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What Are the Most Common Reasons for Needing Breast Revision Surgery?

| May 9, 2022 September 12, 2023 | |

common reasons for needing breast revision surgery

Dissatisfaction with one’s breast size is usually the deciding factor why women opt for a breast augmentation procedure. But while a lot of those who undergo the procedure understand that implants have a limited lifespan, there are still a lot of possible reasons why women may consider having them changed.

A few of these reasons could be a mere change in personal preference, not being happy with the result of the first surgery, changes in breast appearance due to age or weight loss, or even medical concerns such as an aching back or capsular contractures.

Do You Need to Undergo Breast Revision Surgery?

Be it a need or a want, below are the common factors that should help you decide to go for a breast revision surgery:

Dissatisfied With The Results Of The First Procedure

Breast augmentation is a complex procedure that needs to be performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon. There is a chance that you might end up being dissatisfied with the outcome of your breast procedure at the hands of another surgeon. As a result of your breast augmentation, your new breast size and shape may turn out different from what you initially expected.

Implants may even move to an unintended location such as high above or below the chest, and they may even shift toward the armpits. It is, therefore, crucial to choose an experienced surgeon who understands your body and is able to meet your expectations.

Symmastia or Synmastia

In relation to the first reason, Symmastia is a specific outcome of a mishandled breast augmentation surgery. Symmastia occurs when the skin above the implant is pulled away from the chest. This causes the implants to move closer to one another. Little to no cleavage is a manifestation of Symmastia as a web of skin, fat, and tissue occupies the cleavage area.

Changes In Breast Symmetry

Breast symmetry can still change even if you have undergone breast augmentation. Gravity, natural aging, weight fluctuations, pregnancy, and breastfeeding can cause an uneven loss of density in your breasts.

Asymmetry can be corrected by choosing implants with different profiles or by performing a breast lift procedure on one side to regain the uniformity of breast appearance.

Double bubble deformity

A double bubble deformity happens when a breast implant falls below the natural fold between the bottom of the breast and the chest wall. A double bubble deformity is the result of incorrect implant placement or the implants may just be too large for the patient.

Implant Rupture

While they are built to last, there is always a chance of a ruptured implant along the way whether it is silicone or saline. It happens when implants get old or get pierced in an accident or during a biopsy. Because of implant leakage into the body, ruptured implants are a cause of concern and must be replaced immediately.

Capsular Contracture

Using silicone or saline implants means making use of foreign objects in breast augmentation surgery. Thinking that it should protect itself, the body’s reaction to these foreign objects is to build capsules around the implants over time.

Capsular contracture makes the breast feel hard due to the tightening of scar tissue surrounding the implant. It also causes immense pain to the patient. These discomforts are reasons enough to have them removed immediately.


Rippling usually happens to women with a particular body profile. It appears like wrinkles on the side of the breasts of thin women or women with small breasts and thin skin in their chest area. Rippling is an indication that the breast implants are too large for their chests.

Change Of Implant Size (Smaller Or Bigger)

Ending up with the wrong implant size after surgery is a very rare occurrence. However, there are women who want a change down the road. They wish they had chosen a bigger implant size for their first breast augmentation procedure.

On the other hand, others may realize that having bigger breasts could get in the way of their daily activities. Thus, they would consider having them revised for a smaller pair for a more natural look.

Going for a more natural procedure

Silicone and saline implants have a lifespan of between 10 and 20 years. They may also be removed or replaced should previously mentioned complications arise. This is why a more natural procedure such as fat grafting is a choice available to many women who want to keep having bigger breasts without having to rely on implants.

Also known as fat transfer, fat grafting begins by harvesting tissue from your fat-prone body part and injecting it into your breast area. There are a number of fat grafting options available, depending on which body part the fat is going to be sourced from.

Breast Implant Autoimmune Disease

Many breast augmentation patients have been reported to have suffered a number of conditions. These include memory loss, brain fog, dizziness, vertigo, and confusion. Other patients even experience physical ailments like joint pains and muscle aches, GERD symptoms, kidney pain, sinus infections, bladder, and urinary issues.

While some patients can show symptoms right after their breast augmentation procedure, others experience them years later. This used to receive little attention, but medical science has found in recent years that silicone and saline implants may have an association with autoimmune diseases.

Implant Removal Without Replacement

While most breast revision surgeries involve replacing an old or damaged implant, this option is a straightforward procedure wherein the implants are removed permanently. This is also referred to as explant surgery. However, explant surgery without replacement can cause loose skin around the chest since implants hold the build of the breasts.

Explant surgery is also applicable to breast cancer survivors as there are women who have chosen to go for implant reconstruction after their mastectomy. Still, there are also some breast cancer survivors who have gone straight to a flat closure procedure following their mastectomy as it has become more and more popular in recent years.

Interestingly, there are women who decide to “go flat” instead of replacing their breast implants. They believe that a “living flat” saves them from having another plastic surgery in the future. This decision also makes them feel more empowered as “living flat” is also a statement of the body positivity movement.

What You Should Know About Breast Revision Surgery?

You will need to schedule a doctor’s appointment where you will discuss your previous procedures and the desired results of your upcoming breast revision. Your surgeon will assess your health status as well as your existing breast implants.

In the days before your breast revision procedure, make sure that you follow your surgeon’s instructions on your diet, fitness, medications, and supplements. You may also need to refrain from consuming alcohol and tobacco products.

Since you will not be able to drive after your surgery, make sure to seek help from a friend or loved one for your transportation from the clinic. You will continue to need assistance with household chores as your body recovers from a breast revision.

Generally, recovery from a breast revision procedure is shorter and less painful than the initial breast surgery. Your surgeon will give you instructions on how to take care of your wound. While your surgeon will continue to meet you following your operation to check your progress, please do not hesitate to call the clinic should you have questions or concerns.

Know Your Options

As complications arise from your previous breast procedure or simply your personal preferences change, we at Midwest Breast & Aesthetic Surgery are always open for consultations regarding breast revision. Book an appointment with us today to help you decide the best available option for you.

About the Author

Dr. Ergun Kocak, MD, is a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in plastic and reconstructive surgery of the breast using DIEP, SIEA GAP, TUG, PAP, and direct-to-implant, in Columbus and Cincinnati, OH.
Follow Dr. Kocak on Twitter & Facebook!

*Our blog entries are written in order to further educate our patients and raise awareness towards topics related to plastic surgery. Any solutions offered on this blog are intended to help possible patients develop educated decisions before undergoing a consultation with our doctors.

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