Breast Implant Exchange - Orange County, CA
What Is A Breast Implant Exchange (Breast Implant Replacement)?
Breast Implant Exchange / Replacement involves removing the old set of breast implants and replacing them with a new pair of breast implants. After years of having your implants in, you may consider getting your implants exchange for reasons such as:
- Deflation of saline implants (resulting in a smaller breast on one or both sides)
- Rupture of silicone implants
- Capsular contracture (tightening of the breast capsule, possibly with pain)
- Malposition of the implant (too low or too far lateral)
- Wanting to increase or decrease size
- Needing to replace the implants at the same time as a Breast Lift due to sagging tissue
The type of exchange done depends on the issue you would like to address. If your silicone implants are ruptured, the spilled silicone will be cleaned out during the exchange. If your implant is too low or too far to the side, Dr. Nguyen will repair the capsule to position the implant correctly again. If you have a capsular contracture, he will also remove your implant capsule at the time of the exchange.
Dr. Nguyen will take the time to evaluate you thoroughly and partner with you to create a specific plan that fits your goals and desires.
What Are The Different Types Of Breast Implants Available Now?
Silicone and saline are the most common types used in replacing breast implants. Silicone implants feel more like natural breasts than saline ones and tend to have less rippling. If a saline implant ruptures, the saline is naturally absorbed by the body. However, if a silicone implant has an extracapsular rupture (a rupture to the outer capsule), silicone filler can leak into the body, possibly resulting in inflammatory nodules or enlarged lymph glands. This is now much more rare since the introduction of newer cohesive (or "gummy") breast implants, which are much less prone to leaking when ruptured.
Other characteristics of breast implants include round versus anatomic ("gummy bear"), and smooth versus textured. Our practice primarily uses smooth, round, gummy silicone implants, which we believe are the best on the market at this time.
How Is The Breast Implant Exchange Procedure Performed?
The procedure takes about 1 to 2 hours and is performed under general anesthesia. Incisions are made either in the crease on the underside of the breast (usually 4-5 cm long) or around the areola in order to minimize scar visibility. Depending on what needs to be done in the exchange, Dr. Nguyen will usually try to use the same incision you have had before.
Your old implants will then be removed. Your breasts and implant capsule will be examined for any masses to look for any suspected breast cancer or other lesions. The capsules will then be repaired as needed to make sure your implants are positioned correctly, or they will be partially or completely removed if you have a capsular contracture, depending on the severity. If a decision was made to change your implants to above or below your muscle, that will be done as well. Finally, your new implants will be placed.
Commonly, patients may also have a Breast Lift (Mastopexy) performed that the same time if they have sagging tissue.
What Size Do You Want Your Implants? What Shape?
You’ll need to choose the size of your new breast implants. Dr. Nguyen can help you determine how you will look with different sized implants, but you may also be asked to perform a simulation test at home as well. We generally advise patients to go with a natural and proportional look, but the final decision is always yours to make.
Our practice typically uses round implants. "Gummy bear" or tear-shaped implants are reserved for specific situations since they have a risk of rotating after being placed under the breast tissue. An implant's profile describes how projecting it is, with higher profile implants having a smaller base and more outward projection. Dr. Nguyen will discuss all of the different possible options with you in detail so that you can choose the best implants for yourself.
What Is The Recovery Like Following Breast Implant Exchange?
After an implant exchange, the incisions are stitched, taped, and bandaged. A surgical bra or breast binder is placed over the bandages to help reduce swelling and to support the breast shape. Patients will feel sore for a few days after surgery, but most return to work within a week. Stitches are dissolvable and do not need to be removed. Pain, swelling, and sensitivity after surgery will decrease over a few weeks while scars will fade over a few months to the first year.
Scars will generally heal as well as they did with your initial augmentation. Most patients say that they have less pain than their initial breast augmentation as well.
What Are The Risks Of A Breast Implant Exchange?
There are always risks associated with surgery and anesthesia, and the anesthesiologist will discuss these with you. Every effort is made to minimize them. Risks related to Breast Implant Exchange are similar to those from a Breast Augmentation and include:
- Capsular contracture
- Implant leak and rupture
- Implant deflation, rotation (for anatomic shaped ones), or malposition
- Temporary or permanent change in nipple or breast sensation
- Irregularities in breast contour/shape
- Partial or total loss of nipple/areola
How Long Do Implants Last?
Almost all patients will require at least one implant exchange/replacement surgery in their lifetime, and a large portion of them will need more. Implants are generally expected to last around 10 years, although many do last longer. When it reaches the end of its lifespan, the implant will rupture and will need to be replaced. The exchange/replacement surgery usually requires less recovery time than the initial surgery. Incisions will generally be made through the original ones, but occasionally a breast lift (or mastopexy) may be needed at the same time.
Schedule your consultation with Dr. Nguyen to discuss if getting a Breast Implant Exchange is right for you. We look forward to meeting you! Call 657-900-5055 today.
Breast Implant Exchange Cost: Starts at
$7,000 $5,500 (Limited Time Only!)
Breast Implant Exchange with Lift Cost: Starts at
$10,750 $9,250 (Limited Time Only!)
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