IMPLANT EXCHANGE

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Breast augmentation is a safe and effective way to increase breast size. Women are almost universally satisfied with the results of fuller, larger breasts and report increased self confidence and self esteem as well as just loving the way they look. Although the breast implants used are guaranteed against leaking or deflation, no one can guarantee that your breasts will look the same forever. The effects of gravity and aging start the same day you get your breast surgery. Pregnancy, weight gain or weight loss can also change the way your breasts look. If your breasts do not look as good as you would like them to you may consider an implant exchange or implant revision.
The most common reason for women to have an implant exchange as seen in both our Scottsdale and Mesa, Arizona offices is to change breast size. Increasing size is more common but some do go smaller. A breast implant exchange procedure is generally less invasive than the original breast surgery. Patients experience less pain and have a faster recovery because the space or pocket has already been created during the previous breast augmentation surgery. The pocket may need to be expanded or changed but there isn’t the need for tissue to stretch around the implant as there was previously.
From 1993 until November of 2006 only saline breast implants were available for first time breast augmentation. Silicone gel breast implants are now widely available and since they feel much softer and more natural many women have implant exchange to place silicone gel implants. Women who experience rippling or wrinkling with the saline implants find that it improves greatly when exchanged for a silicone gel implant. If a saline implant leaks, it deflates, making it easy to detect the problem. Problem is solved by removing the deflated implant a placing a new implant. Leaks in a silicone implant are more difficult to detect in the modern more semisolid or cohesive gel. Older silicone implants that leak give a flatten breast appearance. If a silicone gel implant leak is suspected a breast MRI should be obtained or implant exchange planned in the operating room.
There are times that the pocket itself can be the problem. If the pocket stretches it can allow the implant to move to an unflattering position resulting in widened cleavage or a bottomed out look that requires the pocket to be revised to return the implant to the proper position. If the pocket contracts, a condition known as capsular contracture, the contracted tissue needs to be removed and a new implant placed. This will restore a softer, fuller, less painful, and better shaped breast.
With time breast tissue may loosen and a shape change may occur that is not a problem with the implants but with the drooping or sagging breast. A breast lift or mastopexy can restore shape to the breast again.