Breast Implant Replacement (Secondary Breast Augmentation)

Breast Augmentation or Enlargement (‘Boob job’) is performed using breast implants to improve not only the size but to provide a natural, beautiful shape. Women seek breast augmentation for a variety of reasons but common to all is to feel feminine, sensual, and regain or improve confidence:

  • Improve the size of a breast that already has good shape
  • Improve cleavage and upper pole fullness
  • Improve the size of breasts that did not develop during puberty
  • Restore breast volume and shape after breast feeding or significant weight loss – this sometimes needs to be combined with a breast lift.
  • Correct breast asymmetry
  • Correct tuberous breast deformity (also known as ‘snoopy breasts’)

However women come to see us at Mode Plastic Surgery to have their existing implants changed for several reasons:

  • Their implants are old and may have ruptured
  • Their implants have become hard over time (capsular contracture)
  • Their implants have moved to an abnormal position (implant malposition) – this could be too far to the centre, too far out, too far up, or too far down.
  • Previous unsatisfactory result and now seek the expertise of a Specialist Plastic Surgeon like Dr Aggarwal.

Dr Aggarwal is one of the only Sydney Plastic Surgeons who has completed further fellowship training in dedicated Breast Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery. He has also published a CME on Secondary Breast Augmentation in the Plastic and Reconstructive Journal, the premier plastic surgery journal for educating plastic surgeons worldwide.

It is important to remember that implant replacement or revision is much more challenging than primary breast augmentation. The implants need to be replaced but adjustments need to be made to the implant pocket, remove existing scarred tissue or capsule, and additional tissue may need to be added.

Procedure Snapshot

• Anaesthetic: GA by accredited anaesthetist
• Time: 2-3+ hours (depends on level of complexity)
• Duration of stay: Day Surgery or Overnight stay (may need to stay longer if drains)
• Hospital: Offered at any of the private hospitals where Dr Aggarwal works
• Medicare/Health Fund Rebate: Usually yes.
• Recovery: Most people can do most things at the end of the first week. Upper body exercise is disallowed for 6 weeks and strenuous exercise for 3 months. Avoid swimming in a pool or beach for 2 weeks.
• Results: This is a challenging procedure, and much more complex than primary breast augmentation. Patients are generally very happy but implants take 3-6 months to settle and therefore achieve the final breast shape. It is important to remember the results vary from patient to patient, and depends on previous surgery and scarring, and degree of complexity of surgery.

Cosmetic Concerns

• Older generation implants had more liquid silicone which could leak and form cysts in the breasts.
• Dr Aggarwal will generally advise you to obtain imaging to see if this is the case
• In general you will require removal of the implant and its capsule.
• It may then be possible to insert new implants if you desire, or alternatively undergo a breast lift, and avoid the need for implants.

  • This is called capsular contracture
  • The treatment involves removal of the implants and the surrounding capsule
  • New implants are then inserted if you desire. It is thought that capsular contracture occurs due to a low grade contamination of the implant during insertion and we undertake several steps to prevent contamination of implants we insert (read our 14 point plan).
  • However in some patients recurrent capsules form despite best efforts and if you have had several revisions before without success you may consider leaving the implants out without replacement.
  • Occasionally additional tissue called ADM (Acellular dermal matrix) may need to be added to reduce the change of capsule formation.
  • If implants are too close together there can be a loss of gap between the two breasts – this is called symmastia.
  • This is due to over dissection in a previous implant insertion in an effort to give a patient cleavage
  • It can be a very difficult problem to fix – Dr Aggarwal will explain during your consultation what surgery can be done to improve this, depending on the degree of the problem, and quality of the existing tissues.

• If implants are too far apart there is a large gap between the two breasts: the gap often increases when the patient lies down.
• This is due to over dissection in a previous implant insertion where the pocket created is too large for the implant
• Dr Aggarwal will explain during your consultation what surgery can be done to improve this, depending on the degree of the problem, and quality of the existing tissues.

  • If implants are too high this can look like the breast tissue has fallen off the front of the implant
  • This can be due to one of two problems
    • The implant is not in the correct submuscular position whereby the muscle has not been sufficiently divided to allow the implant to sit under the breast
    • A breast lift was required in addition to the implant insertion
  • Dr Aggarwal will explain during your consultation what surgery can be done to improve this, depending on the degree of the problem, and quality of the existing tissues.

