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Will I need another surgery after my breast augmentation?

Will I need another surgery after my breast augmentation?

Breast implants, like most things in life, are not designed to last forever. Chances are, your breast implants will most likely need to be replaced at some point during your lifetime. Normal wear and tear over the course of years may cause the implant to leak or rupture, or to present some form of complication, such as shifting from its original position.

How long do implants last?

While in the past, it was assumed that implants would need to be replaced after 10 years, the current general consensus among plastic surgeons is that, in light of new materials and designs, breast implants may be expected to last from 10 to 25 years before revision surgery is needed.

According to a study conducted in 2011, as well as clinical findings among doctors who have been using silicone implants with their patients, about one out of every five patients, or about 20% of all breast implant patients, will need some sort of revision procedure after 10 years following an initial breast augmentation. This indicates that the remaining 80% of breast implant patients are typically not experiencing any problems at the 10-year mark.

Revision surgeries are typically required as a result of such problems as capsular contracture, which refers to excessive scarring inside the breast, or problems such as a ruptured implant, or an implant that has shifted out of place.

In other cases, a patient may simply want to try out a new look by using an implant of a different size or shape. Some may opt to switch from silicone to saline implants or vice versa.  It is very common for women to choose a different style of implant from the original when they return for implant revision surgery, as they use this as an opportunity to modify the implant to better suit their body as it has evolved over those 10 years.

Is it safe to leave implants in place after 10 years?

The FDA warns that the longer breast implants remain in place, the more the risk for complications increases. While different implants have varying lifespans, the FDA advises caution and warns that “few people may keep their original implants for 20 to 30 years.”

Nevertheless, the best judge of this will be your plastic surgeon.  If you haven’t had any problems with your implants at the 10-year mark, schedule an appointment with your plastic surgeon at this point just to have them check on the status of the implants and make sure everything is ok.  If your doctor notices anything abnormal, they may recommend a revision procedure at this time.

Conversely, if at any time before the 10-year mark you notice anything that doesn’t feel quite right about your implants, definitely schedule an appointment and have the implant checked by your surgeon.

Likewise, if you aren’t completely happy with the size and shape of your implants, you can opt for a revision surgery at any time following the original procedure.

How is revision surgery performed?

The process will be very similar to your initial breast augmentation surgery.  Dr. Bachilo, a very skilled and trusted plastic surgeon, normally performs breast augmentation revision surgery under general anesthesia.  Typically, the procedure is performed using the same incisions that were used during your initial surgery, so no additional scarring will result from the revision surgery.

What about recovery and downtime?

As with your initial breast augmentation procedure, you will need to have someone drive you home after the procedure, and prepare in advance to have assistance around the house during the recovery period, during which you will have to refrain from strenuous activities for about two weeks. You may experience soreness, tenderness, and bruising in the breasts for several days following the procedure, and Dr.Bachilo will recommend that you wear a compression bra for several weeks to help the delicate breast tissue heal optimally.

How soon can I get breast revision surgery after breast augmentation?

We recommend waiting a minimum of six months after breast augmentation to undergo a breast revision, as you will want to allow your body to heal fully as well as letting your implants settle into place before making your final decision.


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