For most breast augmentation patients, their selected breast implants continue to be a perfect match—but for many, finding the ideal fit for your body can be more of a journey. According to a study conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), there were nearly 200,000 breast augmentations performed in 2020 alone. The Aesthetic Society also reports that about 30 percent of breast augmentations in 2020 were revision breast augmentations.
Revision breast augmentation surgery is a great option for those who would like to go up or down in size, rethink implant type or shape, or even present with a medical concern that would require a revision of a previous surgery.
Regardless of the reason, the idea of opting for an additional surgery can be overwhelming. We sat down with Austin, TX plastic surgeon and Sientra Advisory Board member Ashley Gordon, MD to outline some of the key things to expect with revision breast augmentation surgery—along with considerations that should be taken—for the best possible results.
How common is breast augmentation revision?
Because breast implants are not lifetime devices, breast augmentation revisions are more common than you might assume. According to Dr. Gordon, there are many reasons a patient would come in for a revision breast augmentation, but the most common are size/type change, implant malposition, capsular contracture, and the least common being implant rupture.
Can I replace my saline implants?
Breast augmentation revision surgery is also an option for those looking to replace saline breast implants. While saline was the most widely used implant prior to 2006, there have since been significant advances in silicone breast implant safety and technology. According to ASPS, 84 percent of implants used in the U.S. today are silicone.
Unlike saline implants, which are filled with a sterile saltwater solution, silicone implants are pre-filled with a cohesive gel that not only allows for a more natural look and feel, but also a greater level of customization in terms of implant shape, projection and volume. There are several silicone gel implant brands on the market, but Dr. Gordon says Sientra’s portfolio is second to none. “In my opinion, Sientra has the best implant on the market because of the HSC+ gel, which has a soft, natural feel while holding its shape,” says Dr. Gordon.
Should the breast implant brand matter in revision surgery?
“Absolutely—not all breast implants are created equal,” says Dr. Gordon, noting that implant safety, implant warranty and surgeon certification are also important factors to consider before a revision surgery.
“Implants like Sientra’s are higher quality, the shell is stronger, the gel inside is more cohesive, so the durability of the implant is much better,” says Dr. Gordon, pointing to Sientra as her recommended choice of silicone breast implants. Sientra breast implants have been thoroughly studied for over 10 years and are widely known for their unrivaled safety profile, which includes some of the lowest complication rates among common complications that can occur such as rupture, capsular contracture and reoperation.1,2,3
Before selecting your implants, be sure to take a close look at each manufacturer’s warranty and their offered coverage. “What really separates Sientra is certainly their warranty—in my opinion, they have the best warranty on the market for primary and revision cases,” says Dr. Gordon. Sientra’s Platinum 20™ warranty provides the longest length of coverage (20 years—two times longer than any other implant brand), most financial assistance and least restrictions in the industry.
Not all surgeons who perform breast augmentation are board certified. “Although breast augmentation is one of the most common aesthetic procedures, there’s a lot of nuance to it,” explains Dr. Gordon. “Complication rates with non-board-certified surgeons are undoubtedly higher than with those with proper board-certifications,” she adds. Sientra only sells to board-certified plastic surgeons, which takes some of the guesswork out of the all-important equation of choosing a surgeon to trust.
What is downtime like for breast revision surgery?
Dr. Gordon says, “A revision surgery can actually be a bit easier on the body than an initial breast augmentation.” While downtime varies by patient, recovery time can range between a few days to about a week, depending on the reason for your revision.
Dr. Gordon says the real restriction during recovery is refraining from reaching up high, doing yoga or anything where you’re really stretching. “I tell my patients to pretend they’re a T-Rex for the first six weeks to optimize your body’s healing and long-term results.”
If you’re considering a revision breast augmentation surgery, the best place to start is a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who is more than equipped to answer your questions and address any potential concerns. To learn more about Sientra and to find a Sientra board-certified plastic surgeon, visit Sientra.com/breast-augmentation.
1. Based on 10-year FDA clinical data, primary augmentation and reconstruction MRI cohorts Stevens WG et al. Ten-year core study data for Sientra’s food and drug administration-approved round and shaped breast implants with cohesive silicone gel. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2018;141:7S-19S. 2. Caplin DA et al. MemoryGel breast implants: Final safety and efficacy results after 10 years of follow-up. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2021;147:556–566. 3. Spear SL et al. Allergan Silicone Breast Implant U.S. Core Clinical Study Group. Natrelle round silicone breast implants: Core Study results at 10 years. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2014 Jun;133(6):1354-1361. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000000021. PMID: 24867717; PMCID: PMC4819531.
Important Safety Information
Sientra’s Silicone Gel Breast Implants are indicated for breast augmentation in women at least 22 years old and for breast reconstruction. Breast augmentation includes primary breast augmentation to increase the breast size, as well as revision surgery to correct or improve the result of primary breast augmentation surgery. Breast reconstruction includes primary reconstruction to replace breast tissue that has been removed due to cancer or trauma or that has failed to develop properly due to a severe breast abnormality. Breast reconstruction also includes revision surgery to correct or improve the results of a primary breast reconstruction surgery. Breast implant surgery is contraindicated in women with active infection anywhere in their bodies, with existing cancer or pre-cancer of their breast who have not received adequate treatment for those conditions and, who are pregnant or nursing.
Key complications include capsular contracture, implant removal, rupture and reoperation. For more detailed information about the risks and benefits of Sientra breast implants, please visit sientra.com/resources or call Sientra at 888.708.0808. Sientra breast implants with High-Strength Cohesive silicone gel are only available through board-certified or board-eligible plastic surgeons.
The sale and distribution of this device is restricted to users and/or user facilities that provide information to patients about the risks and benefits of this device in the form and manner specified in the approved labeling provided by Sientra, Inc.
Sientra® and Platinum20™ are trademarks of Sientra, Inc.