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Breast Revision & Explantation

Breast Revision & Explantation Surgery

Also known as a Breast Implant Replacement

What is Breast Revision?

Breast Revision surgery refers to a variety of procedures designed to reshape or improve the appearance of breasts that have been previously operated upon. Some breasts may have a less-than-ideal aesthetic outcome or may have symptoms such as tightness or pain. Correction can be for cosmetic purposes or post-reconstruction; all require experience, judgment and skill of the surgeon. Breast 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.

What to expect during the Breast Implant Replacement procedure?

Change in implant size: If you decide to change your implant size, your surgeon will frequently use your original incision for implant removal and replacement. If you want a larger implant, your doctor will surgically enlarge the “pocket,” or space in the breast, surrounding your implant to accommodate a larger implant. If you want smaller implants, you doctor 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): Your doctor will probably use the same incision used to insert the original implants to remove the hardened capsule and implant. He or she will then insert a new implant.

Implant rippling: When the edges of saline breast implants are visible and palpable (able to be felt), your surgeon may use the same incision to remove or reposition the implants as was used to originally insert them. Other options include using a different type of implant or placing the new implant into a different breast pocket that either has thicker muscle coverage or uses other tissues to cover the implant edge.

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, your surgeon will manipulate the scar tissue from the capsule surrounding the implant and reconstruct the pocket in the appropriate position using suturing techniques. Your surgeon may need to utilize other tissues to reinforce this new implant pocket and may recommend using an acellular dermal matrix product to add additional support.

What to expect during the recovery for the Breast Revision procedure?

Your postoperative discomfort and recovery time will be similar to that of your primary breast augmentation. You should be up and walking on the day of surgery. It will take several days to return to more normal activities after your breast revision surgery, but it is important to your recovery that you get up and move around. The extent and duration of discomfort depends largely on the size and placement of the implants and may include: pain, stiffness, swelling, bruising and itching.

When the anesthesia wears off, you may have some pain. If the pain is extreme or long lasting, contact your physician. You will also have some redness and swelling after the surgery. Contact your surgeon to find out if your pain, redness and swelling are normal or are signs of a problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

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To find out more about available treatments and procedures, request a consultation with Dr. Moulton-Barrett at one of his Bay Area offices. Board certified plastic surgeon Rex Moulton-Barrett, M.D., offers advanced care and procedures for Bay Area residents. He has offices in Alameda and Brentwood, CA.

Our Clinics

Alameda Clinic


2070 Clinton Ave
Fourth Floor
Alameda, CA 94501

Phone  (510) 864-1800


Brentwood Clinic

1280 Central Blvd
Suite J-5
Brentwood, CA 94513

Phone  (925) 240-8775



Alameda Location:

2070 Clinton Ave, Alameda, CA 94501


Brentwood Location

1280 Central Blvd, Suite J-5, Brentwood, CA 94513