Breast Revision Surgery | MedStar Health
Breast Revision Surgery Overview

If you’re unhappy with the results of a prior breast surgery, or you’ve developed aesthetic issues over time, MedStar Health is here to help. Revision surgery is an opportunity to correct rippling, drooping, or other issues, and alleviate any pain or discomfort.

Common reasons for revision surgery include:

  • Symmastia: When your breasts appear to merge, leaving no space between them
  • Capsular contracture: When scar tissue causes hardening of the breasts, pain, and visible shape distortion
  • Rippling or waviness of the skin over the implant
  • Malposition: When implants are poorly positioned, causing breasts to appear too high or too low, or asymmetrical
  • Deflated or leaking implants
  • Desire for implant removal

Every surgery is unique, so the approach will vary depending on your condition. During your initial consultation, it’s important to discuss what you dislike about your current results, and what results you’d like to achieve. If you have pain, feel your implants are too hard or soft, or would like more cleavage, for example, discuss it with your surgeon so that he or she can choose the best approach for your goals.

Planning and recovery

What to expect

You and your doctor will discuss in detail the approach that’s best suited to your body and goals, and how the procedure will be performed.

On the day of surgery, after being prepped, you’ll receive anesthesia through an IV. Your doctor will make an incision designed to minimize visual scarring. Where the incision is made will depend on the type of procedure you’ll be undergoing; many times, your surgeon will use the same incision as your original surgery to reduce scarring.

Your surgeon will then address your concerns, either by removing the existing implant and placing a new one, removing scar tissue, or performing a breast lift, or a combination of these procedures.

Recovery after revision surgery

Recovery after the procedure will be similar to your first surgery but will vary depending on your particular procedure. After your surgery, your breasts will be wrapped in gauze with a support garment to help minimize swelling and support your breasts during the healing process. You’ll typically return home on the day of surgery with instructions from your doctor.

After returning home, it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions about wearing your support garment and taking medications for pain and infection prevention. You’ll likely need someone to stay with you for the night after leaving the hospital.

If tubes have been placed under the skin to drain fluid, they’ll typically be removed within 1 week after surgery by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you when it’s safe to resume your normal activities and exercise routine. Your scars, while permanent, will fade over time and will be hidden as much as possible.

Plastic Surgery

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Our locations

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MedStar Health: Plastic Surgery at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

3800 Reservoir Road NW,
BLES Building
1st. Floor
Washington, D.C., 20007


MedStar Health: Plastic Surgery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center

106 Irving St. NW
POB North
Ste. 3400
Washington, D.C., 20010

MedStar Health: Plastic Surgery at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center

9105 Franklin Square Drive
Suite 214
Rosedale, MD 21237


MedStar Health: Plastic Surgery at McLean

6862 Elm Street
Suite 800
McLean, VA 22101


Frequently asked questions

  • Am I a candidate for breast revision surgery?

    You may be a good candidate if:

    • You’re physically healthy
    • You’re not pregnant or breastfeeding
    • Your expectations are realistic
    • You understand the risks that come along with surgery
    • You’re dissatisfied with the size, shape, feel, volume, or symmetry of your breasts

    If you’re planning to become pregnant, it’s important to discuss your plans with your surgeon. While it doesn’t mean you can’t have surgery, hormonal and weight changes can affect your results.

  • How much does breast revision surgery cost?

    Because breast revisions vary depending on the problems to be corrected, the cost will be determined by the procedure(s) performed. Check with your health insurance carrier regarding any potential coverage options.

    When you come in for your consultation visit, we’ll be able to discuss fees in detail with you. Our staff will also review the financing options available.

  • Is breast revision covered by insurance?

    In most cases, breast revision isn’t covered by insurance. However, it’s always best to discuss coverage questions with your insurance carrier. Issues related to a prior breast reconstruction surgery or breast reduction surgery may be covered by insurance.

  • What are the risks of breast revision surgery?

    As with any surgery, a breast revision procedure does pose some risks. These risks will vary depending on the procedures you’re undergoing. In general, risks may include:

    • Anesthesia complications
    • Breast contour, shape, or symmetry irregularities
    • Bleeding
    • Changes in nipple or breast sensation
    • Fat tissue death (necrosis)
    • Fluid accumulation (seroma)
    • Implant leakage or rupture
    • Incorrect implant position
    • Infection
    • Persistent pain
    • Poor scarring
    • Possibility of additional revision surgeries
    • Potential partial or total loss of nipple and areola
    • Scar tissue formation around the implant (capsular contracture)
    • Wrinkling of the skin over the implant

    Your doctor will provide you with information about the potential risks of the procedure(s) and answer all of your questions.

  • Do I need a referral for your office?

    If you’re exploring options for insurance coverage, you may need to request a referral from your primary care doctor, depending on your health insurance plan. Check with your carrier to see if medical coverage is an option for you and, if so, whether a referral is required.
  • How should I prepare for surgery?

    Before surgery, you may be asked to get blood tests and take or adjust medications. If you smoke, quitting will help you heal faster and better avoid complications.

    You’ll also need to arrange for transportation to and from the procedure on the day of surgery, and for someone to stay with you the night after the surgery.