Breast Implant Revision Surgery (Breast Implant Replacement or Removal) – The Woodlands, TX*

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About Breast Revision Surgery

Breast augmentation using implants is one of the most effective cosmetic procedures in America, and in many cases creates terrific outcomes. There are always exceptions, which is why our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Paul S. Gill performs breast implant revision surgery for women who no longer want their implants. At The Gill Center for Plastic Surgery and Dermatology, we consult with women who wish to remove or replace their implants for health, cosmetic, or personal reasons. In talking with his or another plastic surgeon's former breast augmentation patient, Dr. Gill has discerned that many women no longer want implants because her lifestyle changed, or she wants to replace old implants. Then there are also patients who need the implants out for health reasons like breast cancer — even if it is unrelated to the implant, an implant removal is a necessary part of treatment. Since implants do not last a lifetime, it may just be time to exchange them out, correct a ripple, or remove hardened scar tissue.

Whatever your reason is to have your implants removed, we are here to listen and assist you in determining the next course of action in your plastic surgery journey. Make an appointment at The Gill Center for Plastic Surgery and Dermatology in Woodlands, TX. In his experience, Dr. Gill has performed breast implant revision surgery for his patients so that each one can live her healthiest life.

Ideal Candidates

Should you have any issues (either medical or aesthetic) after breast augmentation surgery, please make a consultative appointment with Dr. Gill to go over your options and to develop your personalized plan for breast revision surgery. Whether it's scar tissue, drooping or sagging, ripples under the skin, or breast asymmetry, revision surgery can correct the irregularity. This operation may also be appropriate for you if you are wanting to alter the implant style, size, or shape. We look forward to having a conversation with you about why you think you would make an ideal candidate for a breast revision. Dr. Gill wants your input so that he can make recommendations based on what can be done and what you envision your breast will look like after the surgery.

Common Reasons for Revision

Breast revision surgery either removes an implant that is not functioning properly or is no longer desired. Breast revision surgery may also be performed to change implant size or go from an implant to a fat transfer (or vice versa). There are other common situations where a revision treatment is desired or required:

Asymmetry

This condition occurs when the implant sizes look disproportionate. This may be due to an incorrect size implant, or sagging on one side, or a different condition that may cause asymmetry. An in-depth evaluation would need to take place to determine what is leading to the asymmetry, then a revision surgery would be needed to resolve the problem, and finally a new set of breast implants would be positioned to create a symmetrical result.

Bottoming Out

This is a problem that happens if one or both implants "bottom out" or drop too low. Sometimes this is a case of a positioning error from the original breast augmentation surgery. To modify this, a different placement technique may be needed. For some patients, tissue grafting most likely will be needed, in addition to a surgically formed pocket to fit the new implant. For many patients, going to a silicone breast implant usually will solve this issue.

Breast Size

Sometimes a secondary breast surgery is as straightforward as getting a smaller or larger sized breast implant. During the first surgery, you may have opted to go too conservative or gone a bit too large. A different implant size can be placed to reach the desired appearance.

Capsular Contracture

This is known as scar tissue hardening, occurring when the delicate tissue that surrounds the saline or silicone implant becomes thick and hard. Although many implant surgeries do create some internal scar tissue, most women will never see or feel it. In some circumstances, the hardening tissue could interfere with implant placement, which can change the breast shape and implant functionality and deliver an undesirable outcome. Capsular contracture surgery to eliminate scarring would be recommended.

Implant Rippling

This condition occurs when you see obvious rippling and wrinkles under the skin. This irregularity typically forms just along the edging of the implant. Rippling is generally found in patients who are of low body weight. Many times, this issue can be fixed by simply switching to a silicone breast implant.

Implant Rupture

Even though this represents a small percent of cases, breast implant rupture can possibly occur. When a saline implant type ruptures, the implant will deflate almost immediately. Because of this, a visible flattening will be noticeable. Meanwhile, if the implant is silicone based and ruptures, it is only seen via an MRI. Whether silicone or saline, when a rupture occurs, a replacement procedure will be required.

Symmastia

Symmastia is a condition that takes place when breast implants are inserted and placed too closely together. Most often, this is because the breast implant used was the incorrect shape and width. A revision treatment will repair this problem by using an implant that fits your frame and will be placed in the right position.

