Breast implant exchange or removal is a secondary surgical procedure designed to remove, repair, or replace implants after breast augmentation.
Most women do not consider the possibility of removing or replacing their implants when they undergo breast enhancement surgery. Unfortunately, dissatisfaction or complications with the implants can develop at any time. The only way to correct these concerns is to remove and/or replace the implants.
Dr. Goldschmidt offers breast implant exchange or removal for patients in Independence or Cleveland, Ohio.
Are You a Candidate for Breast Implant Exchange or Removal?
Women who are considering breast implant exchange or removal do not smoke, are in good overall health, have no previous medical conditions that can affect healing, and have realistic expectations of their results.
Breast implant exchange or removal is performed after implant-related issues. You may be a candidate for breast revision if you are experiencing complications or are displeased by the appearance of your breasts. Capsular contracture and infection are two of the most common reasons for implant-based breast revision. If you are suffering from either of these conditions, the exchange in implants is elective; however, removing the damaged implant is often mandatory for your well-being and health.
What Are the Benefits of Breast Implant Exchange or Removal?
Breast implant exchange or removal is performed on women to:
- Enhance aesthetics
- Improve comfort
- Restore natural breasts
- Bring peace of mind
To see if you are a candidate for breast implant exchange or removal, please call Dr. Goldschmidt at The Cosmetic Surgery Center at (216) 350-3175 to set up a consultation.
What Are the Reasons for Breast Implant Exchange or Removal?
Women consider breast implant exchange or replacement for several reasons.
Implant Related Issues
Implant problems may require a breast implant to be removed. This could result in aesthetic distortion and may occasionally contribute to physical discomfort.
Common problems include:
- Capsular contracture: An implant issue that occurs when the scar tissue around the implant contracts and squeezes the breast implant. This may cause aesthetic deformity and/or physical pain.
- Implant rupture: This occurs when the shell of the implant weakens and tears. This may result in an unaesthetic appearance or a capsular contracture.
- Implant displacement: This occurs when the implant moves out of position and may lead to an unattractive appearance.
Not every woman is pleased with the appearance of her augmented breasts. Breast implant exchange allows women to exchange their implants for larger or smaller ones, or lets women remove their implants entirely for a more natural breast aesthetic.
How Is Breast Implant Exchange or Removal Performed?
Breast implant exchange or removal may be performed under general anesthesia or twilight anesthesia (IV Sedation) as an outpatient procedure. Because of this, women must have someone present to drive them home and stay with them for the first night.
Once the anesthesia is administered, an incision will be made along the breast crease, and the implant is removed. Depending on the situation, the implants with all or part of the capsule will likely be removed.
Breast Implant Removal and Replacement
Following the implant’s removal, a new implant can be inserted into the same breast pocket or can be placed in a new position depending on the situation.
Breast implant removal and replacement are popular among women who have experienced implant complications or are displeased with the current implants’ size.
New implants can be replicas of the original implant or can be a different size.
Permanent Breast Implant Removal
Some women choose breast implants initially but decide later on that they are not pleased with the look or feel of augmented breasts. This tends to be rather uncommon.
Women can permanently part ways with their breast implants if they wish to return to a more natural appearance.
After the implant is removed, the breast pocket will be obliterated, and the incision will be closed.
Breast Implant Removal and Breast Lift
Women who choose to remove large implants or implants that they have had for several years often experience significant breast sagging that cannot be repaired without a breast lift.
Breast lift surgery addresses sagging breasts by tightening the glandular tissue and trimming the excess skin on the breast. This process tightens and elevates the breast tissue and restores a youthful, perky breast contour.
The specifics of your breast lift surgery will depend on the extent of breast sagging. Incision options for breast lift surgery include:
- Periareolar: Two concentric incisions circle the areola.
- Lollipop: An incision circles the areola and extends vertically down the lower pole of the breast.
- Anchor: A lollipop incision is extended to include a horizontal incision across the breast crease.
What Can I Expect for My Breast Implant Exchange or Removal Recovery?
The breasts will usually be wrapped in a compression garment following breast implant exchange or removal regardless of whether new implants were inserted.
The recovery of your breast implant exchange or removal may be similar to your initial breast augmentation. Your chest may be swollen, bruised, and/or sore. The compression garment will help reduce the swelling as it promotes blood circulation, and pain can be lessened with prescribed or over-the-counter pain medication.
Most women return to their usual routines—including work—after one to two weeks. The recovery time frame will depend on the type of work you do and how strenuous it is in nature.
You should avoid any lifting or strenuous exercise for at least four to six weeks.
When Will I See My Breast Implant Exchange or Removal Results?
Your breast implant exchange or removal results will be apparent immediately following your procedure. These results may continue to change slightly over the following weeks and months as the swelling dissipates, and the new implants settle into place (if implants were replaced).