• If implants are too low it can make the breast take an unusual shape – the breasts look too long, can have a double bubble appearance, and the nipples can look too high.
• This is due to over dissection in a previous implant insertion or where implants are too heavy and/or the patient’s soft tissues are of poor quality to hold the implants.
• Dr Aggarwal will explain during your consultation what surgery can be done to improve this, depending on the degree of the problem, and quality of the existing tissues.

  • If implants are too visible this could be because the overlying tissues are not of sufficient thickness to hide the underlying implant.
  • This can be addressed via:
    • Change a subglandular pocket to submuscular
    • Add extra tissue such as ADM (read our website section on ADM)
  • Dr Aggarwal will explain during your consultation what surgery can be done to improve this, depending on the degree of the problem, and quality of the existing tissues.
  • Whether you feel your implants are too big or too small Dr Aggarwal will explain during your consultation what your options are, and guide you to the best treatment option.
  • It is important to note that a pure size change of implants is not generally covered by health funds or Medicare. This will mean you will have to pay for hospital/theatre fees in addition to surgical and anaesthetic fees.

Procedure Information

The procedure is always performed under general anaesthesia given by an accredited anaesthetist in a fully accredited and licensed facility (usually one of the North Shore’s premier private hospitals). The procedure takes can take two to three hours and sometimes longer depending on the degree of complexity of surgery. Most patients will be tend to stay overnight, and some longer depending on the use of drains.

• Before any surgery on your breast Dr Aggarwal will refer you for a mammogram and ultrasound to ensure the breast is clear of any pathology.

  • Generally it is possible to use the previous incision made for surgery
  • If however a transaxillary (arm-pit), periareolar (around the nipple) or transumbilical (belly button) incision was made to insert your implant, we will generally suggest that surgery is performed via a new small inconspicuous incision in the fold of the breast.

  • This inframammary incision allows the best access to remove the old implant, perform a capsulectomy (removal of the capsule) if required, and to perform surgical manoeuvres to alter the breast implant pocket and therefore achieve best control of long term shape of the breast
  • It also allows the cleanest access for implant placement preventing long term contamination of the implant which can contribute to risk of capsular contracture.

• Breast implants may be placed in a subglandular or submuscular pocket.
• Generally if the implant is in the wrong position (malposition) the pocket will have to be changed or surgically altered to correct the implant position.

Subglandular

  • This is where the implant is placed above the muscle but under the breast gland
  • This pocket is less commonly used as it offers less coverage of the implant by soft tissues and therefore the implant may be more visible
  • However in certain patients it has several advantages such as:
    • Better cleavage in patients with good soft tissue cover, and already reasonable breast size and shape this
    • Less risk of lateral displacement of the implant
    • reduced animation (i.e. movement of the implant with muscle contraction)
    • faster recovery
    • improved shape and better control of gland reshaping in patients with tuberous breast (also known as snoopy or constricted breast)

Submuscular

  • This is where the implant is placed under the muscle and the breast gland
  • Submuscular or subpectoral pocket placement allows the following advantages:
    • additional coverage of the implant imparting a more natural look to the result especially the upper pole
    • offers reduced rates of capsular contracture long term
    • less risk of the implant migrating downward (or inferiorly) as the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor muscles sandwich the implant, maintaining its position as they contract during routine muscle activity.
    • easier to image the breast tissue using mammography

Dual Plane Technique

  • Dr Aggarwal routinely employs this technique as it offers the best of both submuscular and subglandular placement
  • This is where the muscle is partially divided so that the upper part of the implant is under the muscle (therefore imparting a more natural look to the upper pole of the breast) and the inferior part of the implant is in direct contact with the gland (and therefore imparting greater shape to the rest of the breast).

• This stands for acellular dermal matrix.
• This tissue resembles skin as it is derived from the skin of humans or animals. The cells from the tissue have been removed so that the body does not recognise the tissue as foreign.
• Over time your body will make this part of its own.
• This matrix is excellent in revisional implant surgery as it allows
• Adding tissue where existing soft tissue has thinned out
• Adding extra support where there is abnormal implant position
• The disadvantages of this product are
• Higher rate of fluid collections or seroma – it therefore makes the use of drains mandatory and they can be stay in for several days and even up to a week.
• Red breast syndrome – parts of the skin in contact with the ADM can become bright red over the days following the operation almost resembling an infection. This is not uncommon and provided the patient is well the problem disappears and is self-limiting of its own accord. If however there are any other signs of infection such as fevers or feeling generally unwell you will need to stay as an inpatient for drip antibiotics
• Cost – depending of the size of the product needed, the human ADM can cost from $5700 to $27000. This cost may be covered entirely by the health funds provided you have appropriate level of cover and the surgery is covered by a Medicare item number.

