. This is attributed to the pre-stretched submuscular pocket where the implant is positioned.

How long is breast implant revision recovery?

Most patients require 2 to 3 days of downtime post-revision, but the total recovery period can fluctuate based on the surgery's sophistication and the extent of tissue disruption.

A consensus among most physicians suggests that recovery following breast implant revision surgery is considerably smoother than after the initial breast enlargement.

Post-surgery, anticipate feelings of soreness and fatigue for up to 72 hours. You may also experience swelling and bruising.

Patients generally resume work a few days following the surgery, although it's advisable to maintain a lighter workload for the first 2 weeks.

During this healing phase, avoid lifting your arms above your head or carrying anything over 5kg. Easy movements, like walking, can stimulate blood circulation and alleviate swelling.

Adhere to all guidelines provided by your surgeon, which include maintaining hygienic incisions, wearing compression gear to minimize swelling, and consuming pain medication as required.

How soon can you see breast implant revision results?

You can anticipate preliminary results within 3 months, as most of the swelling diminishes, and the ultimate outcome around a year later, once all swelling has completely resolved.

It typically requires a minimum of 3 months for your newly augmented breasts to "drop and fluff," indicating that your natural breast tissue has adapted to the implant, and the muscles have loosened.

Throughout the first year post-surgery, scars will gradually fade. Silicone scar gels and creams can also help reduce the visibility of scarring.

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