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What Is Recovery Like After Breast Revision?
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While most women are very satisfied with the results of their breast augmentation, some want or need a breast revision.
This desire could be related to implant size — wanting to go bigger or smaller — or it could be a wish to change shape, address asymmetries or implant malposition, treat capsular contracture or replace a ruptured breast implant.
Breast revision surgery can improve the appearance of the breasts by addressing the area(s) of concern or issue. While this may be “necessary” secondary surgery, some women still may be hesitant to jump back under the knife due to concerns of another recovery period.
What Happens After Breast Revision Surgery?
Fortunately, in most breast revision situations following a breast augmentation, recovery is far easier the second time around.
It is usually quicker with minimal-to-no discomfort and an earlier return to many activities.
In fact, most women sail through their breast revision recovery with little to no issue whatsoever.
Of course, the length of recovery time after breast revision will depend on the exact procedure performed and the degree of correction needed.
Some revision procedures are relatively minor, such as a straightforward implant exchange, which results in essentially no discomfort. However, procedures such as a capsulectomy, pocket suturing or a breast lift can result in some discomfort or longer limitations of certain activities.
What Is a “Typical” Breast Revision Recovery Time Frame
The specifics of the postoperative regimen, including limitations and restrictions, will depend on the procedure(s) performed and plastic surgeon preference.
The following are generalities that can serve as a guideline.
Please make sure that you follow the recommendations of your plastic surgeon.
The Day of Your Breast Revision
Excluding extremely rare exceptions, breast revision surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure.
Most patients go home within an hour or two following the completion of their procedure. They will absolutely need someone to drive them home.
If general anesthesia was used, patients should also ensure that there is someone to monitor them for the first 24 hours after surgery.
The First Week
Following surgery, patients will either be placed in a supportive surgical dressing that may provide compression or in a post-surgical garment. This is generally worn at least for a few days until follow-up in the office.
It is important that you are up and around even on the day of surgery. You need to make sure that you adhere to any specific physical limitations you have been instructed to follow. There should be absolutely no lifting, pushing or pulling anything over a few pounds during the first week or more of your breast revision recovery.
Depending on the procedure performed, most women can be back to work (sedentary jobs) or school within several days up to a week.
Physically strenuous jobs will generally require more time off.
The Second Week and Beyond
Vigorous physical activities are limited, usually for around two to four weeks, depending on the procedure performed and physician preference. Not adhering to these guidelines can increase the risk for complications, such as bleeding (hematoma), fluid accumulation (seroma) and disruption or compromising of the results.
Typically, you will be provided with a more detailed recovery plan during your consultation or pre-op discussion.
What Breast Revision Complications Should I Watch Out for During Recovery?
There are potential post-surgical complications associated with breast revision — as with any surgical procedure. While these risks may be relatively uncommon, depending on a variety of factors, it is beneficial to be aware that complications or untoward outcomes can occur, and you should be vigilant of any abnormal changes in your breasts.
Some of these include:
- Onset of acute pain, typically unilaterally. Because breast revision recovery should not generally be very uncomfortable, the onset of significant and, particularly, unilateral pain may indicate an issue.
- Noticeable “acute,” asymmetrical enlargement of one breast. This is often a sign of the presence of bleeding — especially when also associated with substantial pain. In this situation, you need to contact your surgeon immediately.
- Infection. This is a very rare occurrence after breast revision. Symptoms may include redness, swelling, fever, and drainage that can be yellow, cloudy and/or foul-smelling.
Want to Learn More About Recovery After Breast Revision?
Dr. Turkeltaub has well over 30 years of experience performing breast revision surgery.
If you are interested in breast revision surgery, Dr. Turkeltaub can help you determine what can best help you obtain the results that you are seeking. Please call our office at (480) 451-3000 to learn more and schedule your consultation.