• Dr Aggarwal will place waterproof dressings over the incisions. You will also be placed in a surgical bra that you must wear for the first 6 weeks. This helps to reduce swelling, pain and discomfort as well as controlling the position of the implants in the early post-operative period as the area heals.
• You will be able to get the area wet after 48 hours if you have no drains (or alternatively after the drains are out, or when instructed by Dr Aggarwal) and go back into the surgical bra after your shower. You will not be allowed to swim in a pool or beach for at least 2 weeks after surgery.
• You will be given a script for antibiotics by Dr Aggarwal which you must continue until the box runs out. You may be maintained on oral antibiotics as long as the drains stay in.
• You will also be given pain relief medications although most patients only report minor amounts of post-operative pain that is responsive to simple oral analgesia.
• You will not be allowed to go back home on your own – you must have someone accompany you home, and it is best to have someone look after you for the first few days as you recover.
• You should not drive for at least 24 hours after having an anaesthetic nor operate heavy machinery. After having breast implant revision we will generally advise you to refrain from driving for at least 1 week.
• While most sedentary activities can be resumed in the first week, you must not do any exercise for the first few days after surgery that could raise your blood pressure. You will also not be allowed to do any heavy lifting or upper body exercises for the first 6 weeks.
• Dr Aggarwal will see you a week after your procedure to inspect how the wound is healing. You will be given instructions how to look after the wound as it continues to heal. You will be able to ask questions about what you can and cannot do. Generally we will see you at 1 week, 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 month, 6 months and 1 year post surgery.

Implants

Dr Aggarwal only use the highest quality implants from the leading manufacturers who back their implants with lifetime guarantees. At Mode Plastic Surgery we will never employ cut price or cheap implants that have not had the most rigorous testing or safety profile

  • Modern breast augmentation uses current generation of silicone implants which have advanced significantly since being introduced decades ago. Unlike older generation implants, modern silicone implants are form stable/highly cohesive meaning that:
    • They offer greater stability of breast shape
    • If they rupture, the silicone retains its shape much like a ‘gummy bear’. It is therefore rare for even the breast to change its shape in the event of a rupture usually being detected on breast imaging.
    • Modern silicone implants have a tough outer shell which has very low rupture rates.
    • There is much lower incidence of gel bleed/ silicone seepage
  • It was older generation silicone implants that had less cohesive silicone so if the implant ruptured the silicone could leak into the breast tissue, form silicone cysts, and migrate to the axilla (arm pit). This does not usually happen with modern generation implants.

Round Implants

  • These are used in women who:
    • Already have an excellent shape to their breast with reasonable tissue thickness
    • Desire a more enhanced look, or greater upper pole fullness
    • There is a concern that the implant could rotate. This can be the case after an implant removal and capsulectomy.
  • These implants are available in less firmer gels and can therefore feel softer to touch. However due to the softer gel, they can be more prone to rippling which can be visible and palpable in patients with thin overlying tissues.
  • Round implants come in smooth and textured varieties, and in different projections.
  • Dr Aggarwal uses round implants from Mentor and Motiva.

Anatomical Implants

  • Anatomical or ‘tear drop’ implants are fuller at the bottom than the top resembling the shape of a native breast
  • These are useful in women who:
    • Have less thickness to their tissues and therefore less likely to hide the underlying implant shape
    • Desire a more natural looking result
    • Have a shape to their chest requiring difference in width and height of the implant (as anatomical implants come in different widths and heights)
    • Have tuberous breasts, or significant breast asymmetry
    • Have a degree of droop (ptosis) to their breast and want to avoid a breast lift
  • Anatomical implants are always textured though the degree of texturing varies between different implant manufacturers.

