Breast implant surgery is a common procedure that women use to enhance the size and shape of their breasts. Though most women are satisfied with their implants, there are instances where you may want to exchange your implants for a different size or shape. This might be due to a change in your body after you’ve been given implants, like pregnancy or if an implant has shifted place or you might just be ready for a different look, whether it be more or less volume in your implant.
If you’re not happy with your breast implants, the team at Pure Plastic Surgery can help you with a breast implant exchange and put you on the path to complete happiness with your breast size and shape.
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What is a breast implant exchange?
A breast implant exchange is a surgical procedure where your doctor will remove an old breast implant and replace it with a new breast implant that has been agreed upon between you and your surgeon. Advancements in breast implants mean that they are more durable and lasting longer than ever before. Still, breast implants are not meant to be a lifelong procedure. You may need to exchange your implants as time passes.
What are the options for a breast implant exchange?
The options available to you for your exchange in most cases are the same ones available to you if you were coming in for a breast augmentation surgery with implants. Your surgeon will take measurements of your current breasts with implants and discuss what’s going wrong with your current look. Then, you’ll discuss ways to exchange your implants for either smaller or larger fluid-filled implants. You’ll discuss saline, silicone and gummy bear implants. If you’ve had your implants for a few decades, you’ll learn about the newest techniques and implants that are available.
Am I a candidate?
If you’ve previously had breast implants and you’re unhappy with them in their current state but still want to have implants, then you are definitely a candidate for a breast implant exchange. There are several different reasons that you might consider exchanging your breast implants.
1. You’re experiencing wear and tear …
Advancements in breast implant surgery mean that implants are more durable and can last longer than
ever before, but no matter how strong you’re implant, you will see some gradual change over time and as you age. Also, if you’ve had implants decades before, then you’re implant may not be as durable as the newer models. Both of these reasons can mean you’re breast implants need to be exchanged.
2. Your breast implant has moved …
There are times when your breast implant might move out of place.
3. You’re unhappy with your size …
Maybe you thought your implants were large enough but you might want them to go bigger. On the flip side, if you’re breast implants are too big and getting in the way of your daily life or athletic activities, you might want an implant reduction.
4. You may have had a physical change with your body …
If you’ve lost or gained weight or experienced a pregnancy and breastfeeding, your breasts may look different than they did before. All of these reasons could cause you to need a breast implant exchange.
5. You might have scar tissue …
Scar tissue (known as capsular contraction) can cause your implants to become hard and tight or in the worst case scenario could cause them to rupture. If you’re feeling these changes, you may need a breast implant exchange.
6. You’re leaking fluid …
Over time, there’s a chance your implant could be leaking the silicone or saline fluid inside them. If this is happening you may notice physical symptoms or notice that one implant has deflated. If this occurs, it’s time to consider a breast implant exchange. You might want to consider a gummy bear implant if you want the lowest chance of having a leak in the future.
7. You want to switch types of implants …
If you aren’t happy with your silicone implants and want to try saline ones or vice versa, a breast implants exchange is a great way to end up with the implant type that you prefer. If you’re looking for a more durable style, you may want to switch to the gummy bear implant.
What should I expect at my consultation?
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A consultation for a breast implant exchange will be a lot less nerve-wracking once you’ve been through the process before. Instead, you’ll meet with your surgeon to discuss why you’re unhappy with your current implants and what you would like to change about your implants. You’ll look at the different types of implants and talk about how they will work with your body. You’ll learn about the reasons your implants didn’t work the first time and you’ll have an open discussion about ways that can help make your implants last longer.
What will happen before, during and after my surgery?
The best news about breast implant exchange surgery is that the pockets where the implant will go are already there, meaning a faster surgery and recovery period. Much of the surgery procedures you’ll already be familiar with. Make sure to follow the instructions prior to surgery. Your procedure could take place in an outpatient surgery center or a hospital. You’ll then be given anesthesia and the implant will be inserted through the same incision as your first surgery.
If you’ve chosen a procedure that calls for a different incision to be made, your surgeon will explain the change to you before the surgery. Your surgery will be quite a bit quicker than your first surgery. You’ll go home after you wake up in the recovery room and are feeling well enough to go home. Make sure you have a driver with you to take you home and stay with you for the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery.
After your procedure, you’ll be given instructions for your recovery which might include pain management, healing and looking for the following side effects:
As with any surgery, you’ll want to look for pain or swelling with a fever, and excessive bleeding and bruising. Continue to keep an eye out for redness, pus at the incision site or the leakage fluid through the incision or elsewhere in the body. Excessive nausea should also be monitored and reported to your doctor. As you heal, look for signs of scar tissue or any movement of your new breast implants.
Recovery & healing process
If everything goes well during surgery, your recovery time should be far less than your first implant surgery. The risk of bleeding and infection should also be lower with a breast implant exchange. It should take around 7 to 10 days to return to a normal daily schedule and to ease any pain or swelling that you may feel. Make sure to baby yourself during this time and take time to rest and recover. This will make your healing go faster and lead to a speedy recovery.
Results, Maintenance & Follow up
You’ll be able to see a difference in your implants almost instantly. Make sure to attend all follow-up appointments and always check for leakage, movement or scarring with your breast implants. You’ll definitely want to have your surgeon check on your implants at least every three years to ensure your implants are functioning at the best level and giving you the best results.
Who should I consult for breast implant exchange surgery?
Our team at Pure Plastic Surgery can take your previous breast implant surgery and adjust your implants to get the correct outcome. If you’re interested in updating your breast implants, contact us for a consultation with our fully-trained plastic surgery team.