The reality show Botched ran for seven seasons on the cable channel E! The show documented the experiences of patients who had bad experiences with cosmetic and plastic surgeons.
From uneven breasts and saggy tummy tucks to supposedly unfixable nose jobs, the doctors of the show performed cosmetic revision surgery to help restore the self-esteem of the show’s guests.
Unfortunately, not everyone who has a poor experience with a doctor has the chance to go on TV to have their body parts repaired.
The good news is that you don’t have to go on TV to have a botched job made beautiful again. Cosmetic revision surgery is available at your local cosmetic surgeon’s office.
When is Cosmetic Revision Surgery Necessary?
When you decide to have cosmetic surgery, you have a lot to consider. There is the cost you have to worry about, but also the recovery time. And then there is the skill of the surgeon, the safety conditions of the surgical center, and the quality of the results you expect.
Even with a skilled surgeon, there are always risks to any procedure, cosmetic surgery included. And there is always a chance of you being less than pleased with your results.
According to the FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration), around 40% to 70% of breast reconstruction patients need a follow-up operation after eight to ten years, whereby their breast implants are replaced. Around 20% to 40% of breast augmentation patients require the same.
As for nose jobs, the FDA says that between 5% to 15% of rhinoplasty surgeries need to be revised.
You may wonder about your options if you have a cosmetic procedure and experience complications or undesirable results. First, it’s important to know when cosmetic surgery has failed, because the reality is sometimes more complicated than many people believe.
How Do You Know When a Cosmetic Surgery Has Failed?
It is not so cut and dry to call a surgery successful or failed based on appearance alone. Everyone is different and cosmetic surgery patients have varying expectations of what constitutes a successful surgery.
This is where the initial consultation comes into play. During your first meeting with your cosmetic surgeon, and all follow-ups prior to you actually undergoing surgery, you and your surgeon will work together to manage your expectations.
Read our article: Tips for Scheduling Your First Cosmetic Procedure with a Cosmetic Surgeon
Your cosmetic surgeon should educate you on what to expect post-operation. The surgeon also informs you of things to watch for that could be signs of potential complications, such as a hematoma (buildup of blood under the skin), or seroma (buildup of fluid).
Complications such as these are easily managed with a quick return to the operating room.
Some complications like the rippling of breast implants can take time to become evident and may require cosmetic revision surgery.
But what if you simply are not happy with your results?
The first thing to keep in mind is that your body may take time to heal. While you can return to your normal activities after a few weeks, the true results of your procedure may take a year or more to become apparent. Everyone heals at a different pace and some results take longer than others.
If you are ever concerned with the way you look following cosmetic surgery, tell your surgeon. A reputable professional will take your concerns into consideration and advise you on your options.
What Options Are Available for Failed Procedures?
If your body is fully healed and you’re still not pleased with the final outcome of your cosmetic surgery, your surgeon may recommend a follow-up surgery, also referred to as a revision cosmetic surgery.
To have revision surgery, you are advised to wait six months after the original surgery. There may be exceptions if the poor outcome is accompanied by complications.
To determine the right course of action for revision, you and your surgeon will work together to determine the proper cause of the failure. The surgeon may use medical imaging and other tests to establish what has gone wrong and why the poor outcome occurred.
The course of action your surgeon takes will depend on the results of those tests.
How Does a Cosmetic Surgeon Perform a Revision Cosmetic Surgery?
The treatment plan for correcting an aesthetic defect due to a poor outcome of cosmetic surgery will depend on the original surgery and your preferences. The surgeon will ensure you are informed about the steps to take and the options available to you.
Revision cosmetic procedures are more complicated than primary surgeries because your anatomy has been altered. If the original surgery happened years ago, the revision surgery may be more advanced since techniques evolve over time. Then there is the fact your body has healed, and there may be scar tissue to contend with.
Every revision surgery is different, in other words, but there may be some similarities to the original surgery. An example might be replacing breast implants or revision rhinoplasty. Some techniques will be the same as the primary surgery, depending on why the procedure failed.
Scar Revision Surgery
One common revision procedure is one dedicated to correcting scars. If you have experienced a cosmetic surgery that left a less-than-favorable scar, a revision procedure may be right for you.
Read our article: Scarless Cosmetic Surgery for Discreet Improvements
There are a variety of techniques a cosmetic surgeon can use to revise an unsightly scar.
Scar excision is a technique where the surgeon removes the scar entirely before closing the skin. This procedure is only viable if there is enough adjacent skin to work with.
Skin grafting can also be used. During this procedure, the surgeon removes the scar and uses skin from a donor site on your body to cover the scar area. This technique is most commonly used for burns.
Z-plasty or W-plasty is possible as well. With this technique, the surgeon repositions the scar along the natural skin lines.
Having a scar revised can help you feel better about the way you look. You will have to wait until the original scar heals before it can be revised. This takes around a year. You can expect the original scar to start out red, then tighten, before it converts to a more subtle color. Once fully healed, you can discuss scar revision surgery with your cosmetic surgeon.