Smooth Implants

  • In Dr Aggarwal’s practice smooth implants are less commonly used as they have less stability of position and are more prone to implant malposition especially down and out when placed in a subpectoral/submuscular position
  • However their benefits can include
    • Lowest Risk of ALCL (see tab on ALCL)
    • May be possible to insert these via a smaller incision

Textured

  • Textured devices are more commonly used because as the tissue heals around the implant it produces a Velcro effect with the implant surface adding to maintenance of implant position.
  • Benefits of textured implants include
    • Better maintenance of implant position
    • Lower capsular contracture rate especially in the subglandular position
    • Option to use anatomical implants with firmer gel consistency offering better maintenance of long term shape, and less rippling
  • The degree of texturing of implants varies and can be described as:
    • Macrotexturing: this is a very coarse texture imparted to the device during manufacturing. It was thought that texturing was a big reason why textured implants had reduced capsular contracture rates (see capsular contracture in complications) in breast augmentation. However this has lost favour recently whereby macrotextured implants from multiple manufacturers have been associated with higher rates of ALCL (see ALCL tab).
    • Microtexturing: this is degree of texturing that is much finer than macrotexturing. We regularly use implants from Mentor which offer microtexturing. Mentor implants are available in smooth and round, and we employ them for both reconstructive and cosmetic breast surgery. Microtextured implants have a much lower rate of ALCL (see ALCL tab).
    • Nanotexturing: with increased innovation and research around ALCL, a new category of texturing has been recently developed. This texturing is so fine that the implant almost resembles a smooth implant whilst still offering the benefits of texturing. It is thought that given the reduced association of microtexturing with ALCL that these implants will have an even lower risk of such issues. Dr Aggarwal uses implants from Motiva which feature nanotexturing.
  • Saline implants were popular overseas especially in North America as that continent went through a period of not using silicone implants.
  • In Australia these are rarely used as they carry a higher risk of rupture and rippling. If they rupture they lead to complete loss of breast shape.
  • The touted benefits of saline implants are thin capsule formation around the implant and if it was to rupture the content being saline which is simply absorbed by the body.
  • However with modern generation silicone implants being of extremely high quality the benefits of these silicone implants clearly outweigh those of saline implants.

  • Mentor is probably the biggest implant manufacturer in the world with the longest safety track record of any manufacturer.
  • At Mode Plastic surgery we routinely use Mentor implants for both our reconstructive and cosmetic surgery patients.
  • Available in both round and anatomical device shapes, smooth and textured, we are able to select the best device for a particular patient.
  • Furthermore their microtexturing offers lower risk of ALCL than other manufacturers that employ macrotexturing to their devices.
  • Mentor implants come with a lifetime warranty.

  • The newest manufacturer on the block is Motiva however their implants are backed by years of research and extensive experience overseas.
  • Motiva implants also offer other benefits not seen before in other implant manufacturers’ devices, which is why we at Mode have employed their use:
    • Microchip technology – which can be scanned externally by a Q-reader. This allows instant detection of serial number, size and type of implant to be detected allowing for safer record keeping. If a patient was to ever see a surgeon decades down the track this information can be essential, and particularly if there was ever an issue with the implant device.
    • Nanotextured technology – delivers the benefits of textured devices with safety profile of smooth implants.
    • Ergonomix implant technology – a special category of ‘round’ implants that have a softer gel imparting a natural feel to the breast, and also behaving like ‘anatomical’ implants with the effect of gravity.

  • MonoBloc construction – the outer shell and inner content are not two separate things but the implant is constructed as one unit.
  • Offer of 5 year extended warranty period (for surgical fees) and lifetime implant protection – Like Mentor Motiva offer a lifetime guarantee for their implants. This means should the implant ever become faulty the company will replace them free of charge. However patients can still be faced with surgical, anaesthetic and hospital fees for an operation in the event of device failure – Motiva offers the option to purchase extended warranty for 5 years during which period they will also contribute towards the cost of other fees associated with the operation, offering a complete peace of mind.
  • Motiva implants are slightly more expensive than the Mentor implants, with Motiva Ergonomix implants being comparatively priced to Mentor anatomical devices.
  • Motiva implants are currently only available to our cosmetic surgery patients.

• Modern generation silicone implants are of very high quality but as with all foreign bodies they have a lifespan and must eventually be replaced.
• Currently we state that the implants will last 10-15 years. However this does not mean that you will definitely need to sign up for surgery at the 10 year mark.
• Dr Aggarwal will examine you every year following breast implant surgery. This is to ensure there are no changes in the breast shape as well as integrity of the implant.
• If there is any suspicion of implant integrity or the implants are over a decade it may be worthwhile obtaining imaging at that stage. If imaging detects a problem with the implants or there are other reasons for surgery (e.g. scar revision, breast lift, etc) you will be offered surgery for exchange of implants.

Risks & Complications

Every surgery carries risks, and therefore one must consider if risks outweigh the benefits for your own personal situation. If they do then the surgery may be well worth it. Dr Aggarwal will discuss the pros and cons of surgery with you during your consultation.

