Breast reconstruction surgery offers a path towards restoring physical wholeness and emotional well-being after a mastectomy. However, sometimes the initial reconstruction may not meet your expectations due to various factors. This is where revision surgery steps in, providing an opportunity to refine the results and achieve a more satisfying outcome.

Understanding Revision Surgery

Revision of Breast Reconstruction also known as corrective breast reconstruction, addresses concerns arising from the original reconstruction. These concerns can be aesthetic, functional, or both. Here are some common reasons for revision surgery:

  • Asymmetry: Unevenness in size, shape, or nipple placement between breasts.
  • Scarring: Noticeable or painful scars.
  • Capsular contracture: Scar tissue tightening around an implant, causing discomfort and distortion.
  • Implant issues: Leakage, rupture, or deflation.
  • Pain: Chronic pain or discomfort in the reconstructed breast.
  • Unsatisfactory appearance: Breasts that appear unnatural or don’t match your desired size or shape.

Who is a Candidate for Revision Surgery?

If you’re experiencing any of the issues mentioned above and it’s impacting your quality of life, you might be a candidate for revision surgery. It’s important to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in breast reconstruction. They will assess your individual situation, including the type of initial reconstruction, the nature of your concerns, and your overall health.

Types of Revision Procedures

Revision surgery encompasses a spectrum of techniques tailored to address specific needs. Here are some common procedures:

  • Implant adjustments: Replacing, repositioning, or removing implants.
  • Flap revisions: Refining tissue flaps used in reconstruction.
  • Liposuction or fat grafting: Sculpting the breasts for improved symmetry or shape.
  • Scar revision: Minimizing the appearance of scars.
  • Nipple reconstruction: Repositioning or revising nipples for a more natural look.

The Road to Revision

Deciding on revision surgery is a personal choice. It’s crucial to have realistic expectations and understand that revision might involve multiple stages depending on the complexity. Here’s what to expect:

  • Consultation: Discuss your concerns and goals with your surgeon. They will perform a physical examination and review your medical history.
  • Planning: The surgeon will create a customized plan outlining the specific procedures needed and the expected outcome.
  • Surgery: The revision surgery itself will be performed under general anesthesia. The recovery time can vary depending on the extent of the procedure.
  • Follow-up: Regular follow-up appointments are essential to monitor healing and address any post-surgical concerns.

The Emotional Journey

Breast reconstruction and revision surgery can be emotionally charged experiences. Don’t hesitate to seek support from your healthcare team, therapists specializing in body image concerns, or support groups for breast cancer survivors.