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Revision Breast Augmentation

Breast implant revision surgery is performed to improve the appearance of the breasts and/or to correct complications after breast augmentation.

Should You Undergo Breast Implant Revision?

An overwhelming proportion of breast augmentation patients in San Francisco and beyond are very happy with the results of their surgery. Some women who are happy with their augmentation results, however, want to make a small “tweak” to make breasts
they already love even better. Other women who have experienced an unforeseen complication or a change of heart-related to previous breast augmentation may seek breast implant revision surgery. Dr. Larry Fan has years of experience performing breast implant revision, and he’s proud to help his patients finally achieve the beautiful results they deserve.

Are You A Candidate?

Our Breast Enhancement Cosmetic Self Evaluation can help you decide if breast implant revision is the right procedure for you.




The best time to get your desired breasts is at your very first breast augmentation surgery. The next best time is at the first revision. With each subsequent revision, it becomes less likely that an ideal outcome is achievable.

Dr. Fan regularly fixes the most difficult of breast augmentation problems, many of which other plastic surgeons have unsuccessfully tried to repair.



Though the need for breast implant revision surgery is rare when the original breast augmentation was performed by a well-trained and experienced surgeon, it can arise when a patient is unsatisfied with her results. Dr. Fan’s goal is to create beautiful, natural-looking breasts with respect to your unique wishes, goals, and anatomy.

Most physical complications associated with breast augmentation are not dangerous, but they can have a deep impact on a woman’s sense of femininity and attractiveness. Complications that can be fixed with revision surgery include:

  • General dissatisfaction with breast augmentation results
  • Capsular contracture: This condition occurs when excessive scar tissue develops around the implants, causing the breasts to feel tight, firm, and uncomfortable and distorting their appearance
  • Implant rupture or leakage: Breast implants are designed to be durable and to stand up to lots of pressure, but they can occasionally break, leak, or rupture. In the case of saline implants, the harmless salt water filling is absorbed naturally by the body, but the affected breast is left with a deflated appearance. Today’s cohesive silicone implants do not lose their shape in the case of breakage, but they do need to be monitored with periodic MRI exams and require removal or replacement if they rupture.
  • Bottoming out: This occurs when an implant appears to migrate lower than its original placement due to stretching of the lower pole tissues, causing the implant to appear low and the nipple too high on the breast.
  • Implant malposition: This occurs when an implant migrates lower or off to one side than its original placement, causing the breasts to appear asymmetric or misshapen.
  • Rippling: When an implant ripples, it means that the surface texture of the implant is easily visible through the skin. Though rippling can happen with either saline or silicone implants, saline implants carry a slightly higher risk.
  • Asymmetry: This may be the result of pre-existing anatomic asymmetry or the result of misplacement at the time of the original surgery. In other cases, as time goes on, the weight of an implant can cause one breast to hang differently than the other.
  • Drooping: The breast tissues may droop over time due to aging, pregnancy, or weight change.
  • Saline to Silicone: Some women may wish to change their saline implants to silicone due to the more natural feel and appearance of silicone implants.
  • Size change: Some women may wish to change the size of their existing implants to better fit their wishes, goals, and anatomy.
  • Explantation: Some women may wish to have their breast implants removed/
  • Symmastia: This condition is also known as “uniboob,” when the breast implants appear to join in the midline. This may occur due to implant migration or misplacement at the time of the original procedure.

Procedure Steps

Breast implant revision is often more complex than primary breast augmentation, so it’s important to choose a plastic surgeon with extensive breast enhancement experience, such as Dr. Fan.

Breast implant revision is a highly customized procedure, and there is no “one size fits all” surgical technique.

In many cases, the original implants will be removed, the implant pocket adjusted, the internal scar tissue removed and/or repaired, a new implant pocket created, and new implants inserted. Depending on your own unique circumstances, a breast lift, fat transfer, or other procedure may be recommended to help you attain attractive, natural-looking breasts

Breast implant revision surgery can be performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia.


What to Expect After Surgery

The recovery following breast implant revision is often similar to the recovery after a primary breast augmentation, although the details of recovery will vary from patient to patient depending on the type and extent of surgery.

Patients undergoing breast implant revision can expect some degree of postoperative swelling, bruising, and discomfort. Dr. Fan is very precise with his technique, and his goal is to perform every procedure with as little trauma as possible, so the recovery is not prolonged.

Discomfort is controlled with pain medication. Many patients find they can switch to over the counter pain relievers after the first few days. A special surgical bra is worn for a few weeks to support the breasts, keep the implants in their natural position, and help speed up your recovery.

Strenuous activities and those that can cause strain on the breasts should be avoided for four to six weeks after breast implant revision surgery. Most patients are able to return to normal activities a few days after the procedure. Time off work for most patients is three to seven days.

Your new implants will take a few months to “settle down” into position. Scars will initially be pink and slightly raised, but they fade and flatten out in the months that follow surgery, up to two years.*

Choosing A Surgeon

Do Your Homework

Breast implant revision surgery is often more complex than primary breast augmentation, so it’s important to choose a board certified plastic surgery with extensive breast enhancement experience, such as Dr. Fan.

For breast implant revision, a careful and thoughtful approach is critical. Each revision operation involves more recovery, money, anxiety, and uncertainty. Oftentimes scarring and tissue damage from each surgery can make it every more difficult to achieve an ideal result.

