Breast Revision Surgery in San Diego & La Jolla, CA*

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About Breast Revision Surgery

Breast augmentation using implants is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the United States, and in most cases, it yields beautiful and natural outcomes. Unfortunately, sometimes a patient can be dissatisfied with the appearance of her breasts and may require breast revision treatment. Keep in mind, not all revision surgeries are because of surgeon error. While few breast augmentations do end with a poor outcome, there are individuals who desire a larger or smaller implant while some may have a problem and ask to have the implant corrected or removed altogether. Furthermore, some women require revision treatment for a specific condition. La Jolla, CA cosmetic surgeon and a diplomate of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Robert A. Shumway provides breast revision surgery after giving an in-depth assessment at Shumway Cosmetic Surgery so that the appropriate outcome can be achieved.

Breast Revision - Ideal Candidates

Should you have any concerns (either cosmetic or medical) after breast augmentation surgery, please make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Shumway to talk about your goals and to create your unique surgical plan. Whether it's scar tissue, breast sag, ripples under the skin, or unbalanced breasts, revision surgery can help repair the problem and create a more appealing and properly functioning outcome. This operation may also be appropriate if you would like to alter the implant style, size, or address another aspect of your breasts.

Common Reasons for Breast Revision

Secondary breast augmentation either removes an implant that is not functioning properly or is no longer desired. Breast revision surgery may also be performed to change implant size or go from silicone to saline (or vice versa). There are other common situations where a revision surgery is wanted:


This condition occurs when the breast implants look out of balance. This may be due to an incorrect size implant, or ptosis on one side, or a different condition that can possibly cause asymmetry. A proper diagnosis would need to take place to determine what is causing the asymmetry, then a revision surgery would be implemented to resolve the condition, and finally, a new set of breast implants would be inserted to attain a proportionate appearance.

Bottoming Out

This is a problem that may happen if one or both implants "bottom out" or drop too low. Sometimes, this is a positioning and placement error from the original surgery. To fix this, a different placement approach may be recommended. For some patients, tissue grafting will be needed, in addition to a surgically produced pocket to hold the new implant. For many patients, switching to a silicone breast implant will solve this issue.

Breast Size

Sometimes, revision surgery is as straightforward as getting a larger or smaller sized breast implant. During the first surgery, you may have chosen to go too small or big. A different implant size can be used to attain the desired outcome.

Capsular Contracture

This is known as an area of hardening because of scarring, occurring when the smooth tissue that surrounds the breast implant becomes thick and hard. While breast implants do create some internal hardening, most individuals will never realize this. In some cases, the hardening tissue could change the implant placement, which could change the implant function and create an undesirable outcome. Scar removal surgery to remove scarring would be needed.

Implant Rippling

Rippling occurs when you see noticeable lines and ripples under the skin. This condition typically forms around the edge of the implant. Rippling is generally found in females who are relatively thin. Many times, this issue can be repaired by simply switching to a silicone breast implant.

Implant Rupture

Although this is rare, breast implant rupture may occur. When a saline breast implant ruptures, the implant will deflate rather quickly. Because of this, a visible change will be noticeable. Meanwhile, if an implant made of silicone ruptures, it is only caught via an MRI. In either case, when a rupture occurs, a revision treatment will be needed.


This condition happens when breast implants are positioned too closely together. Most often, this is because the breast implant selected was the incorrect shape, size, and width. A secondary procedure will repair this issue by selecting an implant that is acceptable to your frame and looks balanced.

Breast Revision - What to Expect

Following your procedure and a brief observation period, you will be sent home to begin your recovery. The overall recovery varies, depending on what is involved in your surgery. Any type of revision that requires grafting or complex reconstruction will incur a longer recovery, which may last up to 6 – 8 weeks. You should slowly start to see your surgical results when the bruising and swelling start to disappear. Dr. Shumway or someone on his team will discuss what is normal while you recover, plus suggestions to help you heal faster. You should attend follow-up visits as often as directed so Dr. Shumway can monitor your healing and results.

Breast Revision - FAQ's

How much does breast revision surgery cost?
Your cost for breast revision surgery will vary based on the complexity of your procedure. In your consultation, Dr. Shumway will listen carefully to your needs and goals before completing a physical examination of your implants. After this, he will explain your choices before creating your treatment plan. The total cost of revision surgery will be based on the extent of the procedure, plus your new implants. It's better to concentrate on getting great results by selecting a skilled cosmetic surgeon, like Dr. Shumway, instead of the cheapest surgeon. As a way to help make your surgery affordable, Shumway Cosmetic Surgery accepts several payments and we will give you information on low-interest financing.

What if Dr. Shumway was not my original surgeon?
Dr. Shumway can perform your revision surgery, even if he was not the surgeon who performed your breast augmentation. Revision surgery is sometimes more difficult compared to augmentation surgery, especially if you want significant changes or have problems, which is why it is better to choose a cosmetic surgeon, like Dr. Shumway, who has advanced training and experience in breast surgery. Dr. Shumway also invites his patients to come back to Shumway Cosmetic Surgery for revision surgery after their implant surgery if they notice an issue or would like new implants.

What about loose skin?
When you are getting your implants exchanged or removed, you may want to have excess skin removed as well. After hearing your goals and evaluating your current implants, Dr. Shumway can discuss adding a breast lift to remove sagging skin. If you lose a lot of weight, get pregnant, or breastfeed after augmentation surgery, a revision with a lift gives you better results.

Will there be new scars?
If possible, Dr. Shumway will make incisions for revision surgery in the original augmentation incisions. If this isn't possible, he will place the revision incisions where they are least visible. Revision surgery may use a trans-axillary incision (in the armpit), a periareolar incision (in the lower border of the areola), an inframammary incision (beneath the breast fold), or TUBA incision (through the belly button). Dr. Shumway or a member of his team will explain scar care instructions so your incisions heal properly and blend with your skin.

Do I have to change my implants?
Although implants are long-lasting, they will require replacement eventually. Once you've had augmentation surgery, it's important to get your breasts examined at least once a year so Dr. Shumway can help you determine if your implants need to be exchanged. With frequent advances in medical technology, you may prefer the new implant types and shapes to get a better outcome from breast revision surgery.

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From $3,500
Average Procedure Time  
1.5 – 2.5 Hours
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You Know Your Breasts Best

Breast implant revision surgery is a specialized procedure tailored for your individual problem by Dr. Shumway. If you're displeased with your breast augmentation results or want a different result, we invite you to contact our La Jolla, CA office to book your appointment at Shumway Cosmetic Surgery. There are many factors to consider and Dr. Shumway will provide you with a full physical examination, create your revision recommendations, and discuss realistic goals and expectations.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person.