• Risks of anaesthetic – there are general risks of going under an anaesthetic such as a mild stress on the heart and lungs, risk of reaction to anaesthetic drugs and risk of blotting in the legs. These risks are generally low in patients who are otherwise fit and healthy.
• Bleeding (1-2%) – any bleeding is controlled during surgery however unexpected bleeding can occur in the immediate postoperative period. If this occurs it will necessitate a return to theatre to control the bleeding.
• Infection (<1%) – this is extremely rare given the precautions taken to prevent contamination of implants (read the 14 point plan). However you are given antibiotics during induction (when you are going to sleep), as well as a course of oral antibiotics after your surgery to keep this risk to a minimum.
• Seroma (2-5%) – while generally rare the risk of fluid collection increases with capsulectomy and the insertion of ADM. In these scenarios we will generally place drains at the time of surgery which stay in until minimal fluid is draining. You will also be required to wear a compressive surgical bra and reduce physical activity to minimise this risk.

  • Implant palpability – it is possible to usually feel the implant at the lower, outer part of the breast in thin persons as this is where the coverage is the least. However in very thin individuals or those with small breasts or little soft tissue cover it may be possible to feel or see the implant elsewhere.
  • Rippling – softer gel implants are more prone to rippling than higher cohesive gels. Patients with thinner tissues are more likely to experience this where it can be possible to both see and feel the rippling of the implant. Rippling can occasionally be masked by fat grafting or by change to a firmer gel implant.
  • Rupture – rupture rates of modern day silicone gel implants are very rare. If they do occur they are picked up incidentally on imaging as the form stable implants maintain their shape despite the rupture. However given implants are foreign bodies they will lose integrity over time and will eventually need to be replaced.
  • Rotation – this is only an issue for anatomical (or tear drop) implants. To prevent this an exact size of pocket is created to match the size of an implant. If there is a concern regarding rotation, round devices obviate this risk.
  • Capsular Contracture – The body reacts to a foreign body such as a silicone implant by forming a layer called the capsule around it. In 5-8 % of patients this capsule can become hard over time changing how the implant feels, and sometimes how it looks. It can also become painful in extreme cases.
    • Most of these cases occur in the first year after insertion of breast implants
    • Most manufacturers cover this complication as part of their lifetime guarantee.
    • Studies indicate that capsular contracture is lower with textured implants (especially when placed in subglandular plane or just below the breast and above the muscle), and lower with submuscular placement of implants
    • More recent literature indicates that this may be related to contamination of the implants during insertion with a chronic response of the body to a ‘biofilm’ of bacteria on the implant surface causing the capsule to become hard.
    • The treatment for capsular contracture involves removal of the implant, removal of the capsule and insertion of a new implant with care taken to prevent capsular contracture. However in some patients who have had recurrent capsules the only solution is to permanently remove the implants.
  • Implant Malposition
    • The original reason for the implant revision can recur.
    • This could be because the soft tissues are not strong enough to retain the implant or the surgical manoeuvres to improve the implant position were not successful.
    • Repeat surgery or removal of the implants altogether are options.
  • ALCL – see tab on ALCL
  • Atrophy of tissues – a foreign object like silicone pushing against the normal breast causes it to thin. The bigger and heavier the implant the greater the degree to which this will occur. As the tissues thin implant visibility, palpability and rippling become more pronounced and the risk of implant malposition become higher. We therefore caution against selection of large implants and Dr Aggarwal will usually guide you as to what size will suit your frame whilst trying to minimise this risk.
  • Change in nipple sensation – this can occur in up to 15% of patients but is usually short lived and returns to normal after a few weeks to months.
  • Animation deformity – this is movement of the implant with muscle activation. This occurs in all patients having submuscular placement and for this reason for the first 6 weeks the pectoralis muscles should not be heavily used to avoid movement of the implant. Long term extreme use of the pectoralis muscles (such as heavy bench pressing) should probably be avoided to avoid long term implant malposition. Some degree of implant movement with pectoralis muscles will occur in all patients and should be expected rather than seen as a complication.
  • Unusual breast shape – it is common for the initial shape of the breast to be unusual as the tight pectoralis muscles with a subpectoral implant take time to relax and for the implant to settle due to gravity. This can take approximately 6 weeks to 3 months. However occasional problems can occur including:
    • Malposition
      • Implant moves either centrally, laterally (down the side), up or down, needing revision surgery for correction
    • Double bubble
      • Can occur in patents with tuberous breast deformity where the fold of the breast needs to be lowered.
      • The old fold gives the appearance of a fold on the breast as well as the new fold where the implant sits. This can be camouflaged with fat grafting
      • Occasionally this is due to an inferior malposition of the implant (implant moving too far down) which needs to be corrected surgically.
    • Asymmetry
      • Most women’s breasts are asymmetrical and breast augmentation can highlight small asymmetries that were not noticed previously
      • Significant asymmetries are aimed to be corrected by surgery
      • However there can be asymmetry of scars, shape, nipple position and it is important to discuss these before surgery with Dr Aggarwal.
    • Waterfall deformity
      • This occurs when the implant sits too high and the breast appears to have fallen off the front of the implant
      • This can be due to one of two problems
        • The implant failed to adequately lift the breast and a breast lift was required in addition to the augmentation procedure
        • The implant is sitting too high and needs to be lowered by division of the lower part of the pectoral muscle.

