Recovering From Revision Surgery: Getting Active After A Ruptured Breast Implant


Recovering From Revision Surgery: Getting Active After A Ruptured Breast Implant

Returning To Work After Rupture

Breast augmentation is a fantastic procedure to increase the size and volume of the breasts. Close to 98% of women are satisfied with the results. The procedure is generally safe, but with any surgical procedure, complications are possible. A ruptured implant, sometimes called breast implant failure, is a possible complication. Ruptures occur when the implant’s casing is damaged, causing the inner material to leak. This can happen with silicone or saline implants. The complication is serious and can lead to symptoms and the need for implant removal. After removal and a possible revision, most patients are eager to resume normal activities, especially work. How long is recovery for a ruptured implant?

Causes of a ruptured implant

Breast implant failure occurs for various reasons, including aging of the implants. Implants aren’t meant to last forever, and ruptures can happen 10 or more years after installation. Sometimes, trauma from a fall or accident can damage the implant. Repeated chest compression, such as weightlifting, can also cause ruptures. Capsular contracture is a secondary cause of breaks. Natural scar tissue forms after surgery but can sometimes squeeze and damage the implant. In rare cases, the implant can be defective.

Surgery and recovery

Ruptures have specific symptoms like pain or a deflated breast. However, some silicone implants show no signs of rupture. Periodic scans can identify silent ruptures, so removal can happen immediately. The surgeon will perform a procedure to remove and possibly replace the implants. Most surgeons use the same incision location for breast augmentation to reduce excess scarring. In some cases, the surgeon will make incisions around the dark areas of the areola to hide the scars. A removal procedure can take up to 3 hours. There will be swelling during the first 2 weeks, followed by discomfort.

Planning a return to work

Most patients are eager to return to work. However, resting is an integral part of recovery. Rest prevents sutures from rupturing, infections, and other complications. Depending on the type of work performed, some patients can return to work after 2 weeks. The surgeon may remove the stitches at this point, and healing can continue. For simple desk work, the patient can return but must move around periodically to reduce swelling and fluid buildup. More strenuous work may require further rest, lasting up to 2 additional weeks. Breast implant revision takes up to 6 weeks to heal from fully.

Back in the saddle

Patients can speed up recovery with rest and a healthy diet. Using the recommended pain management techniques can also help. Wear comfortable clothes or an advised compression bra for new implants during recovery. Limit smoking, alcohol use, and heavy lifting. Light exercise is encouraged, with walking or riding a stationary bike as preferred options. A ruptured implant is serious but treatable. After revision surgery, many patients can resume light desk work in 2 weeks. A longer recovery may be necessary for more intense jobs. Always discuss return to work with the surgeon for more information.

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