It's important to know that after receiving breast implants, results are not permanent and they may require replacement during your lifetime. You should expect to have future visits with your plastic surgeon to discuss changes in your breasts.
Over time, your breasts can change due to aging, weight fluctuations, hormonal factors and gravity. If, after a period of years, you become dissatisfied with the appearance of your breasts, you may choose to undergo a breast lift or implant exchange to restore a more youthful contour.
What is Breast Implant Exchange?
Breast implant exchange is a surgical procedure that removes or replaces breast implants placed during breast augmentation. The procedure may be indicated for medical reasons or it may be the patient’s personal choice. To provide a satisfactory aesthetic outcome, a cosmetic procedure may be performed during or after breast implant removal. Removal of breast implants is frequently followed by replacement with a different implant type (such as silicone gel) or a breast lift (mastopexy) procedure.
Reasons for Breast Implant Exchange
You may believe that breast implants no longer fit into your lifestyle or you may decide that a different implant size or type is appropriate. In either of these cases, breast implant removal will be necessary.
- Change in size preferences
- Switch from saline to silicone
- Decision to remove implants
Medical indications for breast implant removal may include trauma, disease, or a surgery complication. Complications of breast augmentation may necessitate breast implant removal or revision surgery. Some of these complications are as follows:
- Capsular contracture
- Implant displacement
- Visible implant rippling
- Ruptured implant
- Nipple malposition
What Happens During Surgery?
Breast implant removal is a relatively straightforward procedure. The implant is typically approached through the same surgical incisions as your original breast augmentation. Surgery may be as short as one hour, but this will vary depending on your particular condition.
After Breast Implant Exchange
Removal of breast implants carries a possibility for an undesirable aesthetic outcome, especially if you’ve had them for several years. When breast augmentation is first performed, the skin stretches to accommodate the implants. If they are removed, it is likely that your skin will not shrink back to a satisfactory state.
While it is possible that your breasts will return to their pre-augmentation appearance, most patients will benefit from another cosmetic procedure. Your plastic surgeon may recommend a breast lift to tighten the tissues and excess skin. To meet your appearance goals, he or she may also recommend a different implant size or different implant type.