Breast implant revision surgery

What is breast implant revision surgery?

Breast implant revision surgery covers two types of surgery. The first type of surgery is the removal of the implant when there is a medical fault. The second type of surgery is replacement of the breast implant in certain medical circumstances.

Patients who might need breast implants removed include:

  • Patients with existing faulty breast implants funded through the NHS
  • Patients who have had NHS funded breast augmentation as part of gender reassignment surgery and the breast implant is faulty
  • Patients who have existing faulty breast implants (privately funded).

Patients who might need removal and replacement surgery:

  • Patients with faulty breast implants which were originally funded by the NHS.

Treatment

Patients may need breast implant removal surgery, if:

  • Severe capsular contracture (Grade 3 or Grade 4) occurs. When a person has breast surgery, the body will naturally create scar tissue around the implant as part of the healing process. Over time, the scar tissue will begin to shrink (called capsular contracture). In some people, the scarring will tighten and squeeze the implant making the breast feel hard and sometimes causing pain and discomfort
  • The implant ruptures. A rupture is a split that occurs in the implants
  • The patient gets Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) as a result of breast implant surgery. ALCL is a rare type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and most cases occur in the capsule surrounding the implant.

Patient eligibility criteria

Removal of breast implants are commissioned where there is a clinical need for removal (such as rupture or some types of capsular contracture), whether the implant was initially inserted by the NHS or privately funded.

Removal AND replacement of breast implants is commissioned where there is a clinical need for removal (such as rupture or some types of capsular contracture), AND the implant was initially inserted by the NHS under the following previously commissioned criteria:

  • Previous mastectomy or other breast removal surgery
  • Trauma to the breast during or after development
  • Total failure of breast development (congenital amastia)
  • Gland (endocrine) abnormalities
  • The breast have developed unevenly (developmental asymmetry) or are underdeveloped (severe hypoplasias)
  • Gender reassignment surgery.

This means (for patients who DO NOT meet the above criteria) the CCG will only fund the treatment if an Individual Funding Request (IFR) application proves exceptional clinical need and that is supported by the CCG.

Advice and further guidance

  • For more information, search for ‘breast revision surgery’ at www.nhs.uk
  • Choosing Wisely UK is part of a global initiative aimed at improving conversations between patients and their doctors and nurses.

Or visit the following websites:

Treatment policy for patients covered by NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG

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