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    No.176: The Breast Implant Revision Guide

    The Breast Implant Revision Guide

    More than 300,000 women opted for breast implants in 2018, whether for cosmetic reasons, for gender-affirming top surgery, or for reconstruction after breast cancer treatment. However you’ve arrived at the decision to receive implants, breast reconstructive surgery signifies a new beginning in a new body. 

    But it’s not as simple as getting your implants and being on your way: You may be surprised to learn that implants need to be replaced eventually, or you may opt for additional breast implant revisions to modify or improve your look. Here’s what you need to know about breast implant revisions, and how AnaOno implant bras and recovery clothing can support you as you heal.

    What Is A Breast Implant Revision?

    A breast implant revision is a procedure that replaces your old implants with new ones. The goal of this procedure varies from case to case: You may need to replace an old or leaking implant, your implant may have issues that impact breast appearance or your comfort, or you may want to improve the appearance if you were unhappy with the implant results the first time around.

    Breast implant revision

    When Do You Need A Breast Implant Revision?

    You’re thinking about a revision or it may soon be time to update your implants, but aren’t sure when it’s the right time to have the procedure. Here are a few common reasons you may want to undergo a breast implant replacement: 

    Your implants leak or have ruptured

    One thing to consider when considering breast implants is the maintenance of the implant itself. While most implants can last between 10 to 20 years,  up to 20% of individuals may need a breast implant revision between 8 to 10 years. In addition, there’s always a chance that the silicone implant may have a “leak,” which could be a reason for revision surgery. 

    You Want More Symmetrical Breasts 

    Perhaps your first plastic surgery left your breasts looking a little lopsided  --- yikes! While it’s common for your breasts to be slightly asymmetrical, if there is a very noticeable difference, you may feel more confident after an additional procedure to adjust your implants.

    You Want To Change Breast Implant Size, Shape, Or Appearance

    After the swelling has subsided and you’ve fully healed after receiving breast implants, you may realize you don’t like their appearance. Perhaps your breasts are too large, too close together, or are beginning to sag. This is a valuable, and valid, reason to undergo breast implant revision 

    You’ve Experienced Significant Weight loss Or Gain

    It’s completely normal to gain or lose a few pounds throughout your life, and it won’t affect your implants. However, significant weight loss or gain can affect the appearance of your implants. Significant weight loss can cause your implants to droop or sag, losing the firm aesthetic you previously had. Weight gain won’t necessarily make your implants look odd, but it may increase your cup size, which may be disproportionate. In addition, weight loss or gain can cause your implant to shift, causing your breasts to become asymmetrical. 

    What Are The Costs Associated With A Breast Implant Revision?

    While prices may vary depending on your location, your surgeon, and your insurance benefits, here’s a list of average prices you can expect to pay when undergoing a breast implant revision:

    • The implant itself: The price may vary depending on if you want or need a  silicone or saline implant.  Saline implants are filled with a sterile saline solution, while a silicone implant is a newer and softer version that’s pre-filled with silicone gel. The implant you go with depends on your unique circumstances, and of course, your budget. Typically, a silicone implant is around $1,800 for a pair, while saline is $800 for a pair. 
    • Surgeon fees: The cheaper option isn’t always the best option or the right one for you. You want to find a board-certified plastic surgeon with significant breast implant revision experience who also has good reviews of their work.  Surgeon fees can vary depending on your location and your surgeon’s experience, but this out of pocket cost can be in the thousands.
    • Location: What may be an average price in Los Angeles can be higher than the price in Gulf Shores, Alabama. The cost will be influenced by where you live or where you plan to undergo the procedure.
    • Anesthesia: General anesthesia for the procedure (plus the anesthesiologist and other staff) is another cost to consider. Anesthesiologists can cost a few hundred dollars or more, depending on your location and the complexity of the procedure.
    • Medications: You’ll be sore after recovery, and pain medication and other supplies may be necessary to help keep you comfortable as you heal. Pain medications such as codeine are one of the smaller expenses you’ll have.
    • Post surgery visits:Your implant revision doesn’t stop when you go home from the hospital. You’ll need to follow up with your surgeon, and you may also need physical therapy after recovery. The cost per visit can vary wildly depending on your insurance coverage -- or lack thereof.