ALCL

  • Breast implant-associated ALCL is a rare type of cancer.
  • It usually presents as a swelling of one breast due to accumulation of fluid (delayed seroma)
  • This occurs on average 7.5 years after the insertion of implants. However it can occur much sooner than this (as early as less than a year) and late as 27 years after the operation in Australian and New Zealand data.
  • Less commonly, breast implant-associated ALCL can take the form of a lump in the breast or a lump in the armpit.
  • Most cases of breast implant-associated ALCL are cured by removal of the implant and the capsule surrounding the implant.
  • The risk in the literature varies widely from 1/3,000,000 to 1/50,000.
  • However a recent study conducted in Australia (Wilkinson et al PRS 2017) documented the risk as
    • Biocell or macrotextured implants (Allergan, Inamed, McGhan) = 1/3817. These implants are not used at Mode Plastic Surgery.
    • Polyurethane implants (Silimed) = 1/7788. These implants are not used at Mode Plastic Surgery.
    • Siltex or microtextured implants (Mentor) = 1/60,631. We commonly use these implants carrying the lowest risk of ALCL of all textured devices.
  • At this stage this is currently being investigated and new research is ongoing.
  • It is unlikely that the implants directly create the disease and there is good support for an infective theory – i.e. that minor contamination of the implant produces a ‘biofilm’ on the implant surface which then causes ongoing inflammation that reaches a critical point to cause the disease.
  • A study by Adams et al PRS 2017, demonstrates that with defined steps to minimise bacterial contamination there were no documented cases of BIA-ALCL in even macrotextured implants.
  • At Mode Plastic Surgery, Dr Aggarwal employs the 14 point plan to prevent contamination of breast implants.
  • This is a plan developed in consensus by plastic surgeons across the globe but especially from Australia and USA to reduce bacterial contamination of implants thought to cause not only BIA-ALCL but also capsular contracture
  • This plan, employed by Dr Aggarwal in all his implant surgeries includes:
  1. Use of antibiotics via a drip at the time of anaesthetic induction (when the patient goes off to sleep)
  2. Avoid peri-areolar incisions (Dr Aggarwal favours the inframammary fold incision for this reason)
  3. Use of nipple shields to prevent spillage of bacteria
  4. Perform meticulous dissection of the breast implant pocket
  5. Performing careful control of any bleeding
  6. Avoiding dissection into the breast tissue (where bacteria live).
  7. Using a dual plane pocket if required (Dr Aggarwal uses this routinely)
  8. Cleaning the breast implant pocket with betadine or antibiotic irrigation solution
  9. Minimising skin-implant contamination
  10. Minimising the time of implant opening, reposition and replacement of implant
  11. Changing surgical gloves prior to handling the implant. We also use clean or new instruments that were not used in the pocket dissection
  12. We avoid using a drainage tube, where possible
  13. Closing the wound in layers
  14. Recommending our patients use antibiotic prophylaxis to cover subsequent dental or surgical procedures that produce bacteraemia, and at Mode Plastic Surgery we provide lifelong follow-up
  • Given the rare occurrence of the disease, we do not recommend removal of breast implants.
  • Thousands of women have breast implants in Australia each year and have done so for many years without issue.
  • This disease affects a very small minority – it is therefore important to be aware of it, consider it before committing to surgery and knowing what to look for.
  • If you develop a late swelling of the breast following breast implant you should inform us immediately.
  • Dr Aggarwal will refer you for an ultrasound and at the same time a fluid sample will be collected which will be sent off for a special marker of the disease (CD30)
  • You will not be required to undergo special imaging unless the marker returns positive from the ultrasound guided aspiration.
  • Given the rarity of the disease, regular screening is not yet recommended by the TGA
  • At Mode Plastic Surgery, we offer lifetime yearly checks of your implants and if, as with any procedure, you have any issues or concerns you should notify us to see Dr Aggarwal.
  • BIA-ALCL has occurred in women who have had breast implants for both cosmetic and reconstructive reasons
  • However currently there are no reports in Australia of BIA-ALCL occurring in women who have only ever had smooth implants.
  • At the time of preoperative consultation you should discuss this with Dr Aggarwal.
  • Most cases are cured by removal of the implant and capsule surrounding the implant.
  • If a patient was to develop BIA-ALCL on one side we would generally recommend removing the implants and capsules on both sides.
  • All cases are discussed in a multidisciplinary setting with involvement of a haematologist with experience in lymphoma. Occasionally chemotherapy or radiotherapy is needed – usually when there is a solid lump (not just fluid filled).
  • Over the last 10 years, three Australian women have died from breast implant-associated ALCL.

