What is breast reconstruction revision?

Sometimes, complications arise after breast reconstruction surgery that follows treatment for cancer — or the results of the surgery aren’t what you hoped for. For example, if you had implant-based reconstruction, an infection can necessitate removal of implants, or your implants can shift. If you had autologous flap reconstruction, you might not be pleased with your breast shape or symmetry.

Corrective surgery can happen soon after your reconstruction surgery, or much later. If you’re experiencing any of the following issues or aren’t happy with the look of your breasts after reconstruction surgery, the team at Rush can perform corrective procedures that will help you return to looking and feeling your best:

  • A lump or area of excessive firmness
  • Breast asymmetry
  • Breast pain or discomfort
  • Changes in breast size, shape or position
  • Feeling of chest tightness
  • Shift in the position of the implant, or an implant that was never positioned correctly

How breast reconstruction revision works

Your surgeon will talk to you about your situation and customize a treatment plan. Depending on the issues you’re having, your surgeon might recommend replacing your implants, or reshaping the breast by harvesting fat from another part of your body via liposuction and injecting it into the breast. A breast lift, or a breast augmentation or breast reduction to adjust breast size could also be part of your plan. Whatever the approach, your surgeon’s goal will be to create breasts that look and feel natural and symmetrical.

How long does it take to recover from breast reconstruction revision?

Your recovery time will depend on the procedure(s) you have — and as with every surgery, recovery is highly individual. During your consultation, your doctor will talk with you about what to expect.

Physicians Offering Breast Reconstruction Revision

Keith Hood, MD

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

George Kokosis, MD

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

David Kurlander, MD

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Loren Schechter, MD

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Deana Shenaq, MD

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Reconstruction Revision

Q. I had implants placed in my reconstructed breasts but am no longer happy with how they look. What are my options for revision?

A. You have a number of options, including replacing your older implants with new, state-of-the-art implants or removing the implants and having a reconstruction that uses a tissue flap from your own body (this is known as autologous reconstruction). Your surgeon will talk with you about which approach would work best for your goals.

Q. I had a tissue flap taken from my abdomen for my first reconstruction surgery. Will that site be used again if I have a revision?

A. If your surgeon recommends another tissue-based reconstructive procedure, this time you may need to use a different donor site, such as your buttocks.

Q. I chose not to have a nipple reconstruction when I had my mastectomy and reconstruction, but I’d like to have one now. Is that possible?

A. Nipple and areola reconstruction are options starting three to four months after your initial surgery. Your surgeon might use the surrounding skin or a skin graft from elsewhere on your body to form a new nipple; after the site has healed completely, you might choose to get a medical tattoo (also called micropigmentation) to add color that creates a new areola.