What Is Breast Implant Revision?

Breast implant revision is the surgical removal and/or replacement of silicone or saline implants. This procedure is utilized in order to change the size or shape of previously placed breast implants, or to correct complications that arose from a previous breast augmentation. It can also be to completely remove a previous implant and/or the surrounding implant capsule.

Should I Have Breast Implant Revision?

Even if you were satisfied with your initial breast augmentation, the size, shape, and symmetry of your breasts can still change over time due to natural occurrences such as aging, pregnancy or weight loss. Patients who suffer from capsular contracture, implant rupture or implant rippling can also benefit from this procedure. If you are unhappy with how your breasts look, the next logical step would be to look into breast implant revision.

It is important to consult with Dr. Buchanan, or a board-certified plastic surgeon, to determine if this procedure will benefit you. Dr. Buchanan will check that you are in good overall health and check your full medical history. If you smoke, Dr. Buchanan advises to stop smoking for at least six weeks pre and post surgery.


While you may see an immediate change in your breasts when the bandages are removed, your breasts will still change over the next few months. It takes roughly six months for the swelling to completely subside and for breasts to “drop” into their final position. Scarring will also need plenty of time to completely heal. Depending on your genetics, it can sometimes take up to one year for scars to fade and settle. 

Once your breasts have settled into their final position, you can expect beautiful, symmetrical results that will last long-term. The best way to preserve long-lasting results is to adhere to a healthy diet and exercise regimen, maintain a consistent weight, and follow any recommendations that Dr. Buchanan provides.

How Much Does Breast Implant Revision Surgery Cost?

The cost of a Breast Revision surgery varies significantly depending on the complexity of your case and the geographic location of where the surgery is performed. It’s also important to note that the procedure amount does not reflect additional surgery costs, including:

– Anesthesia fees
– Operating room costs
– Blood or additional medical testing
– Compression garments for post-surgery
– Prescriptions
– Miscellaneous expenses, such as surgeon’s fees

Additionally, the cost of the procedure can be affected by the following circumstances:
The amount of experience and overall reputation of your surgeon. You’ll find that surgeon’s with many years of experience, or that are highly regarded, will typically cost more.
The techniques the surgeon uses for the procedure and the complexity of the case.
Where your surgeon’s practice is located. Typically, larger cities have higher operational costs and are more expensive.

If you’ve considered a tummy tuck surgery, but feel like you are limited financially, speak to Dr. Buchanan or one of the VIVIFY staff members about financing options. We do our best to work with each patient by offering financing plans to help her achieve her surgical goals.

Will Insurance Cover My Breast Implant Revision?

Typically, health insurance companies do not cover breast implant revision because it is considered a cosmetic enhancement procedure; however, they sometimes make an exception to this rule if the revision is performed as part of a reconstruction surgery after a cancer diagnosis. Do your research before proceeding with this surgery and check with your health insurance provider. It is important to be clear on your financial responsibility before undergoing any surgery.

Top Tips for a Speedy Recovery

– Try to incorporate light movement and activity to promote blood circulation soon after surgery. This will also help to prevent blood clots.
– Position yourself to sleep on your back for the first few weeks post-op. Do your best to avoid sleeping on your side.
– Avoid external stressors, such as exercise, excessive bending, or heavy lifting.
– Get plenty of rest and eat a healthy diet.
– Dr. Buchanan or one of the VIVIFY team members will advise on when you can safely resume normal activities such as showering, washing your hair, going back to work and operating a vehicle.
– Keep your wounds clean and dry to avoid infection.
– Avoid wearing a bra that contains an underwire. We recommend wearing a surgical bra or a sports bra until your wounds have completely healed and all of the soreness has subsided, typically 8 weeks, post-op.
– Avoid direct sun exposure to your breasts. This could lead to discoloration and permanent scarring.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Research has shown that silicone implants do not cause breast cancer. Having implants may change the way in which your breasts are imaged for surveillance exams such as mammography but will not delay or alter a cancer detection or diagnosis.

Also, there is a minimal, but increased risk of developing a rare type of cancer of the immune system called breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). This cancer can form in the breast tissue, but is not the same as breast cancer. This cancer has only been associated with textured breast implants, which are not commonly used for most augmentations.

For most women, breast implants do not prohibit them from breastfeeding. However, roughly 1% to 5% of women who do not have breast implants cannot breastfeed for other medical reasons, and there is no way of knowing prior to surgery if you fall within this statistic.

By FDA standards, a women needs to be at least 18 years of age in order to receive saline breast implants, and at least 22 years old to receive silicone implants.

The cost of breast revision surgery will vary depending on where you have the procedure done, and what type of implants you choose. Additionally, if a breast lift is needed this will also affect the cost of the surgery. The only way to get an exact price quote is to come in for a consultation.

You can expect to have some mild discomfort and pain after breast revision surgery. Pain depends on the placement of the implant. In general, submuscular placement is more painful than subglandular placement. Pain is manageable with the right pain treatment. About 3-7 days post-op, most patients are off of the strong pain medications and can use an over-the-counter pain reducer, like Tylenol.

Generally speaking, implants have no expiration date. However, they are not meant to be lifetime devices. There is a good chance that over the lift of the implant, you may have to have a revisions procedure to replace the implant and/or alter the breast size or shape around the implant.  

A discussion with your board certified plastic surgeon is the best way to find the implant size that is right for you. The ultimate decision will depend on your anatomy, your measurements, and your overall goals. We also utilize Crisalix, a virtual reality 3D imaging software, that can help to visualize different implants on a patient’s 3D rendering to assist in making implant selections.  

Swelling should be mostly gone by six weeks. It may take up to 3-6 months for the final results to be revealed. For more information, please contact our office to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Buchanan.

As mentioned above, vigorous exercise is discouraged for a minimum of two weeks post-surgery to avoid early complications. After that you can return to normal exercise with the exception of any chest activity (pushing, pulling, and heavy lifting) which will be limited for 6 weeks after surgery. After six weeks, you can gradually ease back into your normal routine.

Breasts will fall into their final position typically three to six months post-op.

We recommend elastic, stretchy bras, or a surgical, compression bra after surgery. Avoid bras that have an underwire or lots of internal padding and structure until 6 weeks after surgery. You want a bra that offers snug compression and good support without being overly tight and distorting the breasts.

We typically recommend anywhere from three to seven days, depending on your individual circumstance and work requirements. Discuss your specific work duties with Dr. Buchanan if there are any questions.