Removal / exchange of breast implants

Here are some reasons to remove or exchange implants:

  • Replace leaks. The original implant may have ruptured or might be leaking. Or the original implant may have leaked and is now deflated.
  • Improve shape. Some elect to have a new implant inserted in order to rejuvenate the shape. This might mean they new implant is moved to below the muscle, for example.
  • New size. Some women find that over time their needs may have changed. Or the body may have changed due to weight changes or pregnancy. This can mean that a larger or smaller size might be desired.
  • Asymmetry. Correcting asymmetry can be another reason to replace one or both implants. However, you should know that they may never be 100 percent symmetrical – this is normal.
  • Replace for newer products. Older silicone implants from the 1980’s and early 1990’s are often replaced with newer products. (The older version had thinner walls and was more prone to leaking).
  • Scar tissue (breast capsule problems). One issue that can arise from breast implants is excess scar tissue around the implant. Sometimes the tissue can cause the tissue to feel hard or tight. It might even cause the implant to rupture. One reason women elect to replace their implants is to remove that excess scar tissue.
  • Problem with original surgery. Sometimes problems in healing arise after the original breast implants were inserted. This might be a problem with infections that won’t resolve. It could also be too much bleeding.
  • Change the fill type. Some women choose to switch from saline to silicone implants or vice versa. This is often done after weighing the pros and cons of each type. For example, some women with saline implants have visible rippling. This is less prevalent with silicone implants. That would be one possible reason for an exchange.

The removal and exchange of breast implants or simply the removal of breast implants is a simple operation that takes about an hour and has very little pain associated with the recovery. This operation, which is done under general anaesthetic, is usually done to upgrade old breast implants, to remove breast implants that are no longer needed or to change the size of the breast implants. Due to improving technology the newer implants are of much higher quality with a wide range of choices available. Usually the replacement of implants is in the same location as the original implants. You may choose to have your breast implants simply removed and this can be achieved with little to no resulting deformity. Now that many patients are 15-25 years since their original breast enlargement surgery, more and more patients are requesting either removal or removal and exchange of breast implants.

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