Breast Implant Exchange / Replacement
Your primary breast implants are likely to last for many years, but not a lifetime. At some point, you may require a breast implant exchange or breast implant replacement surgery. Like any other implanted device, breast implants are prone to damage or wear over time. Dr. David Kim can provide you breast implant exchange surgery with safe, natural, and long-lasting results.
Why Women Need Breast Implant Replacement?
You may require a breast implant exchange or replacement for one or more of these reasons:
- Capsular contracture (scar tissue tightening) around the implant
- Implant damage or deflation in saline or silicone implants
- Breast implant leakage
- Implant has shifted from its position
- Persistent discomfort associated with the implant
- Implant rippling
- Tissue death in the area surrounding the implant
- You want to upgrade to the latest implant qualities
- Your figure or body size has undergone a change
- You want to change the implant size for aesthetic reasons
Surgical Procedure for Breast Implant Exchange
Dr. David Kim will usually perform a breast implant replacement surgery using general anesthesia. You can expect to return home the same day after the surgery. During the pre-op consultation, Dr. Kim will collect whatever information about your current implants is available. Based on the information and your treatment goals, he will create a custom surgery plan.
Implant Exchange for Saline Implants
If one or both of your saline implants have deflated, Dr. Kim will try to use the existing incision lines to remove the deflated implant and replace it with a new implant. The new implant will be placed in the existing implant pocket. The procedure will be fairly quick, involving minimal discomfort and downtime.
Implant Exchange for Silicone Implants
If one or both of your silicone implants have leaked or deflated, it is usually necessary to remove the scar tissue or the breast capsule along with the implant. Slightly larger incisions may be required to create a new implant pocket and place the new silicone implants. The process is slightly longer than in the case of saline implants.
Implant Exchange with Size Change
If you want to replace the implants with a larger size, Dr. Kim will aim to use the old incision lines, but the implant pocket may have to be enlarged to accommodate the new implant. On the other hand, if you wish to replace a larger implant with a smaller one, it may be necessary to perform breast lift surgery along with implant exchange for best results. This will likely involve new incisions and more surgical time.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much time does the breast implant replacement surgery take?
Dr. Kim can perform your breast implant exchange surgery in about one to two hours in the operating room. The actual time of surgery will vary according to the implant type, size, surgical technique, and whether a breast lift is involved.
Do breast implants expire after a certain age?
In Dr. David Kim’s experience, breast implants do not have an age or expiration date. For some women, the original implants may last for decades or even a lifetime without creating any trouble. You should replace them only if there is a clinical or cosmetic reason to do so.
Is there an implant warranty from the manufacturer?
You should check with the manufacturer whether your original breast implants are still under warranty. In general, if a silicone implant failure occurs within less than 10 years, it may still be under the warranty period and you may get a replacement from the manufacturer.