Replacing Breast Implants: Changing Implant Sizes, Types or Brands
Are your breast implants getting old? If your breast prosthesis have been in place for some time – or you have a concern – you may want to REPLACE your breast implants with newer types of implants. Some patients even change out their implants a few years after surgery, because they want to change sizes or content type.
What’s involved with exchanging your BREAST IMPLANTS for a different size or type?
Changing out breast implants involves what’s called REVISION surgery or secondary surgery.
- Your PRIMARY breast augmentation surgery is when you first get implants inserted.
- Any future surgery including replacement or exchange is known as REVISION surgery or a secondary procedure.
Revision Surgery: Changing Your Implants
Explantation vs Replacement of Older, Ageing Breast Implants: Two ways to EXPLANT your existing implants
- When breast implants age, one option is to REPLACE them with a new implants
- You may also be able to increase or decrease the size
- However, a lift may also be required depending on your skin
- Another option is to explant your implants WITHOUT replacing them
Some patients will require breast-and-nipple uplift surgery after explantation or replacement. It really just depends on your SKIN and what type of appearance you’re wanting after your procedure.
EXCHANGING YOUR IMPLANTS
For implant replacement (remove and swap) – a form of revision breast augmentation – continue reading.
Reasons women change out their implants
The most COMMON REASONS for exchanging or replacing existing breast implants include:
- wanting to change BREAST SIZE (larger or smaller)
- changing TYPE of implant (fill, brand, projection, round vs teardrop)
- changing FILL CONTENT (silicone or saline)
The SECOND most common reasons for changing out breast implants is:
- ageing implants – read the lifetime of a breast implant warranty information
- treating a complication like a capsular contracture, rotation or a double-bubble
- needing a revision augmentation to correct for pronounced breast asymmetry
- wanting to try new, modern options including Motiva
- needing a breast lift to treat ptosis (drooping breasts) after pregnancy or ageing
- concerns related to sensitivities or allergies
How can you check on your existing breast implants?
- It’s important you attend all follow-up visits after surgery including your ANNUAL reviews.
- Be sure to schedule these into your diary and keep your Clinic/Surgeon up to date on changes to your contact information (phone, email, address).
- Also, stay vigilant about any changes to your breast shape or sensitivity – the same recommendations hold true for women who do NOT have breast implants.
- Alert your Surgeon immediately if you have any changes to your breast appearance and/or other concerns
Assessing your implant status:
- discuss review time frames with your Plastic Surgeon an be sure you attend your surgery REVIEWS
- you may be asked to get scan(s) at certain points in time, such as MRIs or Ultrasounds
- you can also ask to get your implant surgery details registered on the breast prosthesis database if available in your region
Annual Breast Implant Reviews by your Plastic Surgeon
- We recommend your reviews be done with your original Surgeon in your local area, if available
- This can be an issue if you have overseas breast surgery with an unknown doctor
TIP: Avoid having surgery overseas because breast surgery patients tend to lack adequate follow up care and reviews or revision options of their breast augmentation results when they have surgery in overseas facilities.
Ageing Breast Implants
When is the BEST TIME to replace your breast implants – and how do you go about doing so?
The TIME FRAME for replacing implants can vary from patient to patient. Typically, you should consider exchanging them at the 9-10 year mark; although not every woman does. Some woman have had their implants in place for decades, with no concerns, but there are varying medical opinions about time frames for replacing your implants. As a general guideline, risks of implant deterioration increase as the implants age, so keep this in mind.
Also, if you got cheap breast implants from a discount clinic, you may not have a quality brand – yet another reason to choose a Plastic Surgeon who can provide you with the best-known breast implant brands.
- Nothing lasts forever – and that includes breast prosthesis
- Some patients successfully keep their implants in place for decades
- However, most manufacturers recommend a 10 year life span/warranty for their implants (breast prosthesis).
- Research suggests older, AGEING breast implants have higher risks of a future complication
- Sometimes NEW models of implants become available in Australia, this sometimes encourages women to change their older implants for a newer style, model or texture
- Nutritional intake, lifestyle factors, illnesses, substance use, smoking and/or chest-impact accidents may also IMPACT your timing for replacement
- Be sure you live a healthy lifestyle to sustain your surgery results for as long as possible
- Keep your skin in good condition by having good nutrition and wearing the recommended BRA (going without a bra after breast surgery MAY harm your results)
If you have no issues with your implants, and regularly attend annual follow up appointments, then at about the 10 years mark, your Surgeon may request an MRI or other assessment to help investigate the durability of your implants (in place).
Want Revision Surgery?
- Please submit a confidential Enquiry Form below OR phone a Patient Care Coordinator during business hours on (03) 8849 1444.
- You are also welcome to attend one of our regular and informative surgery clinic events to meet Our Specialist Plastic Surgeons and their Support Team.
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Research References, Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
Breast Implant Explantation including MRI imaging for Diagnosis – literature reviews
Annals of Internal Medicine; REVIEWS |2 FEBRUARY 2016; accessed online 01/04/2019.
Comparative silicone breast implant evaluation using mammography, sonography, and magnetic resonance imaging: experience with 59 implants. Authors: , 1 , , ,