Is Breast Revision Right for You?

When you had your breast augmentation, lift or reduction, you expected your results to look and feel a certain way — but even the most carefully mapped out plastic surgery may not turn out the way patients or surgeons pictured. Perhaps your body healed differently than predicted, and your results look uneven or unnatural. Maybe you feel as though your surgeon misunderstood your goals, and the shape or size of your new breasts is not what you wanted. Or perhaps the surgery and recovery went as planned, but you have decided that your new breasts are not quite right for your body. If you are having any of these concerns or are otherwise unhappy with the outcome of your primary breast surgery, you do not need to feel as though you are stuck with breasts that do not make you feel beautiful and confident. You may be a candidate for a breast revision surgery to correct or change your initial results.If you are considering revision surgery after a breast augmentation, lift or reduction, you should be sure to pursue your procedure with a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast revisions. These secondary surgeries require different approaches and techniques to ensure the patient’s safety and improve outcomes. For patients seeking breast revision in the Banff, Calgary and Canmore area, Dr. Elizabeth Hall-Findlay of Banff Plastic Surgery can offer the guidance and expertise you need to address your concerns and get the results you are hoping for. Learn more about the revision procedures we provide below, or contact us today at 403-762-2055 to schedule a consultation at our offices in Canmore, Alberta.

The Right Procedure

On the surface, breast revision may simply seem like having the same breast procedure performed a second time. However, an experienced revision surgeon knows that in order for the revision to be successful, highly specific aspects of the initial surgery must be taken into account. Adjustments must be made to the surgical plan to minimize the risk of the patient’s concerns recurring after their second surgery. In addition, revision surgeons must work with and around the incisions or scar tissue from the previous procedure, without causing more visible scarring.

Your revision consultation will include not only a discussion of your aesthetic goals, but also a thorough evaluation of your results and why you are unhappy with them. You may also discuss the reasons why your first surgery was performed a certain way, as some techniques or limitations are in place for patient safety. Dr. Hall-Findlay will analyze your prior procedure and recovery process to understand what should and can be done differently this time, and will create a custom revision surgery plan that will account for all of your needs.

The Right Patient

To be a candidate for a breast revision, you must have already had one or more cosmetic breast surgeries such as breast augmentation, a breast lift (mastopexy) or a breast reduction. We typically require that patients are at least six months post-op from their first surgery before pursuing a revision, as this gives the breasts time to settle into their new shape so patients can make an informed decision about their final results. There may be an exception if a patient is experiencing complications that require immediate revision.

Patients should be in good general health and should be able to accept the risks and limitations of breast revision surgery. It is especially important for revision patients to have reasonable expectations about what cosmetic breast surgery can accomplish, as breast surgery may be limited by a patient’s overall health or body type. Dr. Hall-Findlay will work personally with you during your consultation to help you understand the breast revision process, to explain why you may or may not be a good candidate for revision and to inform you about your options moving forward.

The Right Reasons

Breast revision surgery is appropriate to address a broad range of concerns following cosmetic breast surgery. The right reasons for seeking revision will depend on the type of primary breast procedure you had performed as well as your new aesthetic goals.

Breast Augmentation Revision

Revising a breast augmentation may involve replacing the breast implants for a different size or shape; removing breast implants; addressing asymmetry from augmentation with fat grafting; or addressing complications like capsular contracture, rippling or visible scarring. If you are experiencing any of the following problems, you may be able to achieve better results after a breast augmentation revision:

  • Your implants are too small or too large
  • Your breast shape is too projected or not projected enough
  • Your implants healed poorly (capsular contracture, asymmetry, dark or ropy scarring)
  • You have lost weight resulting in visible implant edges
  • You are experiencing asymmetrical fat resorption or implant-related asymmetry
  • Your breasts were initially fine but have since sagged after pregnancies

Breast augmentation revision may not be possible or advised if:

  • Your implants are smaller than you would like, but larger implants would be unsafe
  • Your asymmetry with implants or after fat grafting falls within a normal range
  • You have a history of problems healing after surgery with breast implants

Breast Lift Revision

Breast lift revision most often involves correcting asymmetries in breast projection or nipple placement following a breast lift. Women who had a combined lift and augmentation may choose to revise the lift portion of their procedure while leaving their implants in place. A breast lift revision may also be appropriate for women who had their first breast lift several years ago and are experiencing significant breast sagging again. Some common concerns that indicate a breast lift revision surgery may be appropriate include:

  • Breasts that sit unevenly on the chest wall
  • Visible dark or ropy scarring, particularly around the areola
  • Asymmetrical nipple-areola complexes
  • A nipple-areola complex that is too large
  • Breasts that have since changed shape and/or size after pregnancies A

breast lift revision may not be appropriate if:

  • Your concerns are more focused on your breast size
  • You are planning to lose weight or have children in the future
  • Your scar severity and/or skin type means that you are unlikely to have improvements in visible scarring after revision

Breast Reduction Revision

Revisions for breast reductions may focus on either changing breast size or correcting breast asymmetry. Some patients find that they did not reduce enough breast tissue to alleviate symptoms of back, shoulder or neck pain and wish to reduce their breast size further. In fact, removing too much breast tissue at one time may be unsafe, so some women need to have more than one reduction surgery before they reach their target size. Other women — particularly younger women who undergo a reduction — find that their breast tissue becomes enlarged again over time, and choose a revision to address this. You may be a good candidate for breast reduction revision if your concerns include:

  • Breasts that are still too large
  • Breasts that are too small
  • Breast projection, breast size or nipple-areola complex asymmetry
  • Breasts that have increased in size since the primary reduction surgery
  • Breasts that have sagged after pregnancy

Revision breast reduction surgery may not be right for you if:

  • You cannot safely remove more breast tissue
  • Your asymmetry falls within a normal range
  • You are not a good candidate for breast augmentation (if you feel that your breasts are now too small)

The Right Time

You may choose to revise your breast surgery between 6 and 12 months after recovery or several years after your initial surgery. It is equally common for women to know right away that their new breasts are not what they wanted, or for women to decide later that their lifestyle or stage of life would better align with a different breast size or shape. Both types of patient should pursue their procedure with a surgeon who specializes in revision for best results.

We typically advise waiting to undergo any breast surgery — whether a primary or revision procedure — until you are finished having children or you are happy with your weight. Pregnancy or weight fluctuations can interfere with your long-term results and could mean that you would need further revisions in the future.

Dr. Hall-Findlay will always be honest and open with patients about whether their concerns will be adequately addressed with a breast revision, and she will never recommend a surgery that will put you at increased risk or might not deliver the results you want. To learn more about breast revision and to find out if you are a candidate, please contact Banff Plastic Surgery to schedule your consultation. Our comfortable offices are conveniently located between Banff and Calgary in Three Sisters, Canmore, Alberta. Call us today at 403-762-2055 to get started.

Let us answer your questions