Breast Reconstruction Revision?

I had reconstructive surgery 5 years after my mastectomy but I only got an implant. I would like to have it redone so that both breasts will look the same or atleast close. I would like a nipple as well. is it possible to have re-reconstructive breast surgery if you are not happy w/the look?

Doctor Answers 12

Breast Reconstruction Revision

It is not uncommon for patients who have had breast reconstruction surgery to require more than just a single procedure. The 1998 Federal Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act even stipulates that insurance plans that provide coverage for mastectomy surgery must provide coverage for surgery done to improve symmetry between a reconstructed breast and the opposite breast (even if it is a revision) and for nipple reconstruction procedures. Of course, you should be sure so pre-certify the procedure  with your insurance carrier and request a predetermination of benefits to be sure. 

With respect to achieving your desired look, it would be impossible to say which approach or approaches to breast reconstruction might be best for you. There are many options (e.g., saline implants, silicone implants, DIEP flap, TUG flap, etc.), so I would suggest that you consult with one or more board-certified plastic surgeons who have extensive experience with breast reconstruction surgery.

I hope this is helpful.

Is Breast Reconstruction Revision Possible and is it Covered by Insurance?

Breast Revision After Mastectomy is Common and as noted by the previous Dr's. it is covered by your insurance carrier. 

. In order of frequency the most common reconstructive procedures that require revision are:
  • 1.Revision after breast reconstruction following mastectomy
  • 2.Revision after Lumpectomy and Radiation
  • 3.Revision after Breast Reduction
  • 4.Revision after cosmetic breast surgery (augmentation, breast lift).  
The most common physical findings that are treated with revision surgery after mastectomy are:
  • Breast Asymmetry (one breast larger than the other)
  • Implant issues including: deflation, displacement, scarring and or rippling on the edge of the implant.
  • Loss of proper definition and position of the folds beneath the breast
  • Firmest, nodules or indentations because of scarring or tissue damage by radiation.
  • Malposition or absence of the nipple areolar complex
Hope this information has been helpful.  J.Rucker M.D.

Joseph Rucker, MD, FACS
Eau Claire Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Breast reconstruction

Yes of course you can be evaluated for a revision.

Three basic forms of breast reconstruction exist. You can use your own tissue, implants or a combination of the previous two techniques. Your own tissue can be used in the form of the DIEP flap, PAP flap, SGAP flap or fat grafting. Implants can be done in one stage or two stage. Two stage reconstructions are started by placing expanders at the time of mastectomy. Once they expanders are placed they are able to be inflated as determined by wound healing. The final time consists of combining any of the above techniques.

If you are interested in being seen in Austin please give us a call. I know this is a difficult time for you. The majority of my practice is devoted to reconstruction for women with breast cancer or who are BRCA+

Revisionary Breast Reconstruction

Revisionary or re-do breast reconstruction is quite common. There are many variables that go into how symmetric a reconstruction can be and sometimes it is quite difficult. Nevertheless, if you are not happy with your reconstructive appearance, speak to your surgeon. Revisions can certainly be done and nipple reconstruction should be offered as a component of the reconstruction.

Leo Keegan, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Revision if not satisfied with breast reconstruction results

You are entitled to have a revision.  We see many women who convert from implants to flaps, from saline to silicone, etc.

Because of the Women's Health Care Rights Act (late 1990's) -- this is covered by insurance, including an operation on the normal side to correct asymmetries.

Breast reconstruction

Absolutely you should be ablt to have a redo recosntruction if you are not happy with the results.  Many times autologous tissue( using your own tissue) can be performed to give you a nice looking, natural feel breast.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Revision of Breast Reconstruction

Revision is possible depending on the nature of the problem.  Most certainly nipple and areolar reconstruction is definitely possible. 

Dr. ES

Breast reconstruction revisions

It is absolutely possible to have revisional breast reconstruction. It is important also to note that by Federal law, operations to achieve symmetry for the contralateral breast are also covered by insurance. I recommend having a consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area to review your options. You will likely be pleasantly surprised! Good luck to you!

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Breast reconstruction revision

Of course. Seek opinions in person from boarded plastic surgeons in your area. Best is an removal of implant and replacement with expander or a flap + expander. Best of luck from MIAMI Dr. B


It would be good to check with your insurance carrier prior to the surgery to check on benefits, but if your breast don't match most carriers will pay for follow up surgery to make you breasts match even if that means doing something to the opposite side.

Check with your plastic surgeon and they can write the appropriate letter to your insurance company.

Good Luck,

Dr T

Scott Tucker, MD
Winston Salem Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.