Breast Implant Revision
Another popular revision surgery involves the replacement of breast implants following breast augmentation or breast reconstruction. During the procedure, the surgeon replaces the original silicone or saline breast implants with new ones. In some cases, the surgeon will remove the breast implants entirely without replacement.
Read our article: How to Choose the Ideal Breast Surgery for Your Body Contouring Goals
There are many reasons patients choose breast revision surgery. These include:
The Breast Implants Have Bottomed Out
This means the breast implants have dropped lower on the chest. The surgeon can reposition and secure the implants with a biological material that is safe inside the body.
Breast Implant Downsizing
You may decide that you want smaller breast implants. If this is the case, there may be redundant skin and sagging breasts if you simply switch out your original implants with a smaller size. For this reason, this type of breast revision is usually accompanied by a breast lift to manage the excess skin.
Read our article: Breast Augmentation Trend: Smaller, More “Natural” Implants
After the original breast implant surgery, it is normal for the body to form a capsule around the implant. This is essentially a form of scar tissue. After some time, the capsule can thicken and become firm and tight. This can lead to a condition known as capsular contracture. The cosmetic surgeon removes the capsule and original breast implants during the revision surgery before placing the new implants. The revised implants are placed in a different position relative to the chest muscle to make sure the results look natural and that you are comfortable long into the future.
Breast Implant Rupture
Some breast implants can leak or rupture. If this occurs, the revision surgery involves replacing the damaged implants with new ones.
Breast Implant Rippling
Breast implants can form ripples that are visible on the surface of the skin. The ripples can be camouflaged with your own fat using a technique known as fat grafting. The revision cosmetic surgeon can also use biological material to pad the implants and hide the rippled effect.
Read our article: What is Natural Fat Grafting? And How Long Does it Last?
Read our article: Benefits of Fat Grafting for Breast Augmentation
Symmastia refers to a phenomenon whereby the breast implant pockets merge in the center of the chest. During the revision surgery, the two implant pockets are separated using your own capsule material if the scar tissue is strong enough. Otherwise, a biological material can be used to separate and fortify both implants.
Other popular revisions include tummy tuck revision surgery and liposuction revision. In both cases, excess fat may be removed that wasn’t extracted during the original surgery. The skin may also be tightened when sagginess or loose skin has resulted from the primary procedure.
Should You Return to the Same Surgeon or Get a Second Opinion?
We recommend that you return to your original surgeon if you are unhappy with your results for whatever reason. Again, your body may not have healed properly. Your original surgeon can assess your results and let you know when your final results will become apparent.
Going to another surgeon is always an option, whereby your results will be assessed, and a revision cosmetic surgical plan developed to correct your aesthetic results.
What Are the Risks of Revision Cosmetic Surgery?
All surgeries come with risks. That includes revision procedures. Anytime you revise an original surgery, you are adding further trauma to the skin. And, like the original surgery, there may be additional scar tissue. The accumulative scarring may make it difficult to achieve the results you expect. You also potentially add complications since you’re having two surgeries instead of one.
Before a cosmetic surgeon will take on a revision case, he or she will ensure to manage your expectations appropriately. This includes informing you of the limitations of revision treatment.
The surgeon will explain how he/she will perform the revision, whether there will be additional scarring, and what to expect during the healing and recovery process. Depending on what caused the original surgery to fail, there may be extra precautions to contend with before the operation and post-operation.
Managing Your Mental Health in Preparation for Revision Cosmetic Surgery
You may find yourself struggling emotionally as you prepare to revise your original cosmetic surgery. There may be stress, anxiety, and depression. These are valid emotions to feel if you are unhappy with your primary results. Feel free to share your fears with your cosmetic surgeon so your mental health is managed appropriately during the recovery process.
Did You Have Unfavorable Cosmetic Surgery? Revision Cosmetic Surgery Can Help
The ideal outcome is for you to be happy with your cosmetic surgical results. However, sometimes things go wrong. Revision cosmetic procedures exist to optimize your results and restore your self-esteem, just like the patients on the TV show Botched.
One way to minimize the risks of complications and unfavorable outcomes is to choose a highly-skilled, board-certified cosmetic surgeon who specializes in the procedures that most interest you. Look at before and after photographs and ask about the specifics of treatment, and the results you can expect.
Read our article: Find the Best Cosmetic Surgeon Using This Checklist for Stellar Results
While no cosmetic surgeon can guarantee a positive outcome, by doing your homework, you can ensure your safety and increase your chances that your results will come out exactly as you prefer.
If you have experienced a poor aesthetic outcome due to one or more cosmetic surgeries, Dr. Babak Moein of Moein Surgical Arts would like to meet with you.
Dr. Moein specializes in a variety of cosmetic procedures from mommy makeovers and a rhinoplasty to transgender surgery and buttocks implants. Tell Dr. Moein about your results and why you are unhappy to determine if you are a suitable candidate for revision cosmetic surgery. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Moein by calling