What is breast implant exchange?
Breast implants are not meant to last a lifetime, so it’s typical to have an additional surgery at some point.
Some people choose to have their implants exchanged if they aren’t satisfied with the look or size of their breasts after implant surgery; if their breasts have changed over time because of pregnancy, weight loss or weight gain; or if they want to change the feel, shape or texture of the implants. If you’re considering implant exchange, your surgeon will have a conversation with you to pinpoint what you like and don’t like about how your breasts currently look.
How breast implant exchange works
Breast implant exchange incisions typically follow the incision lines from your initial procedure. Your surgeon will remove your implants and replace them with the new ones you’ve chosen. If your new implants are a different size, the pockets that encase your implants will need to be made larger or smaller. (Some people choose to have implants removed and not replaced; if that’s the case with you, your surgeon will reshape the breast tissue and skin after removal).
In some cases, you may get the best results if you have a breast lift at the same time as implant exchange, especially if your implants are large and the skin has stretched.
How long does it take to recover from breast implant exchange?
Recovery from this procedure is usually somewhat faster than from the original surgery, because the pocket for the implants already exists. Recovery from implants placed under the muscle takes longer than implants placed above the muscle. But as with every surgery, recovery is highly individual. During your consultation, your doctor will talk with you about what to expect.
Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Implant Exchange
A. There are a number of options for implant material, shape and size; if you have older implants, some of these choices might not have been available when you had your surgery. Your surgeon will talk with you about what’s best for you.
A. If your new implants are smaller, you may need to have a breast lift to remove excess skin.
A. Your surgeon will likely be able to follow the previous scar lines when doing your exchange. However, if a breast lift is performed, typically there will be additional scars.