Breast augmentation using implants can provide a permanent enhancement to the size and shape of the breasts. However, over time, implants can become worn down, and, though not harmful, patients may opt for a breast implant replacement or a breast implant removal for the best possible results.
In this article, we will discuss breast implant replacement surgery and the reasons why patients may choose to undergo breast implant replacement.
At the CREO Clinic, we are led by Dr. Omar Tillo, a body contour surgeon with significant experience performing breast surgeries, like breast implant replacement or breast implant removal, to help patients achieve their desired aesthetic.
To book a 3D consultation with Dr. Tillo, contact the CREO Clinic today and see how your breasts will look with new implants that enhance your figure.
What Is A Breast Implant Replacement Procedure?
Over time, breast implants can become worn out and may rupture. This is usually not harmful to patients but can impact the size and shape of the breasts. For this reason, patients may choose to undergo breast implant replacement to have the old breast implants removed and new ones inserted to improve the appearance and feel of the breasts.
How Often Should Breast Implants Be Replaced?
Although breast augmentation is permanent and doesn’t usually require breast implant replacement surgery, implants are typically changed every 10-15 years to maintain the best possible results. However, patients may wish to undergo a breast implant replacement or breast implant removal before this time to alter the size and shape of the breasts or due to complications from the implants.
How Do I Know If My Breast Implants Should Be Replaced?
There are several key signs that suggest that you may require breast implant replacement:
Your Breasts Feel Hard
Patients with breast implants may experience capsular construction, where the scar tissue around the breast implant hardens, causing discomfort in the area. By replacing the breast implant, this discomfort can be alleviated, and the breasts will feel softer and more natural to the touch.
You Feel Hard Lumps Near Implants
It’s important to have any lumps around your breast implant assessed by a doctor to determine the cause. Depending on the type of breast implant and where the implant is placed, the lump could be caused by an implant valve or residual scarring from surgery. For women who have thin breast tissue, the lump could also be the breast implant itself.
Breast Implant Rupture
The longer a patient has breast implants, the more likely they are to experience a breast implant rupture or leak. Implant rupture is often due to natural wear and tear but can also result from trauma to the breasts or damage to the breast implants during their initial insertion.
Implant rupture is usually not dangerous for patients but can impact the size and shape of the breasts, prompting patients to seek breast implant replacement or breast implant removal.
Saline Breast Implant Rupture
If saline breast implants rupture, the saline leaks out of the implant fast, causing the breast to lose their shape and look deflated in appearance. The saltwater solution is then absorbed by the body.
Silicone Gel Breast Implant Rupture
The silicone gel in silicone breast implants takes longer to leak if ruptured due to its thicker consistency and cannot be absorbed by the body. If these implants rupture, the size and shape of the breasts can change, and patients can experience discomfort, firmness, and swelling around the area. In addition, silicone breast implant rupture can cause capsular contracture.
It is advisable that silicone gel implants that have ruptured are replaced as soon as possible due to the increased associated health risks. Due to the health risk, patients with ruptured saline implants will need to undergo breast implant removal.
Rippling On Skin
Saline implants have an increased chance of causing a rippling effect, altering the texture of the skin where the implants are placed. If a patient develops rippling from a breast augmentation, they may wish to change to silicone implants or change the position of the breast implant to create a more natural feeling texture.
Breast Implants Have Moved Positions Over Time
Although rare, breast implants can move or rotate, creating an uneven appearance. As a result, patients may wish to replace the implants to restore symmetry between the breasts.
You Want to Upgrade Or Downsize
Many patients pursuing breast implant replacement simply wish to alter the size of their implants to increase or reduce the volume of the breasts.
Which Breast Implant Replacement Is Better For Me: Saline Or Silicone Gel?
The type of implant you wish to insert can depend on a range of factors, with each type having its own advantages and disadvantages:
- Saline implants – If saline breast implants rupture, the fluid is absorbed by the body, creating fewer health risks for patients. However, this type of implant can feel less natural than silicone and is more prone to rippling.
- Silicone implants – Produce a more natural looking and feeling result due to the silicone having the same texture as fat tissue.
Who Is A Good Candidate For Breast Implant Replacement?
A good candidate for breast implant replacement is a patient who is experiencing complications with their current implants, such as rupturing or rippling, or who wishes to change the size of the implants for aesthetic purposes. A good candidate should also:
- Be of adult age with fully developed breasts.
- Be in good physical and psychological health, with a BMI less than 30. Use our BMI calculator to check your eligibility for surgery.
- Have reasonable expectations of the results that changing breast implants can achieve.
