breast implants scotland

Corrective Breast Surgery | Breast Implant Removal

Many women who have had breast implants in the past may require maintenance or revisional surgery.

We have extensive experience in revision or corrective breast augmentation surgery.

Revision or secondary breast augmentation can range from being a simple procedure to being a complex one. There are a multitude of factors involved, and we explore some of these on this page.


Corrective breast surgery overview




1-2 Hours




1-2 weeks off work, 6 weeks before strenuous exercise

Corrective breast surgery

Corrective or secondary breast surgery can range from being a simple procedure to being a complex one. There are many factors involved, and we explore some of these below.

  • Why do breast implants have to be replaced/ revised?
  • One of the most common reasons for correction is up-sizing – patients requesting larger breast implants.
  • Capsular contracture (abnormal scar tissue around an implant) results in the breasts’ hardening, pain and change in shape.
  • Feeling/seeing the edge of an implant, visible ripples, folds, or creases (seen or felt) can all be indications for correction.
  • A change in the position of implants from their original location (implant malposition) resulting in a wide gap/ poor cleavage, high riding implants or bottoming out (abnormal low-lying position) with lack of support.
  • Droopiness of the native breast tissue results in the so-called “double-bubble” appearance.
  • Breast asymmetry (noticeable difference in size, shape or position)
  • Other indications for revision may include unsatisfactory scars and disproportionately large nipples.

The above indications for corrective breast surgery may be related to the implant, the initial surgical technique or problems with the breast tissue surrounding the implant. These might include a change in the volume of the breast tissue and loss of skin elasticity. Factors contributing to this include ageing, pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight variation, sun damage and smoking.


Procedure types

Depending on the patient, revision surgery may involve one or a combination of these procedures:

  • Removal of the old implants and replacement with “like-for-like” or different size, type or shape implant.
  • Removal of thickened contracted scar tissue lining the implant pocket (capsulectomy).
  • Change to the existing implant pocket to allow for the insertion of a much larger implant and/ or reduce the gap between the implants (capsulotomy).
  • Change to the existing implant pocket to correct bottoming out, resulting from a descent of the breast crease and lack of support.
  • Breast implant pocket switch from above to below the muscle to address rippling and recurrent capsular contracture.
  • Breast uplift/ reshaping (mastopexy) to correct droopiness.
Procedure types

Commonly asked questions

How do I choose what implant size to go for?

We use a sizing kit to help you decide what implant size is best for you. The sizing kit gives you and us an idea of what you are looking for. It’s useful to bring some of your own tops to see how you look with certain implant sizes. We also have access to 3D imaging which can give you a visual representation of what you might look like with different implants. The type of implants (round/ anatomical or teardrop) and where we place them (above/ below the chest muscle/ dual plane) will be explained to you in full.

What if my breasts are also droopy?

If your breasts have become droopy, then you may be more suited to a breast enlargement combined with breast uplift (Augmentation Mastopexy). This will depend on several factors, such as the position of your nipples relative to your breast crease, what size implant you wish to have and whether you have had previous pregnancies/ weight loss.

If you are unsure about whether you may require an uplift, you can try our cosmetic surgery selector tool.

Will my implants have to be changed after a particular time?

Breast implants need not be replaced after a set period. However, they can cause problems over time and may need to be removed or swapped for technical (implant rupture/ tight scar tissue) or cosmetic (change in breast shape over time/ after pregnancy/ weight loss) reasons. So it is crucial to know that you may require further breast surgery.

Are there any alternatives to breast enlargement surgery with implants?

If you want a modest increase of one cup size, then fat transfer to your breasts may be an option. Fat transfer is a well-established plastic surgery procedure used in breast cancer patients for many years. Fat is removed from your tummy or thighs using liposuction. The fat is then prepared to remove blood and oil and injected into the breasts. Some of the injected fat will be lost over the first few months. The advantage of fat transfer is that you are not putting anything “foreign” or unnatural into your body. The main disadvantage is that only a modest enlargement can be achieved, and the increase in volume is not as reliable as using implants

The advantages of fat transfer breast augmentation

Natural: Only uses your body’s tissues.

