Breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the United States. It is also one of the most highly rated procedures for patient satisfaction afterward. However, not everyone is completely satisfied with their implants and may desire to have breast implant exchange surgery. This is not a complicated procedure and Dr. Dahan performs it for many patients in Reno, NV.
What is a breast implant exchange?
Breast Implant Exchange is a surgical procedure involving the replacement of older breast implants. Some women seek to exchange their breast implants not because there was a complication, but because they’re not happy with the general outcome and want to make an adjustment. Implant exchange shouldn’t be confused with breast implant revision surgery. Revision surgery could be necessary for reasons such as capsular contracture, implant rupture, asymmetry, and the like.
What are the reasons women choose breast implant exchange?
For exchange procedures, there isn’t anything wrong with your implants, but there are reasons for wanting to switch them out. Here are some of those reasons:
- Change the size — Many women have augmentation, but once the implants have fully settled into the breast pocket they realize they would have liked to have chosen larger implants. Some women, of course, opt to go smaller. Dr. Dahan has an implant sizing system that allows you to have a very accurate visualization of how different implant sizes will look on your figure.
- Pre-baby breasts — If a woman had augmentation prior to having a child, the breast tissue likely has sagged and she’s not happy with the changes to her implants. Larger implants can add volume and change things.
- Change the feel — There are various factors that impact how a woman’s breasts feel with implants: silicone versus saline, volume of the implants, projection, and whether the implants were placed under the pectoral muscle or above it.
- Change the implant type — Changing the projection, shape, textured versus untextured, saline versus silicone, or even the manufacturer can all be reasons for an exchange.
- Changes in your breasts — The march of time is inexorable, and that includes your augmented breasts. Older implants may not look the same now that your breasts have descended a little bit. Different implant types can address the changes you don’t like.
When I have my implants exchanged, can I change the size?
This is the number one reason women come to Dr. Dahan to exchange their implants. It is simple to enlarge the breast pocket if you want to add more volume to your implants, which is the usual choice. But if you feel your implant size is too large, he can decrease the pocket, as well. If the downsizing is dramatic, however, sagging skin can be an issue and Dr. Dahan may also suggest a breast lift.
Breast Implant Exchange Before & After Photos
Large to Small Implant Exchange
Small to Large Implant Exchange
Can I replace saline implants with silicone?
This is also a popular reason for implant exchange ever since the FDA conducted extensive research and found no connection between silicone implants and breast cancer or any other health problems. Most people feel that silicone implants feel more like natural breast tissue. Plus, silicone implants offer more options for projection and shape because the gel used to fill these implants is much more cohesive and thick than saline solution.
When I have implant exchange will I need a breast lift?
It is unlikely you will need a breast lift with a typical exchange with a few exceptions. If you’ve gained and then lost a good deal of weight, your breast size increased (in addition to the implant increase), and this could have left you with sagging breast skin. A breast lift would be the only way to get rid of this excess skin. Also, if you choose to change your implants for a markedly smaller size, the larger implants likely will have stretched your skin and a lift will be necessary to accommodate the smaller implants without leaving a good deal of sagging skin. Pregnancy and breastfeeding also could have created sagging.
Can I have my breast implants removed?
If you decide you no longer want implants, they are easily removed. In virtually all cases, this removal should be accompanied by a breast lift, as your breast tissue without the implants will invariably have extensive sagging. You may also want to augment the breasts with a fat transfer rather than saline or silicone implants to improve volume and decrease sagging after implant removal.
How often do breast implants need to be replaced?
Implant durability continues to increase, but implants won’t last forever. Manufacturers all guarantee their implants for 10 years and will pay to have them replaced if they rupture prior to that time. That is on the low end of lifespan and some patients have implants that last twice that long before needing replacement. Replacement surgery (and exchange surgery) is easier than the initial surgery, as Dr. Dahan can use the same incision locations.
Are there any new risks with having a second breast augmentation surgery?
The second and any subsequent surgeries are actually easier, as the original incisions are used. There are no additional risks than regular breast augmentation procedures.