What is a Breast Implant Exchange?
Breast implant exchange surgery is a surgical procedure performed after undergoing breast augmentation. During a breast implant exchange, the old breast implants are removed and new implants are placed within the breast tissue.
There are a number of reasons why women choose to have a breast implant exchange procedure, including weight loss or gain, breastfeeding, desire for a larger or smaller size implant (or implant type, as in saline to silicone), or breast sagginess. Other women experience complications of a breast augmentation procedure like implant rupture, implant malposition, or capsular contracture and opt for revisional breast surgery.
Breast implant exchange can be performed by your original breast augmentation plastic surgeon or another board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in revision surgery like breast implant exchange.
With aging, the breasts can become more ptotic, or saggy. During a breast implant exchange, a breast lift procedure may be used to elevate the nipple-areolar complex to a more youthful location. It can also be used to get rid of excess skin. This is called a mastopexy or breast lift. The type of breast lift performed depends on the degree of sagginess and the amount of natural breast tissue.
Incisions for breast implant revision surgery are typically the same ones used during your breast augmentation – for example, within the breast fold. When the existing breast implants are removed, the capsule of scar tissue that forms around the breast implant can be removed by your plastic surgeon with a capsulectomy, released with a capsulotomy, or repositioned with a capsulorrhaphy. Once the scar tissue is removed, the new breast implant can be placed in the existing implant pocket, or it can be placed in a different pocket location based on your goals.
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Recovery & Results
Breast implant exchange recovery is similar to your initial breast augmentation surgery. You should expect to take one or two weeks away from your regular schedule to rest and recover, during which you’ll wear a surgical bra to support your new breast implants (similar to the one you wore after your breast augmentation).
You’ll be prescribed medications to manage discomfort and swelling. Make sure to avoid exercise and heavy lifting for at least six weeks. Your final results will begin to emerge between three weeks to three months after your procedure.
Schedule a Consultation
Breast implant exchange surgery can have a lot of benefits. Whatever your reasons or goals, we can recommend your best options. To schedule a consultation and begin planning your ideal breast implant exchange procedure, contact our Reno office to meet with Dr. Timothy Janiga by calling or filling out our online form.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can breast implants be exchanged?
Yes, whether for medical or aesthetic reasons (i.e. you would like them to look different), breast implants can easily be removed and replaced by the same or different types of implants.
Can breast implants be reduced in size?
Yes, a common reason people seek breast implant exchange is that as they age they would like a smaller implant, possibly because of sagging or change in body shape.
Do breast implants change shape over time?
While the implants themselves will not change in shape or volume (unless a rupture occurs), breast appearance can change due to conditions in the breast pocket changing, such as capsular contracture or a change of the breast shape with age.
How long do breast implants last?
There’s no set timeline for the life span of breast implants, although they commonly last upwards of 10 to 15 years.
Can you feel a ruptured breast implant?
Sometimes, yes. A saline implant that ruptures will quickly deflate as the saline is absorbed into the body. Silicone is less noticeable especially if you have one of the newer gummy bear type implants. If you have these you may only know after a mammogram.