How To Prepare For Breast Implant Replacement
There are several steps to take to prepare for breast implant replacement:
- Maintain a stable weight and a safe BMI – This reduces the risk of complications during and after implant replacement surgery.
- Stop taking oestrogen contraceptives/HRT – Four weeks prior to implant replacement surgery, you will need to stop taking these medications to prevent the risk of blood clots.
- Stop smoking – Cease nicotine consumption 4 weeks prior to and after surgery.
- Reduce alcohol consumption – Avoid binge drinking in the two weeks prior to surgery.
- Prepare your home for recovery – Make your home comfortable and ensure you have any pet or child care.
Breast Implant Replacement Surgery Overview
Breast implant replacement surgery is usually performed under general anaesthetic and takes 2-3 hours to complete. Incisions will be made to access the implants in the breasts. The placement of incisions will depend on whether the breast implants were inserted above or below the muscle.
After the old breast implants are removed, the new implants will be inserted in the required position.
Recovery Process For Breast Implant Replacement
Immediately after surgery, you may experience soreness, swelling, and tightness around the breasts. Side effects of breast implant replacement typically take a few weeks to dissipate, after which most patients are able to return to work.
Full recovery can be expected six weeks after surgery, during which you will need to wear a compression garment to manage swelling. After you have fully recovered from your breast implant replacement, you will be able to engage in your usual workout routine.
Results You Can Expect From Breast Implant Replacement
Although the results from breast implant replacement surgery are immediately apparent, you will need to wait for post-surgical swelling to subside and for the implants to settle in their new position. This typically takes a few months, after which you will be able to enjoy your newly adjusted bust to its full effect.
How Noticeable Are The Scars After Breast Implant Replacement?
Scarring from the incisions made during surgery should gradually fade as your body heals. In addition, all efforts will be made to ensure scarring blends with the natural contours of the body or in a way that can be easily hidden by undergarments. For patients who are concerned about scarring from breast implant replacement, the CREO Clinic offers laser scar treatment to reduce the prominence of post-surgical scarring.
How Much Does Breast Implant Replacement Cost?
To exchange your breast implants at the CREO Clinic, prices start from £6,900. However, the cost of the procedure can vary depending on your individual needs, so a full price breakdown will only be available following a consultation with Dr. Tillo.
For patients seeking to spread the cost of their treatment, we offer a range of financing options, including interest-free financing for up to 12 months.
Complementary Procedures Common With Breast Implant Replacement
A breast lift is commonly combined with other breast procedures to lift sagging breasts by removing excess skin and reshaping the breast tissue. When combined with breast implant replacement, a breast lift can ensure that the breast tissue is shaped in a way that complements the new implants without being shrouded with unwanted skin folds.
Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure where fat deposits are permanently removed from targeted areas of the body. When combined with breast implant replacement, liposuction can remove unwanted fat in the area to add definition to the chest and achieve a given shape. Liposuction can also be used to target other parts of the upper body, enhancing its contours and providing a leaner figure.
A tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgery to remove excess skin from the stomach while repairing muscle separation. This creates a flatter, more contoured midsection, adding definition to the abdominal muscles.
A tummy tuck can be combined with breast implant replacement as part of a mummy makeover package to further enhance the curves of the breasts while toning the abdomen for a full upper body transformation.
Breast Implant Replacement FAQs
How can I increase the longevity of my breast implants?
As many women change their implants due to cosmetic concerns, it’s important to carefully consider the size and shape of implants prior to surgery to ensure that they are right for you. In addition, make sure to choose your surgeon carefully to reduce the risk of needing a revision procedure. After surgery, it’s important that you follow all of the instructions given by your surgeon to facilitate a smooth and comfortable recovery, free from complications.
When can I return to work after breast implant replacement?
Most patients feel able to return to work 1-2 weeks after their breast implant replacement surgery.
Will breast implant replacement affect my nipple size?
Breast implant replacement shouldn’t alter your nipple size, though larger implants can cause the areolas to stretch and appear slightly larger. In these instances, patients may wish to consider areola reduction surgery to restore their desired areola size.
How can I prevent breast implants from rupturing?
To avoid breast implants rupturing, avoid high-contact sports and other activities that carry a higher risk of trauma to the chest.
Will I have to wear a compression garment?
You will be required to wear a compression garment for the first six weeks after a breast implant replacement in order to manage post-surgical swelling.
Are breast implant replacements permanent?
Breast implant replacements will usually last a long time but may need to be exchanged once more if a patient experiences complications or wishes to alter the shape or size of the breasts.
Does breast implant replacement cause stretch marks?
The risk of developing stretch marks on your breasts after breast implant replacement is low. However, at the CREO Clinic, we also offer laser stretch mark removal to manage the prominence of stretch marks after surgery.