    Considering these factors, a typical breast implant revision procedure can cost anywhere  between $4,500 to $13,500 or more. Speak with your hospital, surgical team, and insurance company for more specifics about breast implant revision cost.

    How To Find A Breast Implant Revision Surgeon

    To find the best surgeon for you, there are a few things to consider before choosing. The top factors to research are how experienced your surgeon is, the reviews they’ve received from clients, their credentials, where you plan to have your procedure done, and the overall price of the procedure. If you’re thinking about undergoing breast implant revision surgery, visit the  American Society of Plastic Surgeons to find an accredited and experienced surgeon. 

    Breast Implant Revision Recovery

    How Long Does It Take To Recover After A Breast Implant Revision?

    Recovery time can vary for each individual depending on the extent of the surgery and your individual circumstances, but the  average is around four to six weeks. Typically, you can return to some normal activity after a week or two resting at home. However, you should avoid any vigorous activity for a few weeks or until your surgeon clears you to resume those activities. Swelling and bruising will typically fade within a few weeks as well. 

    What Garments Should You Wear After A Breast Implant Revision?

    There’s likely to be some discomfort following your surgery -- sore breasts, pectoral muscles, and arms are all to be expected. Due to this, it’s important to find loose, comfortable clothing that you can easily slip in and out of. You might wonder,does this mean I get to wear pajamas?Maybe not for work, but for lounging, yes! After surgery, the best clothing to opt for is loose blouses, button-ups, zip-up hoodies, and loungewear -- at least until swelling and pain subside and your normal range of motion returns.

    What you wear can also depend on whether or not you have drainage tubes in the week or two following your surgery. These tubes help facilitate healing, but they can hurt if you accidentally tug on them. This is why it’s so important to find clothing specifically to keep these tubes in place to best support post-surgery aftercare. The  AnaOno Miena Robe is not only ultra-soft, but it comes with a drain management belt that has two pouches attached for post-surgery drain management. 

    Miena Recovery Robe

    Shop the Miena Robe

    After surgery, your doctor will recommend finding a post-surgery bra to help support your breasts as you heal. When searching for the perfect bra, you want to look for one that is comfortable, easy to put on, and provides reliable support without stiff underwire or unforgiving molded cups. One great post-surgery option includes the  Bianca bra, which is a front-closure, supportive bra that provides unparalleled softness and comfort both after surgery and for years to come. It is offered in both black and sand, and comes in sizes XS to 3X. Curious about other AnaOno options?  View our post-surgery collection to find the best bra that’ll support you after your breast implant revision.

    Implant Recovery Bra

    Shop the Bianca Front Closure Sports Bra

    Breast Implant Revision After Mastectomy And Reconstruction

    A little over 40 percent of breast cancer patients opt for breast reconstruction of any kind, and only a portion of those women opt for implants. Those women will need to replace their implants or potentially revise them for other reasons, just like their counterparts who underwent the same surgery for cosmetic or gender affirming reasons.

    When it comes to breast implants after a mastectomy, there are a few things to consider. The first thing to do is talk to your doctor to determine if breast implants are the right avenue for you, as not every breast cancer patient is a candidate for reconstruction. If you are a candidate and you opt for implants, you may face the same complications and issues as other folks who’ve had breast implants, with the added element of cancer screenings and wellness visits to ensure your cancer remains in remission.

    Speak to your insurance company as well, because your surgery may be covered by health insurance due to it not being strictly cosmetic. Revisions may or may not be covered beyond the initial implant; this is specific to your policy and the circumstances may change.

    Find Your Perfect Post-Surgery At AnaOno

    At AnaOno, our mantra is that no two breasts are alike, and no one bra can work for everyone. Your unique needs as someone who underwent a breast implant revision are no different. From the initial recovery stages to a supportive bra that supports you day in and day out, AnaOno’s comfortable yet sexy lingerie options prioritize your healing first and foremost. Check out the  full collection of bras for breast reconstruction for tons of gorgeous options for your new (or newly renewed) breast implants.

    Shop Bras For Breast Reconstruction

    Dana Donofree

    Dana Donofree

    Founder and CEO of AnaOno. After a diagnosis of breast cancer in her late 20’s, Dana took her own lived experience and fashion design background and (re)designed intimates for those that have undergone breast surgery. Dana’s story has been published around the world in outlets like New York Times, BBC, Huffington Post, The Today Show, and more.