Breast Implant Exchange Is Commonly Used For:
- Replacing a ruptured silicone gel implant
- Replacing a deflated saline-filled implant
- Relieving capsular contracture (tight scar tissue around an implant that makes the breast mound too firm)
- Changing the breast implant size to achieve larger or smaller breasts
- Changing implant placement from submuscular to subglandular or vice versa
- Switching a silicone gel breast implant for a saline-filled implant or vice versa
If you want to learn more about reasons for breast revision, visit our blog.
If you experience any concerns listed above or are otherwise dissatisfied with your breast augmentation results, please reach out to Advanced Aesthetics.
What Can Be Achieved With Breast Implant Replacement?
Improved Breast Size and Shape
After breast surgery, some patients are not satisfied with their breast contours or the breast size their implants achieved. This may occur immediately after surgery or decades later.
Breast revision allows you to replace your breast implants with those of a different size or shape. You may also choose to move your implants from under the muscle to over the muscle (or vice versa). Your surgeon may also adjust your breast pocket that holds the implants to keep them in the correct position to achieve the breast contours you seek.
Correction of Breast Implant Complications
If you experience a complication such as breast implant rupture or capsular contracture, breast implant replacement surgery becomes necessary.
A rupture occurs when the outer shell of an implant breaks. Capsular contracture occurs when scar tissue around the breast implant squeezes the implant. It is often caused by infection or an overstimulated immune response.
This operation removes the damaged or constricted implant and replaces it with a new one.
How Is Breast Implant Replacement Performed?
During a breast implant replacement surgery, your surgeon will most often use the same incisions from your primary surgery to access your breast tissue and implants. This prevents adding more visible scarring and may allow your surgeon to improve the appearance of scars that healed poorly.
Breast Implant Replacement Techniques
Your surgeon will then carefully remove your breast implants and replace them with the new ones of your choosing.
You can learn more about your replacement breast implant options here.
One or more of the following options may be used during your procedure:
- Opening a contracted scar tissue capsule to release the tension around the implant (capsulotomy)
- Removing the implant and scar tissue capsule entirely (capsulectomy)
Breast lifting techniques, especially if going from a large implant to a smaller one
What Can I Expect After Breast Implant Replacement?
Is Breast Revision Recovery Painful?
Many patients find that recovery from breast revision surgery is easier than that of their initial breast surgery. We will supply you with tips and instructions on keeping yourself comfortable and safe during your recovery.
You will need several follow-up appointments with your surgeon to monitor the healing process.
How Long Does Recovery After Implant Replacement Take?
Most patients can return to their normal daily activities in about one week. They may resume full activity, including exercise, in three to six weeks.
Patients must be careful of their drains, which are placed during surgery and removed after a few weeks of recovery. These help reduce the buildup of excess fluid as you heal.
Each patient’s recovery process is different depending on the type and extent of their surgery. Your Advanced Aesthetics surgeon will discuss what to expect from your recovery in more detail.
When Will I See My Breast Revision Results?
Most patients will start to see their breast revision results in four to six weeks as swelling subsides.
After six weeks, most patients can see their final results.
Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Implant Replacement
How much is breast revision?
The cost of breast revision for breast implant replacement can vary significantly. This is because each surgery is customized to address unique concerns.
No two breast revision procedures are the same. Some patients may want new implants that cost more (or less) than their original implants. Some patients may prefer to combine their revision with a breast lift. All of these factors and more will impact the cost of breast implant replacement.
Will health insurance cover my breast implant replacement?
Most insurance policies will not cover revision procedures for cosmetic reasons. However, many health insurance plans will cover breast implant removal if it is performed for medical reasons, such as treating capsular contracture or a ruptured breast implant. While implant removal may be covered, insurance companies do not generally cover the cost of surgery to replace the implants.
Talk with your health insurance provider to determine what your policy covers.
How often should I replace my breast implants?
Most patients need to replace their breast implants within 10 to 20 years of their initial placement. However, some breast implants have lasted longer than 20 years.
You can learn more about how long breast implants last by visiting our blog.
What can I expect from my breast implant replacement consultation?
When you meet with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons, they will ask you about your previous breast surgery and examine your physical condition. They will also ask you about your aesthetic goals and ensure that you understand what breast revision surgery can do for you. Finally, they will recommend a treatment plan and answer any questions you have about your upcoming operation.
What kind of implants should I get?
When you choose to replace your breast implants, you can select new implants identical to your current ones or change to another type. You can switch from saline to silicone or the other way around. You can change from round implants to shaped implants to change your breast contours. You can also change the size of your implants to enlarge or shrink your breasts.
You can learn more about your breast implant options here.
How dangerous is breast revision?
While all plastic surgery carries a degree of risk, breast revision is usually safe. On rare occasions, complications can occur.
These complications may include:
- Poor wound healing
- Unfavorable scarring
- Unfavorable breast contours
- Capsular contracture
- Excess bleeding
Can I get breast revision to correct the results of a breast lift?
The most common breast revision surgeries are breast implant replacement and breast implant removal without replacement. However, patients who underwent breast lift surgery (mastopexy) may choose to undergo a second breast lift several years after the first. This is because breasts naturally droop further over time, and a second breast lift can correct this issue. Breast lift revisions can also be performed to correct asymmetries or noticeable scarring that occurred during the breast lift healing process.
Although a second primary breast lift may not appear to be a revision surgery, we still recommend seeing a breast lift revision surgeon who has experience with secondary procedures. They will know how to best perform the procedure while factoring in the results of the first surgery.