The results of your breast implant exchange or removal will be permanent as long as there are no additional implant-related concerns, you maintain a stable weight, and you avoid additional pregnancies.
How Much Does Breast Implant Exchange or Removal Cost?
Breast implant exchange or removal is a highly customized procedure. Because of this, we cannot provide a cost estimate before you consult with Dr. Goldschmidt.
The cost of your breast implant exchange or removal will vary depending on replacement implants, the techniques required, anesthesia, facility fees, surgeon’s fees, pre-surgical tests, and post-surgical dressings.
You will be provided with an accurate cost estimate at your consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Implant Exchange or Removal
What will my consultation for my breast implant exchange or removal include?
A consultation is an essential aspect of your breast implant exchange or removal process. During this meeting with Dr. Goldschmidt, you will discuss your goals and wishes for the procedure, and he will examine your implants, take measurements and photos, and design a customized breast revision plan depending on your needs.
What are the risks of breast implant exchange or removal?
As with any invasive cosmetic surgery, there is the risk of complications after breast implant exchange or removal. These complications include:
- Negative reactions to the anesthesia
- Blood clots
- Prolonged healing
- Unfavorable scarring
- Changes to skin or nipple sensation, which may be temporary or permanent
- Breast asymmetry
Will I have additional scarring after my implant exchange or removal?
If possible, your implants will be removed through your initial breast augmentation incision. If your implants were placed through an incision made around the areola or in the armpit, an additional incision (or longer incision) might be required along the breast crease (inframammary fold). Dr. Goldschmidt will do all he can to keep the incision close to the initial incision as possible to minimize any additional scarring. All resulting scars will fade with time.
Can I replace my implants down the line?
Yes. Some women feel unsure about their implants after experiencing implant-related complications or weight fluctuations. Even if you decide not to replace your implants after they are removed, you can add them back later. Additional breast surgery may be more complicated later in life as there will be more scar tissue around the breast.
When will I have to undergo breast implant exchange after my initial breast augmentation?
Your breast implants’ lifespan will depend significantly on your age, size of the implants, natural breast and pectoral tissue anatomy, deformities, previous surgeries, and more. Some of the longest-lasting implants can be used up to 20 or 25 years, although this is uncommon. Even when the breast implants have survived for this long, it is still recommended to replace them to deter any droopiness or asymmetry that may occur naturally over time. Typically, patients should consult with their surgeon as soon as they start noticing differences in their breasts, such as fluctuations in swelling or inflammation.
How long do breast implant exchanges take?
Most breast implant exchanges take between two and four hours to complete. This is often quicker than initial breast implant surgeries because the pocket in which the implant will sit has already been formed. Any additional time is usually reserved for combination breast lifts, which are performed with breast implant exchanges to combat any sagging that may have occurred in the breast over the years.
Can I work out with breast implants?
Depending on the implant placement and material of the implant, it is possible for implants to be displaced laterally if consistent pressure from the chest muscle is applied to the implant before it has healed. For very athletic women (such as weightlifters and bodybuilders), there are pros and cons to getting implants, and if you receive implants, your implant placement options may be more limited. Your surgeon should be made aware of your goals and the activities you wish to do after your implant surgery. This way, they can adjust their technique, placement, and texture choice accordingly.
Why should you wait to have a breast implant exchange after pregnancy?
Breast implants typically do not impair a woman’s ability to breastfeed properly; however, breast implants can make breastfeeding more difficult if the original incisions made contact with the milk ducts located within the breasts. Nonetheless, if a woman wishes to have her breast implants removed or exchanged before or during her pregnancy, she will likely be recommended to wait until after her pregnancy, as further incisions will require healing, increase risk, and prevent her from breastfeeding entirely.
If a major complication occurs with the breast implant, such as breakage or leaking, they should be removed immediately after seeing a professional.
What is nipple correction, and can it be included in my breast implant exchange?
Nipple corrections can be included in your breast implant exchange to correct nipples that may appear to have a hole in the middle or a deep crease that runs across the center. They can also help correct nipples and areolas that may be stretched or enlarged by breast implants, ensuring that your nipples look more symmetrical and normally shaped than they previously were.
Are You Interested in Breast Implant Exchange or Removal in Independence, Ohio?
If you are interested in learning more about breast implant exchange or removal or want to find breast revision near you, contact Dr. Matt Goldschmidt, MD, FACS, by filling out our online contact form or by calling (216) 350-3175. Dr. Goldschmidt performs breast implant revision for patients in Independence, Ohio, and the greater Cleveland area.
For more information about Breast Implant Exchange or Removal in Cleveland, OH or to schedule your Breast Implant Exchange or Removal in Cleveland, OH consultation with Dr. Matt Goldschmidt, please call (216) 350-3175.