No Implants: Avoids implant risks, such as implant rupture and capsular contracture.

Can recontour the body: The liposuction used to harvest fat can reshape the body.
Avoids noticeable scarring: Only tiny incisions are used to harvest and inject fat.


The disadvantages of fat transfer breast augmentation

Limited enlargement.
Reabsorption of fat: Even in the best hands, the body will resorb some of the transferred fat. There is a chance that a large percentage of the transferred fat will be resorbed, with the result falling below expectations and the need for multiple treatments.
Not effective in correcting droopiness
More expensive. Fat transfer augmentation involves two procedures (liposuction plus breast augmentation) and is usually more expensive than breast augmentation using implants. Additional costs will be incurred should a repeat treatment prove necessary.


You may not have enough fat to transfer to your breasts.
You may be happy with your figure and not wish to have it changed.
You may have enough fat for one transfer. What if you need a repeat treatment?

How does recovery compare with that of the first operation?

Women thinking about revision breast surgery will have some idea of what the procedure is like. There are similarities to the original process, but there can also be significant differences depending on the complexity of the revision procedure. A simple exchange of implants for comparable shape/ size can be straightforward as no major work is required on existing implant pockets. But if more complex surgery is needed, the operation will take longer, and the recovery will be more protracted. Examples of complex revisional surgery include correction of capsular contracture, implant malposition and breast uplift.

What to expect

You may be up and about in 2 days, but it will be a few weeks before you are entirely up to speed.

Your mood may fluctuate after surgery – this is normal. A small amount of blood staining on the inside of your dressings is typical during the first few days.

Discomfort/ Pain

Some pain is typical in the first few days after surgery especially if your implants have been placed under the muscle. You may experience some numbness of your nipples and incision areas. You may experience temporary soreness, tightness, swelling and bruising as well as some discomfort in the incision area. Your breasts may be sensitive to stimulation for a few weeks.

Bruising/ swelling

Your breast will feel tight and swollen for several days and bruising is not uncommon.


Most of the discolouration and swelling will subside in 4-6 weeks.

Scars may be red and angry looking for 6 months. In time, these usually soften and fade.

Your final breast shape will not become apparent until 6 months.

View before and after gallery
What to expect

What are the risks?

Revision breast implant surgery is an operation of varying complexity and has a degree of unpredictability. There is no guarantee of a satisfactory outcome; further surgery may sometimes be necessary. All operations carry associated risks, including those of the anaesthetic and infection. All complications and long-term problems that follow the primary breast implant procedure can happen following revisional surgery. See pages on breast augmentation and breast lift.

Revision breast augmentation aftercare

If you have had revision breast implant surgery with us or are considering it – please find some detailed instructions and advice on aftercare following revision breast augmentation.

Explore breast correction aftercare
Revision breast augmentation aftercare

Body dysmorphia

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental health condition in which someone can’t help thinking about one or more perceived issues or faults in their appearance. Other people may think that their concerns are minor or they may fail to see them at all.

People with BDD, continuously focus on their appearance and body image, repeatedly checking the mirror, grooming or seeking reassurance, sometimes for many hours each day. The perceived flaw likely causes significant distress and impacts on a person’s ability to function in their daily life.

People affected with BDD often seek out cosmetic procedures to try to “fix” their perceived flaw. Afterwards, they may feel temporary satisfaction or a reduction in their symptoms, but often the anxiety returns, or they may move on to focus on other perceived problems related to their appearance.

Some patients may have features of body dysmorphia. Such patients are not likely to be offered surgery.

If you are considering surgery, it is worth trying the self-assessment tool below known as the Cosmetic Procedure Screening Questionnaire (COPS).

The questionnaire was developed by David Veale, Nell Ellison, Tom Werner, Rupa Dodhia, Marc Serfaty and Alex Clarke (2012) Development of a cosmetic procedure screening questionnaire (COPS) for Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Journal of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, 65 (4), 530-532.