Procedure FAQs

  • It is advisable to obtain a referral for breast implant revision as it is possible to claim a Medicare rebate of approximately $73 for the consultation if you have a referral
  • It is also possible that a Medicare/Health Fund rebate may apply to you depending on what procedure you need, and having a referral allows you to claim this reducing out of pocket costs substantially.
  • You can see us at our main practice at Gordon, or at our other locations at Hornsby, Hunters Hill or Camperdown.
  • Please scroll to the bottom of the page to find out more information about these locations.
  • Any of the hospitals where Dr Aggarwal works – i.e. Sydney Adventist Hospital, SAN Day Surgery, Hunters Hill Private or Castlecrag Private hospitals
  • Stop smoking at least 2 weeks before surgery
  • Cease fish oil, and other supplements such as Ginkgo, Ginseng.
  • Please discuss with Dr Aggarwal if you are on blood thinning medications as to when you should stop and recommence those.

• Yes for a total of 6 weeks.
• You should not wear any bras with an underwire during this period

  • You should not do any exercise that raises your blood pressure for at least 72 hours after surgery to avoid the risk of an unexpected bleed
  • Heavy upper body exercise that activates the pectoralis major muscle should be avoided for 6 weeks
  • Extreme heavy duty upper body exercise such as very heavy bench pressing should perhaps be avoided permanently as this risks displacement of the implant from its ideal pocket location.
  • You should note that there will be some movement of the implants with exercise as they are commonly placed under the muscle
  • Dr Aggarwal will provide you with the necessary scripts for antibiotics and pain relief.
  • Antibiotics need to be continued as long as any drains are in place to reduce the risk of infection.
  • For the future you should remember that if you are ever having dental work or other invasive procedures to cover yourself with some oral antibiotics as there is a small risk of bacteria entering the bloodstream with such procedures that can reach the implant cavity.

• Yes. Once you have implants, you will require surgery at some stage to exchange them. As they are foreign objects they have a lifespan of roughly 10-15 years.

  • Dr Aggarwal will offer to see you yearly and once implants are 10 years old it may be wise to image them to inspect whether there are any issues with their integrity.
  • It is safe to undertake air travel after having implants
  • However we always encourage patients not to be away overseas shortly after having a procedure, so that we can closely follow your recovery and address any concerns that may arise.
  • You may swim in a pool or beach after 2 weeks as this is the time it takes for the incision to heal but you are best to check with Dr Aggarwal after surgery.

• It is best to not drive for 1 week after surgery.

• No
• All our breast augmentation surgeries are performed under general anaesthesia given by an accredited anaesthetist
• The surgery is performed in an accredited private hospital
• It is usually a procedure that involves staying in hospital at least overnight or longer if drains are placed.

