Enhancement Specialist

Breast Augmentation Revision - New Bern

Breast implant revision surgery, which commonly involves removal and/or replacement of saline or silicone breast implants, is performed to change the size or type of your implants and to correct any complications from your primary breast augmentation. The overall goal is to restore a youthful breast contour and appearance.

When to Consider Breast Revision

  • Your saline breast implants have deflated or your silicone implant has a shell leak
  • If you want to change your implant/breast size
  • If you have tightening of the scar tissue around the implant (capsular contracture) or your breast implants have shifted in position
  • If your breast tissue has changed as a result of skin stretching, aging or weight loss/gain

The Procedure

There are many reasons for a breast revision surgery, and the correct procedure will be selected based on your needs.

Change in implant size
If you decide to change your implant size, Dr. Zannis will frequently use your original incision for implant removal and replacement. If you want a larger implant, he will surgically enlarge the “pocket,” or space in the breast, surrounding your implant to accommodate a larger implant. If you want smaller implants, he may surgically reduce the size of the pocket with sutures to properly fit smaller sized implants. A breast lift may be done at the same time.

Capsular contracture (hardening of the capsule and implant)
The same incision used to insert the original implants will probably be used to remove the hardened capsule and implant. Dr. Zannis will then insert a new implant.

Implant malposition
Sometimes implant pockets are created too far apart or too close together, resulting in poorly positioned breasts. To correct this, using the prior incision, Dr. Zannis will manipulate the scar tissue from the capsule surrounding the implant and reconstruct the pocket in the appropriate position using suturing techniques.

Implant removal
If your implants are large and your skin has stretched, your surgeon may recommend a breast lift in addition to implant removal, but implant removal alone may suffice. The original incision created to insert the implant will almost always be the same one used to remove it. The lining around the implant, or “capsule,” is often surgically removed at the same time to facilitate rapid healing.

Elevation of nipple and areola position
If it is necessary to elevate the position of your nipples and areolas, you will need additional incisions. Incisions around the upper portion of the areola will be adequate in cases where not much elevation is needed. When more lifting and tightening is necessary, an incision all the way around the areola, including a vertical scar extending down from the areola to the crease under the breast, may be necessary (often referred to as a lollipop scar). If your nipples need lifting, the nipples and areolas remain attached to underlying mounds of tissue and this usually allows for the preservation of sensation and the ability to breast-feed.

The goal of Dr. Zannis and the entire staff is to help you achieve the most beautiful and natural-looking results, as well as making your surgical experience as easy and comfortable as possible.

Implant Upgrades

Many patients contact us asking to upgrade their implants from saline to the new silicone gel. The advantages of cohesive silicone gel implants are a more natural look and feel, as well as less likelihood to experience visible rippling. The current generation of silicone implants have a strong safety record and high patient satisfaction rates. Although most practices charge significantly more for silicone implants, the Zannis Center for Plastic Surgery in New Bern, NC offers them at the same price as saline. We utilize silicone gel implants in over 95% of our breast augmentation procedures.

Potential Risks

Fortunately, significant complications from breast revision surgery are infrequent. Every year thousands of women undergo successful breast revision surgery and are pleased with the results. This surgery is usually performed without any major problems. Your specific risks for breast revision will be discussed during your consultation.

All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Some of the potential complications of all surgeries are:

  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia
  • Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may
    require removal)
  • Infection and bleeding
  • Changes in sensation
  • Scarring
  • Allergic reactions
  • Damage to underlying structures
  • Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures


After a post-surgical recovery period of 24 to 48 hours and an additional reduced-activity period of a few days, you can return to most daily activities. You will likely experience a little soreness and swelling for a few weeks. If the same pocket location is used, the revision recovery should be much faster and easier than the original surgery. Exercise and vigorous activity can resume at the direction of your plastic surgeon, usually at one month. Over time, post-surgical swelling will decrease and incision lines will fade. Your final breast shape is usually seen by 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I have my breast implants replaced?
There is no mandatory replacement schedule.  Many women have heard the myth that implants must be changed every ten years.  In reality, we expect current silicone implants to last 20 years or longer.  They must be replaced only if a problem develops.

What should I do if I think my breast implants are leaking?
Contact your plastic surgeon and request an evaluation.  Most of the time, a physical exam alone can identify a rupture.  Occasionally, your surgeon may reqest an ultrasound or MRI.

Can I have my implants removed and a breast lift at the same time?
Absolutely.  This is a great way to restore shape to your breasts after removing an implant and it is done all in one surgery.

Will I need to have a drain tube after surgery?
Usually, drainage tubes can be avoided.  Sometime, with major revisions or removals, a drain is placed temporarily.

Ready for a Change?

If you are ready to schedule your consultation or have additional questions about breast revision surgery, please contact the Zannis Center for Plastic Surgery.

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