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Breast Implant Removal with Uplift

There can be many reasons why you might want to have your breast implants exchanged and a breast uplift performed at the same time. It could be that you are really unhappy with the results of a previous breast augmentation, or maybe that you want to be bigger or smaller in size, or be a completely different shape. You may in fact need your breast implants exchanged because you have developed a complication from your implant surgery (rupture of your implants or a capsular contraction - a tightening of scar tissue around the implant).


In fact, most women who seek Mr Ghattaura for a breast implant exchange with uplift do this because that have developed skin laxity and droop in their breast tissue many years after their initial breast augmentation surgery. Breast uplift surgery (mastopexy), is a surgical procedure that lifts your breasts back up to where they once were and is performed alongside a breast implant exchange procedure. You may also wish to make adjustments in the overall breast volume by increasing or decreasing the size of your implants at the same time as the uplift.


What's involved in the procedure?

Breast implant revision surgery such as this is highly complex and requires experience, judgement and skill. Through his NHS work managing all types of cancer and developmental breast reconstruction, Mr Ghattaura has developed a specific expertise in this field. Indeed, many patients seek him out for this. During your consultation, Mr Ghattaura will identify your specific areas of concern and then carefully study the details of your previous surgery, with operation notes if possible. He will then formulate a plan, tailor made to your personal goals. This may involve an exchange of your breast implant for a different size, shape or composition. He may also recommend a complete redesign of the tissue pocket in which the implant sits before he starts the uplift.


The breast implant exchange and uplift procedure takes 2-3 hours and is performed under general anaesthesia (with you asleep). Mr Ghattaura typically begins by removing the previous implant and the surrounding scar tissue (implant capsule) though the old scar. He then studies the implant for any ruptures, folds or gel bleed and records the serial number if available. He then sterilises the old implant pocket and makes any adjustments to the pocket at this stage. This can be a complete repositioning of the pectoralis muscle, or by making the whole implant pocket smaller or bigger as needed. He then carefully chooses an appropriate replacement implant based on your breast dimensions and goals.

Mr Ghattaura will then remove the excess skin on your breast, usually by making an incision around the nipple with an extension of this scar between the lower part of the nipple and the lower breast fold scar.  The nipple and remaining breast tissue is then re-shaped, placing the nipple higher on the breast. The final scar is an anchor shape. Dressings are applied once the surgery is finished, and you will need to wear a supportive sports style bra for 6 weeks afterwards. 


Time to recover

You will generally need to stay in hospital for 1 night following surgery to ensure you feel well rested after the surgery. You can expect some swelling, bruising, and some soreness for the first few weeks. Oral pain medication can be used to alleviate  side effects, which should begin to resolve quickly. The scar is often red and raised initially, but should fade as your body heals over the following year. Typically, patients recover for about a week at home before returning to work and resuming normal activities. Exercise and strenuous activity is to be avoided for at least a 4-6 weeks following surgery.

Available at HMT Sancta Maria, Spire Cardiff Hospital, Nuffield Health and BMI Werndale