Breast Surgery - when Can It Be Redone?

I have recently had my breast done and unhappy with the size. How long do I have to wait to have it re-done?

Doctor Answers 45

Breast Implant Replacement or Revision Wait 6-12 Months

Thank you for your question.

Your body's natural response to the placement of Breast Implants involves a complex series of healing stages.

If you intervene in this process too early the risk of scarring and capsular contracture (firmness) of the new implants is increased.

Wait at least 6 months and preferably a year before further surgery-this allows your wound healing response to become less active and should make the surgery easier with less risk of complication.

Wait at least 6 months after a breast augmentation to "live with your new size" before considering a modification

Any cosmetic surgery procedure will affect your body image.  It takes TIME to adjust to this change.  I always recommend that my patients take at least 6 months after any surgery to get used to the result, and "live in their skin" before considering any particular change.

After breast augmentation, while you may have initially been shocked with the change, you will get used to your new size in a matter of weeks.  Remember that it takes months for all the associated swelling to go away. 

Generally, at around 6 months, your result will be close to final, and by one year, all scars will be completely "mature".

Rest assured that your Plastic Surgeon takes a great deal of time, care and maximal effort to give you as close to the exact result you are looking for. 

Be patient and take the time needed to heal before you consider any revision!  You will likely be extremely happy with your result!

Karen M. Horton, MD, MSc, FRCSC

Karen M. Horton, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Wait from 3 to 6 month

Good question.

It's important to evaluate why you are not happy with current size:

  • If you want a bigger size (1 cup or more), and there are not technical contraindications to do this, you must proceed as soon as you can (no before 3th month).
  • If your aim is to reduce 150-200cc, My advice is to wait 3 months for new surgery.
  • In case you only want to  vary minimally your size (<100cc), I would wait at least 6 month.

Be sure that apart from the fact that your swelling will decrease during this "waiting time", it's very important to have a "mature and determined" idea of the new desired size. Your plastic surgeon will help you with the new decission, advising you if there are technical problems that contraindicate de new resizing breast surgery.

Enrique Etxeberria, MD
Spain Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Changing Implant Size

You CAN change ANY time!

The best time to change is worth discussing with your surgeon: if you are miserable and are thinking of a cup size or more for your change, then you may be best served by proceeding expeditiously.

If you are thinking of less than a cup size, it may be best to give yourself a little bit of time.

I usually advise my patients to wait 3 months or so to have time for swelling to disiipate and for my patients to adjust to the change, before another operation.


Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Breast Surgery

Hello Ms. Padu, thanks for the question.

Most surgeons would ask you to wait at least 3 months before additional surgery unless there was a specific complication associated with your procedure. I am assuming you had a breast augmentation (though from your question I suppose you could have also had a breast reduction or other procedure.)

This time will allow the majority of swelling to resolve so that issues with size can be more accurately assessed (you want to be sure the implant size is the issue, not the swelling caused from the surgery).

In my East Bay area practice we perform breast augmentations we spend a great deal of time with patients discussing issues of breast size. When patients are not quite sure about the size I will lend them several different sized implants to try for a week or two. If your plastic surgeon can't (or won't!) do this try bags of rice. The important thing here is you really need to try to wear the "trial size" implants as much as possible. This means try them with different clothes, (swimsuits, professional wear, casual wear, formal wear) but it also means while driving, while working out, while sleeping. It isn't a perfect way to see what the implants will be like, but it is pretty close.

When considering your second surgery I think this may be an even more important step for you. In addition, find someone who has experience is revision breast augmentations and always go to a board certified plastic surgeon.

I hope this helps and please feel free to contact my office for additional discussion.

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

When to Schedule a Breast Augmentation Revision

Depending on the reason for #revision, it's typically  best to wait approximately 6 to 12 months to undergo the next breast procedure.  Matters such as sagging or drooping  and size change will not improve with time. As with all cosmetic surgery, results will be rewarding if expectations are realistic. With any surgical procedure, there are some risks which your doctor will discuss with you during your consultation. It's best to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeons who have specialized in breast surgery and cosmetic surgery are suitable to perform your breast augmentation. You will then greatly improve your chances of getting the result you desire, and, without the need for a revision surgery. Aside from checking board-certification, it is suggested that you look at before and after photos of the surgeons actual patients, and read patient reviews. Gathering all of this information will help you make a well-informed decision. Please be advised that each patient is unique and previous results are not a guarantee for individual outcomes. 

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

When can you redo a breast augmentation?

It might be too early to consider a breast revision at this point in your recovery. I usually tell my patients that you are about 85% of the way to your final result in 3 months and achieve it by one year.

Your final results following a breast augmentation are mostly present; including "dropping of the implant", when implants are below the muscle, within the first 3 months for most and certainly by a year. Breast implants initially after surgery when placed in a submuscular position often give superior fullness that corrects itself with time, the "fluff and drop" phenomena. In reality the pectoralis major muscle takes a while to adjust its size to accommodate the implant as well as occasional muscle spasm which keeps the implant projection higher than its final resting shape. Additional variables include:laxity of skin, size difference during prior pregnancies, position of implant,size of muscle, and size of implant.
As the muscle relaxes the projection of the implant often increases and the breast shape improves. Massage and use of a superior placed elastic strap can often make this process go faster.

The two breasts commonly heal quite differently. One breast may swell more, feel more uncomfortable, or have a different initial shape. After complete healing, they will be more similar and natural. You must have patience, but if this causes concern, ask questions of the doctor or the nursing staff. I will explain in the link below.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews


Normally waiting 3-4 months should allow the majority of the edema and swelling to resolve and allow an accurate measurement as to final volume. Implants can be exchanged at this time with your revision surgeon.

Stuart A. Linder, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Breast Augmentation Revision Timing

I'm sorry to hear of your disappointment. However, sometimes after the swelling dissipates, and the implants settle, some of my own patients who were in tears over their size are celebrating by two or three months. In my own practice I recommend patients wait 6 to 12 months before exchanging their implants. Check with your plastic surgeon to find out how long he/she would wait before considering exchanging your implants.

Heather J. Furnas, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Wait At Least 6 Months Before Breast Revision

                  The period of time immediately following breast augmentation surgery is characterized by rapid change. During this dynamic phase of healing; swelling, muscle spasm and the healing process itself all contribute to change in the appearance of a women’s breast. In some cases, swelling and muscle spasm can displace the breast implants in a superior direction.

                  When swelling and muscle spasm resolve, the implants will drop into a more normal position. This can be facilitated by performing implant displacement exercises and utilizing superior chest compression. Significant progress can be seen in 4 to 6 weeks, but changes can be expected up to six months following surgery.

                  For these reasons, we very rarely perform revisional pocket surgery for at least six months following breast augmentation. During this interval, many patients demonstrate significant improvement and are ultimately happy with their results. When surgery does prove necessary, the wound healing dynamics are more favorable at this time which translates into better results. 

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 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.