Dr. Fan is an expert at performing breast implant revision, from simple saline deflation to the most complex cases that involve implant malposition, capsular contracture, implant rupture, and droopiness. He is known for his beautiful and natural breast enhancement results.


The cost for breast implant revision varies from person to person depending on the complexity of the procedure needed. The cost for surgery may range from $8,000 to $30,000.

Before & After Gallery: Reveal Your True Beauty

Breast implant revision surgery can help you attain the attractive, natural-looking breasts you had hoped for with your original procedure.

Dr. Fan is an expert at performing breast implant revision, from simple saline deflation to the most complex cases that involve implant malposition, capsular contracture, implant rupture, and droopiness.


Revision Breast Augmentation FAQ

Why is breast implant revision surgery more complicated than the first breast augmentation procedure?

Breast implant revision is more complicated than primary breast augmentation due to a number of factors:

  • Scar tissue that has developed both inside and outside the breast must be removed
  • The quality of the breast skin and tissue has become compromised because it has stretched out and thinned since the initial surgery
  • The natural breast tissue has already been changed during the initial surgery, making it more challenging to provide natural looking results
How do I know if my breast implant has ruptured?

It’s obvious when a saline breast implant ruptures because the breast quickly deflated.

In the case of a silicone implant, rupture is much less obvious. Signs include: pain or tenderness for no apparent reason; changes in breast shape; swelling or redness.

If you suspect an implant rupture, it’s important to visit Dr. Fan in a timely fashion, as further complications may develop and make revision surgery even more complicated. If you have concerns about a silicone implant, he may order an MRI exam to provide a definitive answer.

I can see and feel my implants rippling and wrinkling through the skin. What can be done?

If you are concerned about implant rippling, breast implant revision surgery may be worth considering.

Methods to correct rippling include adjusting implant placement from above the muscle to below the muscle, changing from saline implants to highly cohesive silicone breast implants, changing from regular silicone breast implants to highly cohesive silicone breast implants, and adding fat or acellular dermis to augment the overlying soft tissues.

All of these maneuvers can help provide a smoother, more natural look and feel.


I’ve developed capsular contracture in one breast. Do I need to have my implants removed?

Capsular contracture is a complication of breast augmentation in which the natural scar tissue that forms around the implant thickens and restricts movement of the implant, making the breast feel hard and look distorted. This condition is often treated by removing the thickened capsule of scar tissue, called a capsulectomy, and replacing the implant. If the implant was not originally placed under the chest muscle, it is often moved to this location in an effort to reduce the chance of recurrence.

Do I have to replace my implants after ten years?

No. It’s a common misunderstanding that you must get your implants replaced after ten years. Ten years is simply the average number of years after primary breast augmentation that implant exchange is performed. By this time, a woman may be dissatisfied with the size or shape she originally chose, her breasts may have changed, or perhaps a complication has developed. Most surgeons agree that if there are no problems with the implants and the patient is still satisfied with her breast appearance, there is no need for revision surgery after ten years.

Can I have my implants changed even I’m not having any problems?

Yes. Dr. Fan performs elective breast implant exchange for many reasons, including size change and change from saline to silicone (or vice versa). In these situations, recovery is often easier than with the original procedure.

Can I have my implants removed and not replaced?

Yes. Whether because of a complication, lifestyle changes, or new aesthetic values, sometimes breast augmentation patients want to have their implants removed and not replaced. Depending on how large your implants were, you may experience sagging or deflated-looking breasts if you choose to remove your implants without replacing them. A breast lift with implant removal is effective for patients who no longer want their implants but desire to have a youthful breast shape.


Related Procedures

Breast Lift

A breast lift restores a youthful shape and lift to the breasts.

Learn More About Breast Lift


3D Imagery

New breakthrough technology enables 3D Before & After imagery for your Breast Augmentation.

Crisalix 3D is a cutting edge software that can simulate a visual and realistic result for breast surgery patients.


Request 3D Simulation


It was time for me to get the “girls” changed. One boob had some ripples, and the other was starting to sag. Dr. Fan switched me from 339 cc overs to 300 cc unders, and now my breasts look better than never before.*

— Ms. T

Why Dr. Larry Fan & 77 Plastic Surgery


Larry Fan, MD


Dr. Larry Fan is an award winning, Harvard educated, and nationally recognized plastic surgeon. He is a progressive, compassionate thinker who is committed to achieving the highest levels of excellence and the very best aesthetic results. Dr. Fan is an expert facelift surgeon who is known for achieving natural beauty, never “overdone.”

Meet Dr. Fan

Harvard Trained & One of America's Top Plastic Surgeons

Dr. Fan is known for his elegant sense of artistry and refined surgical skills. He will perform your surgery with expert, world-class execution and has the results to prov


Exceptional Results & Award Winning Care

Dr. Fan and his team are committed to providing you with exceptional care, counseling, and support before, during, and after surgery. We take pride and joy in caring for you and have received numerous awards for our compassionate care.


State-of-the-Art Office & Private Surgery Center

Come relax in our beautiful office and enjoy the comfort, safety, and privacy of our fully accredited onsite private surgery center.

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  • How to choose between The Needle and The Knife

This book was written by top plastic surgeon, Dr. Larry Fan.



Ready to Get the Natural, Beautiful Breasts You've Always Wanted?

Schedule your consultation with dr. Fan here.

During your consultation, Dr. Fan will address your specific goals and treatment options. He will determine if you are a good candidate for treatment and review the results that can be realistically achieved. He will also help you determine which procedures may benefit you the most.


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