What problems can breast implant replacement surgery fix?
- The implants are too old. Everything wears out over time, and breast implants are no exception. Many surgeons will tell you that you don’t necessarily need to have your implants replaced unless you have a problem, but that is akin to waiting until you have an accident before you get your bald car tires replaced… it’s possible, but not the best idea. A conservative recommendation for those of you who are ultra safety conscious would be to have your breast implants replaced when they are between 10 and 15 years old to avoid problems like asymptomatic rupture and capsular contracture. The good news about replacing old breast implants is that the surgery is much simpler than the original operation. Most patients are back to work the very next day and have almost no discomfort.
- The implants are too small. Everyone knows that breast implant that are too large always look a little fake, but most women don’t realize that implants that are too small can also look fake and unnatural! Properly sized breast implants should not only match the dimensions of the breast itself, but they should also match the dimensions of the chest and rib cage. Implants that are too small can appear very flat and too far apart, which can look just as unnatural as a giant pair of implants. Exchanging implants for a larger, more natural, size is a fairly simple procedure with a minimal recovery period (most patient can go back to work within 24-48 hours), but the results can be amazing!
- The implants are too large. Although it is rare, sometimes women feel that their implants are too large and decide to downsize. If you don’t have much sagging, downsizing your breast implants can be a relatively simple procedure with minimal downtime (most patients can go back to work within 24-48 hours). If some sagging is present, a breast lift may be necessary to maintain an attractive, feminine shape with smaller implants, or with no implants at all. If you are considering having your implants removed altogether, keep in mind that it can be extremely difficult to recreate a natural-looking breast without an implant, and the results with a smaller implant are usually far superior to the results with no implant at all.
- The implants are too saggy. Excessive sageness usually occurs after childbirth, and especially after nursing. When your breasts are engorged with milk, the skin and soft tissue can stretch significantly, and lead to sagging after the milk production ceases. In addition, most women will lose a fair amount of their natural breast tissue after nursing which leads a very flat appearing breast, and a loss of cleavage. Replacing the implant with a different shape and size that replaces the lost breast tissue volume, and also performing a breast lift, can restore the cleavage line, and the beautiful, round, perky shape that you were used to before you had your children. If you need a breast lift, the recovery period will be slightly longer than if you were simply having the implants replaced, but the results can be incredibly dramatic!
- The implants are too far apart. Breast implants that are too far apart are very common, and this problem is usually due to one of two reasons: 1) the implants are too small, 2) the implants were placed too far apart to begin with. Inexperienced or unqualified surgeons have usually not received adequate training to measure the dimensions of the breast and chest wall, which leads them to select implants that are the wrong size, and place the implants too far apart during the surgery. The is one of the easiest problems to fix, and can make a huge difference in the look of your implants. The surgery usually takes less than an hour, and most patients can go back to work within 24-48 hours.
- The implants are uneven. A small amount of asymmetry between your breasts is normal and expected, even after breast enlargement surgery, but having a big difference in the size, shape, or location of your breast implants is not something that you have to deal with. The most common reason for revisional surgery for breast asymmetry is that one implant is higher than the other, which is a relatively easy problem to correct as long as the height difference is not due to capsular contracture. If a contracture is present, the revision surgery become slightly more complicated, but still very possible and very rewarding.
- The implants were made by Poly Implant Prosthese (PIP). I this article is called The Top 5 Reasons, but there is another, fortunately less common, reason to have breast implant revision surgery: PIP implants. If you, or someone you know, got breast implants in any country other than the United States, please encourage them to find out whether or not they have PIP implants. If they do, please encourage them to seek out a plastic surgeon ASAP to have them exchanged for a new medical-grade pair of breast implants. If you’re not sure whether you have PIP’s, or if you haven’t heard about the PIP breast implants scandal yet, click here for more information.
When can I go back to work after breast implant replacement surgery?
Most patient can return to work within 24-48 hours after surgery as long as they have a job where no heavy lifting or strenuous activity is required. If you need a breast lift, or if you have a capsular contracture, the recovery period is usually 5-7 days.
Is breast implant replacement surgery painful?
Surprisingly, no. Breast revision surgery is no where near as painful as having your breast implants placed. Most patients do not even require prescription pain medication after the procedure, and can return to normal daily activities within 24-48 hours.
Do I get more scars with breast implant replacement surgery?
No. In most cases, your surgeon can perform the surgery though the same incision as the original surgery, so you don’t get any new scars. One exception to this is in the case of a breast lift. If you need a breast lift, you will most likely get new scars, but your surgeon should be able to show you plenty of pictures of what these look like before you decide to have the procedure.
How much does breast implant replacement surgery cost?
The cost of breast revision surgery is a highly individual number. For very simple cases, such as a size change with not other adjustments, the cost can be as low as $4000 – $5000. For more complicated cases like breast lifts with an implant exchange, or cases involving a capsular contracture, the cost can be in the range of $7500 – $12,000 depending on the complexity of problem and the amount of time your surgeon needs to fix it.
Where can I get more information about breast implant replacement surgery?
If you have any questions about breast implant revision surgery that were not answered here, or if you would like to schedule a free consultation to discuss options for improving the appearance of your breast implants, feel free to give our office a call at 917-703-7069, or contact through our website at by clicking here.