Frequently Asked Questions: Breast Implant Revision or Removal
1. How can I tell if I need a breast implant revision?
If the breast feels hard, painful, has developed asymmetry, has become saggy, or if you are generally unhappy with the size, you may benefit from a breast revision.
2. Why consider a breast implant removal/exchange?
The implants should be removed when they are ruptured, when they become hard with thick scar tissue (capsule contracture), when they are asymmetric or if the patient is unhappy with the overall results of the augmentation.
3. What should be my main concerns when choosing new breast implant sizes?
Breast implants are optional and elective. They should meet your expectations in shape and size, but also need to be proportional to your body habits and figure. The size is important, but the projection and shape is as important, and the implants need to fit your body.
4. Can I increase the size of my existing breast implants?
Yes, the size of the implants can be increased to fit your body better, or to improve shape and projection. You can also downsize your implants, but in that case you may also need a breast lift to remove any redundant skin and prevent sagging breasts.
5. What are common breast implants complaints?
The most common complaint is capsule contracture, which means that the scar tissue around the implants becomes hard, the breast changes the shape and can even become painful, depending on how severe the capsule is. In cases where a breast lift is needed or recommended but the patient opts not to do the lift, a patient can be left with irregular breast shape, malposition of the breast, and/or saggy breast tissue.
6. How does breast implant revision work? Is it the same as a breast augmentation?
Depends on the reason for the revision. If all the patient wants is to be bigger, but the breast feels soft and looks good, it may be just as as augmentation, but if the patient needs to have the hard scar tissue removed, or the pocket adjusted, or the breast lifted, it will be a more complex procedure.
7. How does implant removal work?
It is hard to remove implants without replacing them, because the skin is stretched and the breast tissue is usually decreased after augmentation. The breast will look saggy and depleted. If the patient has enough native breast tissue and is a good candidate, the implants can be removed and the redundant skin can be tightened by performing a breast lift at the time of the removal.
8. How long should I wait before revising my breast implants?
Depends on what the motive for the revision is. If the implants are ruptured, they should be changed out rather soon, same as if the breast is encapsulated and painful. Other more elective reasons can wait until it is convenient for the patient.