Surgical Techniques

When you undergo breast implant removal surgery with Dr. Gill, you will be placed under a general anesthetic in most cases. This outpatient procedure usually takes an hour or less. Dr. Gill will first make an incision either around the nipple/areola complex or in the breast crease (usually in the same location as your first breast augmentation). Through this incision, he will remove the implant. As saline implants are inflated with the solution once they have been placed, he may deflate the implant before proceeding. Once Dr. Gill has lifted out your implant, he will close the incisions with sutures and apply a sterile dressing and tape.

What to Expect

Following your breast implant removal surgery, you should expect a few days of downtime and up to three weeks before resuming your normal activities. Initially, you may experience swelling, bruising and discomfort, but Dr. Gill may prescribe medication to manage your pain. The swelling may also cause changes in nipple and breast sensation. Revision surgery that warrants complex revision techniques will need a longer recovery that could possibly last up to 6 – 8 weeks. You should slowly start to see your surgical results when the bruising and swelling begins to fade. Dr. Gill or someone on his team will discuss what should be expected while you heal with practical recommendations for a faster recovery. You should go to all follow-up visits as directed by Dr. Gill so he can monitor your healing and results.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does breast revision surgery cost?
Your cost for breast revision surgery will vary based on the complexity of your procedure. In your consultation, Dr. Gill will listen carefully to your needs and goals before completing a physical examination of your implants. After this, he will talk about your choices before creating your treatment plan. The total cost of revision surgery will be based on the complexity of the procedure, plus your new implants. It's better to concentrate on getting great results by finding a skilled cosmetic surgeon, like Dr. Gill, instead of the cheapest surgeon. As a way to help make your surgery affordable, The Gill Center for Plastic Surgery and Dermatology accepts many different payments and we will give you information on low-interest financing.

What if Dr. Gill wasn't my original surgeon?
Dr. Gill can perform your revision surgery even if he was not the surgeon who did your original breast augmentation. Revision surgery is sometimes more difficult compared to augmentation surgery especially if you want significant changes or have problems, which is why it is best to find a cosmetic surgeon like Dr. Gill who has advanced training and experience in breast surgery. He also welcomes his patients to come back to The Gill Center for Plastic Surgery and Dermatology for revision surgery after their augmentation surgery if they notice an issue or would like new implants.

What about loose skin?
When you are getting your implants exchanged or removed, you may want to have excess skin removed as well. After hearing your goals and evaluating your current implants, Dr. Gill can discuss adding a breast lift to remove sagging skin. If you lose a lot of weight, get pregnant, or breastfeed after augmentation surgery, a revision with a lift gives you better results.

Will there be new scars?
When possible, Dr. Gill will make incisions for revision surgery in the original augmentation incisions. If this isn't possible, he will place the revision incisions where they are least visible. Revision surgery may use a trans-axillary incision (in the armpit), a periareolar incision (at the lower border of the areola), an inframammary incision (beneath the breast fold), or TUBA incision (through the belly button). Dr. Gill or a member of his team will explain scar care instructions so your incisions heal smoothly and blend with your skin.

Do I have to change my implants?
Although implants are long lasting, they do require replacement eventually. Once you've had augmentation surgery, it's important to get your implants examined at least once a year so Dr. Gill can help you determine if your implants need to be exchanged. With frequent advances in medical technology, you may prefer the new implant types and shapes to get a better outcome from breast revision surgery.

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Average Cost  
$7,000 - $10,000
Recovery Time  
4 - 7 Days
Average Procedure Time  
1 - 2.5 Hours
Procedure Recovery Location  
Outpatient
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While there’s no such thing as the "perfect" breast augmentation, an ideal breast augmentation is one that achieves your aesthetic goals without resulting in any unwanted complications. When health problems, implant complications, or lifestyle changes require a breast implant revision surgery, Dr. Gill at The Gill Center for Plastic Surgery and Dermatology. If you notice a visible defect with your breast augmentation results or desire a different result, we invite you to get in touch with our The Woodlands, TX office to make your appointment. There are so many factors to consider and Dr. Gill will perform a breast assessment, create your revision treatment plan, discuss realistic outcomes and expectations. Make your appointment today.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.