The first thing we’ll say about revision plastic surgery is that it’s rare (as it should be!) but it does sometimes happen. There are a number of reasons why a revision plastic surgery might be necessary, but what’s important to think about is whether the reason for your revision surgery is truly necessary. Is it going to do what you’re looking for, or are you better off leaving things as they are?
We’ve definitely seen cases in which revision plastic surgery has been truly necessary. There are patients who have travelled abroad for a cheaper surgery, only to end up paying for it in the long run by coming back with botched results—not something we ever recommend doing. Some patients simply did not heal as would be expected, where something may have happened during their recovery, or as a result of an unforeseen and very rare post-op complication. All surgeries carry risks, one of which is things not turning out exactly as planned. Though it’s quite rare, it’s still a risk.
And then there are some patients who, for whatever reason, are just not happy with their result.
If any of these things happen to you or have happened to you following your surgery, or if revision plastic surgery is something you’re thinking about exploring, here are some really important steps that we recommend.
Go Back to Your Original Surgeon for a Revision
Ok, don’t go back to your original surgeon if you went abroad somewhere and they were inexperienced and messed up your surgery. This is why we always advise against this course of action, just because it’s so important that your surgeon follow you from start to finish, from your first consultation prior to your surgery to well over a year following your surgery.
However, if you had surgery with a board certified plastic surgeon near you, with years of experience, and for some reason you’re not happy with your result, we really recommend that you go back to see them first before you do anything else. The reason for this is that the original surgeon will know your case best. They’ll know the exact details of your surgery, what would need to be corrected and how, if necessary. Like with anything, it’s really difficult to correct someone else’s work (or mistakes), and this is especially problematic for surgeons.
You’re more likely to get the result you want if you have your revision surgery done with your original surgeon than you are by starting from scratch and going to see a new one.
Wait a Year Before Pursuing Revision Surgery
Some patients go back to their doctors after surgeries like breast augmentation or Brazilian butt lift (BBL) after only 3 or 4 months and say that they’re not happy with their result or that things don’t look quite as they would expect. The important thing to keep in mind is that this is because you’re still healing.
For most surgeries, your result at 3-4 months post-op will not be the result you see a year following your surgery. Yes, it really does take this long, though some of these changes are quite subtle to the untrained eye. We always emphasize to our patients that they need to be patient with themselves, they need to give their body the appropriate amount of time to heal.
Surgery is a big deal, there’s a lot that happens to your body when you have an operation and you need to give your body time to adjust to these changes. You need to allow for swelling to go down, for scars to soften and fade, and in case of surgeries that involve implants or fat transfer, you need to give your body time to adjust to the implants or the relocated fat.
Another reason we recommend waiting until the one year mark is that some issues that you may notice early on in your recovery will resolve by themselves over time. For instance, following a fat transfer operation, fat can harden into a small, sometimes painful lump in a process known as fat necrosis. In most cases something like this will resolve itself if you just give it time.
Revision Surgery Shouldn’t Be Confused with Returning for a Different Surgery
Prior to their surgery, we always speak to our patients about keeping their expectations realistic. Although most surgeries, like breast augmentation, tummy tuck, or BBL, will dramatically change your look, it won’t miraculously solve your life problems. Surgery may change how you feel about yourself and your body, it may give you a boost of confidence and make you feel super happy, but it won’t change you, or bring back an old flame.
You also need to have realistic expectations about your result. Your breast augmentation results won’t necessarily look like your friend’s or that celebrity that you really wanted to look like. You’ll still look like you, just with a bit of a change. Sometimes patients mistake what they imagined would be their result as a surgical error or mistake.
So when you’re thinking about revision surgery keep in mind that if it’s for a results-driven reason, you have to be prepared that even after the revision you still might not be satisfied.
The other thing to keep in mind is that revision surgery shouldn’t be confused with coming back for a different type of surgery. So say you had a breast lift, but you’re not satisfied with the size of your breasts following your surgery. Coming back for implants would not be considered a revision of the breast lift because you would then be coming back for a breast augmentation. It’s a completely different type of surgery.
If you have any questions about revision plastic surgery, come chat with us. We’re always here to help.