  • This is uncommon but it is possible that there is a reduction in nipple sensation for a period after breast implant revision. In the minority where this happens, in most of those cases the sensation returns to normal weeks to months after the procedure. It can take as long as 12 months.
  • Permanent loss of sensation of the nipple is very rare.
  • If this is of significant concern to you, you should not have surgery on your breast.
  • Implants should have no impact on your ability to breast feed.
  • However even in the normal population (women who do not have breast implants) up to a third of women cannot breast feed at all, and a third require additional supplementation for their infant. These proportions of women are unchanged after breast augmentation surgery.
  • Yes
  • This is easier if the implants are placed in a subpectoral or submuscular position.
  • Radiographers are used and well accustomed to imaging breasts with implants that need to be displaced temporarily to allow the breast tissue to be imaged.
  • It is important for you to participate in regular screening as you would have otherwise done for breast cancer based on your age and family history.
  • There is no association between breast implants and breast cancer
  • Patients should still however continue their regular screening for breast cancer based on their age and family history
  • In Australia it is recommended for women who reach the age of 50 to undergo 2nd yearly mammography for breast cancer screening in the absence of other significant family history – if you have a strong family history you may be required to start breast cancer screening earlier
  • Implants more recently have been associated with a rare lymphoma called ALCL. The risk is extremely low and we still consider implants to be very safe way of augmenting the breast.
  • Yes you can have implants removed altogether. Generally the breast tissue has thinned out after a period of having implants so removing them alone seldom results in a good breast shape. The options are:
    • Breast lift at the time of capsulectomy and implant removal.
    • Simultaneous fat transfer at the time of capsulectomy and implant removal.

Procedure Pricing

  • The out of pocket costs vary from $6000 to $9500 depending on the complexity of implant revision. This is for:
    • fully insured patients with appropriate health insurance cover, and
    • for whom the procedure is medically necessary, where a Medicare item number applies to the surgery
  • Patients who are not insured or for whom a Medicare item number does not apply: total cost can vary from $11000 to 18000 (cost of ADM in addition to this, if needed)
  • All the above costs include:
    • Mentor or Motiva implants
    • Surgical fees
    • Hospital fees
    • Anaesthetist fees
    • Follow up
  • Please note that the above price does not include
    • Preoperative consultation fees – which are $250 for the initial consult and $125 for additional preoperative consultations
    • Breast lift (mastopexy)
    • Surgical fees for future implant revisions

Gallery & Video Your Procedure Request Consultation

Meet Dr Aggarwal

Dr Aggarwal is a well regarded, respected, highly skilled and experienced Specialist Plastic Surgeon. Graduating at the top of his class throughout his training, Dr Aggarwal has completed fellowship training at some of the world’s most prestigious reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery institutions. He continues to publish research is prestigious plastic surgery journals, and is actively involved in the training of future plastic surgeons.

What sets Dr Aggarwal apart from others is his personal, affable and warm nature. Not only does he pay attention to detail, to producing natural, beautiful results but he ensures that the patient’s journey is just as special as their outcome. Dr Aggarwal looks after patients at two of Sydney’s most prestigious public hospital campuses (RPA and POWH/RHW), and operates privately on the North Shore.

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Why Choose Us

Highly Skilled

Highly skilled Fellowship Trained Plastic surgeon – know you are in the safest of hands with a Plastic Surgeon who is experienced, highly respected, and appointed at premier Sydney hospitals- including the SAN, RPA, POWH and RHW.

Safety

If sedation or general anaesthetic is required, it is delivered by an accredited anaesthetist

Accommodation

Have your surgery at premier, accredited Sydney private hospitals

Upfront Costs

We provide written quotes, so there are no surprises.

Patient Centered Care

We make you our top priority. Need to ask a question, worried about dressings or something else post op? We will always be at your beck and call.

Reviews

Our patients love us! Feel free to read our reviews online on independent websites, or you can speak to some of our existing patients who will gladly speak about their plastic surgery journey.

Affiliations & Associations

Latest News

New Consulting Locations

In addition to our Hornsby and Camperdown locations, in 2018 we bring you:

  • Hunters Hill (Lower North Shore) – conventiently located near one of Dr Aggarwal’s operative locations at Hunters Hill Private Hospital, Hunters Hill offers the convenience of accessing Dr Aggarwal in the lower north shore.
  • Gordon (North Shore) – set to be our primary practice, our flagship rooms will be open for trading in August 2018. Follow our blog to see an update on progress.
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Consulting Locations

Gordon (Flagship)

Suite 13, Level 3, 924 Pacific Highway, Gordon NSW 2072

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Hornsby

85 Burdett St, Hornsby NSW 2077

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Camperdown

Level 2, Clinic D, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, Camperdown NSW 2050

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Hunters Hill

Level 1, 6 Ryde Road, Hunters Hill NSW 2110

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Phone:

1300 80 9000

info@modeplasticsurgery.com.au

Suite 13, 924 Pacific Highway
Gordon NSW 2072, Australia

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