Replacing breast implants for a different size, shape, type or model is not uncommon. This page covers the reasons women replace their implants, but for more information read the procedure page on surgical REPLACEMENT breast implants.
5 top reasons to replace your breast implants:
- Size change requests – are one of the most common reasons patients request breast implant removal and replacement; size change surgeries may impact 5% of primary breast augmentation surgery patients – sometimes higher. BUT this degree may depends on your Surgeon’s ability to assess what size and shape of breast prosthesis will suit your body best; as well as meet your personal preferences and surgery goals. Remember, NOT all sized breast implants will look great on all body shapes.
- Age of the breast prosthesis – breast implants don’t last forever, and the general lifespan of an implant is said to be 10 years according to manufacturer warranty information such as from MOTIVA or MENTOR manufacturers. Recommendations: Alert your Surgeon to any changes or concerns in your breast appearance; keep up with your annual checkups and make sure you get a more comprehensive assessment of your existing implants at Years 8, 9 and 10.
- Capsular contracture or suspected rupture – risks of capsular contracture are definitely higher in people who smoke versus those who don’t, and may also be higher when the implant was handled more (which is why some surgeons prefer the Keller Funnel insertion method); there are 14 suggested steps a surgeon may implement during breast augmentation to reduce surgery risks – ask your Surgeon for details. If you experience a capsular contracture, see your Surgeon for an assessment and re-operation evaluation in terms of options and removal and replacement of implants.
- Malposition – movement of some implants may occur in some women and depending on the placement techniques and type of implant.
- Other concerns or lifestyle changes – Deciding to have reduced breasts or to remove existing implants due to being older and/or having changed ideals over time about breast size preferences or lifestyle ideals; animation or bottoming out, saline implants deflation or other concerns such as having a rare intolerance or sensitivity to breast implants. Recommendations: choose a skilled Plastic Surgeon to help you choose the right size and shape of breast prosthesis for your body and your skin condition/dermal strength/skin thickness; understand the breast surgery recovery processes and risks, follow your post-op instructions, evaluate the pros and cons of saline vs silicone implants, and if you feel you may have an intolerance or sensitivity to breast implant prosthesis, discuss this in detail with your Surgeon. Understand that not all implants are alike, that some implants are tolerated for decades but ageing implants are more likely prone to concerns such as rupture or capsular contraction, and that more modern breast implants may have added benefits such as Motiva or Mentor and database systems to store your type/size in case you misplace your medical records from your primary surgery and cannot recollect which implant model/manufacturer you had put in over 10 or 20 years ago.
You can remove your implants OR replace them, with a majority of secondary surgery procedures being replacement with a different size and/or to treat a complication.
Remember, DO NOT SMOKE if you have breast implants as your risk of Capsular contracture may be greater than if you do not smoke.
Smoking has been linked to higher rates of capsular contracture although further research is required to assess the degree; in general, however, smoking causes poor wound healing and other health harms that are bound to impact any surgery results and/or health conditions after surgery.
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Other articles of interest/Research:
References accessed 24 October 2018:
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Tebbetts, J. B. Achieving a predictable 24-hour return to normal activities after breast augmentation, part II: patient preparation, refined surgical techniques and instrumentation. Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 109: 293-305, 2002.
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