Breast Revision: Implant Reduction

Surgeon holding breast implants of different sizesBreast augmentation is among the most popular plastic surgery procedures and has a very high patient satisfaction rate. However, there are some patients who have decided that the breast enlargement size they initially chose is now larger than they want to be, so they elect to undergo breast revision in order to reduce the size of their breasts implants. It may be that they feel their breast size is not age-appropriate, that their implant size no longer fits their body, lifestyle, or the image they want to project, or that they have gained a lot of weight, resulting in their breasts becoming extremely large.

Don’t Rush Into Revision

Some breast augmentation patients originally desired disproportionately large breasts but realized later in time that their decision was not the right one – at least for them now. A common recommendation is for a patient to wait at least six months after their breast augmentation surgery before considering going with a smaller (or larger) breast implant. This “waiting period” also allows for the “final” results to become apparent as the swelling resolves and muscles and skin accommodate the implants. Many then decide that they are indeed happy with their selected breast size.

How Implant Reduction Is Performed

For breast augmentation patients who want to reduce their breast size yet still maintain some of the enlargement, I offer breast revision involving implant exchange with an appropriately smaller size. This surgery is performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient and typically is associated with little or no discomfort.

Options

For breast implant reduction surgery, patients may choose from the following options:

  • Incision Location: Often, the same incision used for the primary breast augmentation surgery can be used again, especially if it was an inframammary fold one.
  • Implant Type: Patients may choose to replace their implants with one of the same type, or they may opt for silicone instead of saline or vice versa. The profile of the implant (height versus base width ratio) may need to be changed in order to provide the best results.
  • Implant Placement: Typically, if the implants were originally placed in a submuscular (beneath the pectoral muscle) pocket, the new ones will be inserted there as well. For those patients whose implants were in a subglandular pocket (over the pectoral muscle), switching to a submuscular one may be a prudent choice.
  • Additional Procedure: Patients may choose to combine a breast lift with their breast implant reduction if they have significant sagging or are drastically reducing the size of their implants.

Recovery

Following surgery, a compression dressing is applied for a few days and then is replaced with a form-fitting support bra. Most patients can return to work or school after a few days to a week, though they should avoid vigorous exercise and strenuous activity for around two to three weeks (this is variable depending on several factors). You will be given explicit instructions regarding your postoperative care and physical restrictions during recovery. To ensure the safest and most effective recovery possible, it is best to carefully follow all postoperative instructions.

Patients are usually very satisfied with the final results of their breast implant size reduction. They feel more confident about themselves knowing that their breasts better fit their body and lifestyle.

If you are interested in breast implant reduction, contact our office to learn more about how Dr. Turkeltaub can help you. Call us at (480) 451-3000 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D.