5 Signs You May Need Breast Implant Revision Surgery

By Chuma Chike-Obi, MD September 6, 2017 One Comment

breast implant revision

While breast implants are manufactured to be highly durable and stay intact for many years, they can be prone to failure at some period over their lifetime. Like pacemakers, hip replacers, and many other medical devices, breast implants may need to be replaced at some point.

In general many plastic surgeons believe that implant revision is unnecessary unless the patient is no longer happy with the look and feel of their breasts. Here are 5 common signs that you may benefit from a breast implant revision.

Implant Rupture

All breast implants, whether silicone, saline, or structured silicone (gummy bear implants) can rupture. While the chances of a rupture are relatively low, any degree of implant rupturing can result in notable changes to breast size, shape, or symmetry.

Rupture in saline implants result in a rapid “deflating” of the breast as liquid saline rushes out of the implant. Silicone, while being more viscous, results in a slower altering of breast shape or no discernible change at all. However, if either type of implant becomes ruptured or suffers from another form of damage they will need to be removed or replaced.

You should see your plastic surgeon if you are concerned about a potential rupture.

Implant Repositioning

All breast implants, over time, can shift or move.  Sometimes the breast tissues thin out over time leading to decreased support for the implant.  A revision procedure can relocate (and reinforce) the implants to their original positioning.  There are a variety of techniques to achieve this goal including suture techniques, thermal techniques, and mesh reinforcement.

Body Changes

Many women will deal with significant body changes due to weight fluctuations, natural aging, pregnancy, or illness. These body changes can alter the way your breasts look even if your breast implants themselves do not have any issues. For example, if a woman loses a significant amount of weight after undergoing breast augmentation, the implants can look too large or have an unnatural appearance (as fat and breast tissue is reduced).

Conversely a woman who gains a significant amount of weight after receiving their implants may experience stretching of the skin around the breasts or gains in breast tissue, resulting in a disproportional look.

Implant revision surgery can adjust the size and placement of the implants to enhance the chest area after changes to the body.  Fat can be placed around the implants to provide more natural contours if necessary.

Feel Issues

Breasts that are enhanced using implants should still feel natural, as the implant is placed under existing breast tissue. However it is possible for some women who have undergone breast augmentation to develop capsular contracture, a complication where the body’s immune system reacts to the implant by creating scar tissue around it. Capsular contracture can result in hardening of the breasts as well as shifting or distortion of the implant. Capsular contracture is what happens when the normally thin layer of scar that forms around a breast implant becomes too thick.  Revision surgery can correct this problem by revising the pocket to house the implant better.  This often involves removing the capsule and placing a fresh implant.

Desired Size Changes

Patients who desire changing the size of their implant is not uncommon. Some women decide to go with a smaller size implant after realizing that their original implant is too large and no longer fits with their lifestyle. In other instances, the patient may wish to go larger in order to greater accentuate their chest. Either way, revision surgery is allows the patient to change the size of their implants.

To learn more about breast implant revision surgery please read this case study or view our before and after photo gallery


Chuma Chike-Obi, MD

Chuma Chike-Obi, MD completed a 6 year residency with the Division of Plastic Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine and Affiliate hospitals in Houston, Texas. Dr. Chike-Obi specializes in cosmetic surgery, including facelift, blepharoplasty, breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty, and reconstructive breast surgery.

One Response to “5 Signs You May Need Breast Implant Revision Surgery”

  1. Ridley says:

    It’s good to know when breast augmentation may be needed. My wife just had our second child, and so she knows about these body changes you’ve mentioned. She’s been looking into this, and I’ll be sure to tell her that I support her.

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