Breast implants can have a big impact on the way you look and the way you feel about your appearance. They can improve your self-esteem and the way clothes fit your body. However, they aren’t designed to be permanent. Implants will wear out in time and require replacement, so you should expect a breast implant exchange sometime in your future.
As long as you are happy with the results of your breast augmentation, you won’t need to have the implants replaced immediately. They are designed to last for 10 to 15 years or even longer with no issues. But eventually, as with most medical devices, the implants will need to be replaced.
In the event you are unhappy with your augmentation, breast revision surgery is an option. You may not like the outcome of your original procedure and want a different look. Or perhaps pregnancy or weight fluctuations are impacting your results — breasts can start to sag or lose their perkiness. A breast revision surgery can restore the original results of the augmentation and address other changes that naturally occur as part of the aging process.
Sometimes tastes change and patients prefer a different look altogether. Some women may prefer larger breast sizes initially but, over time, come to want a more natural silhouette. Many women choose revision surgery or breast implant exchange to get a different size or shape implant based on their current preferences.
In some instances, implants may rupture, in which case it’s necessary to have an implant exchange to replace them. For saline implants, the rupture is noticeable right away because the solution leaks out and is reabsorbed into the body. While the reabsorption isn’t harmful to the body, it’s a good idea to remove the ruptured implant as the affected breast will be smaller and misshapen. Revision surgery is usually scheduled right away to restore the breasts’ symmetry and overall appearance.
Silicone implants that have ruptured are more difficult to diagnose, and may not be identified until you have an MRI, which is recommended annually. The outer shell contains the silicone, so that it can’t go elsewhere in the body. You likely won’t notice any changes in size with the leak, which is why revision surgery doesn’t have to be immediate.
Most breast augmentations are successful with minimal side effects. However, some patients experience complications, which may require revision surgery to correct. Capsular contracture is the most notable, which occurs when thick scar tissue forms around the implant. The breast begins to feel firmer than normal and causes discomfort.
Saline implants may have rippling, which can be visible through the skin and is often found in women who are thinner because there is less tissue to hold implants in place. Implants may fall out of position and sit too low or too high, or fall to the side. Many of these issues happen because of an inexperienced surgeon or unforeseen problems that occur down the line, requiring a breast implant exchange to repair the issues.
What can patients expect during their breast revision surgery? Before the actual surgery, you will have a consultation with Dr. Leo Lapuerta to discuss the changes you want to make, whether it is replacing original implants with new ones, getting a new size, or having a breast implant removal. The revision surgery will be customized to your goals.
The details of the breast implant exchange will vary based on the individual situation. However, in general it takes between one and three hours to complete. The exact time will depend on whether scar tissue needs to be broken up or if a breast lift or other procedures are needed. Dr. Lapuerta will work with you to ensure your preferences, body shape, and personal medical history are all taken into account for the best possible results.
Just like with the surgery, recovery time will depend on the details of the breast revision. Most patients can go back to work after about a week. More strenuous activities, such as exercise, will be delayed longer. Exercise and working out can resume in about two weeks, but restrictions are not completely removed until around six weeks.
Stitches don’t need to be removed because they are placed internally. Results will be evident in about six weeks, but healing and changes will take about six months.
If you want to change your implants or if they have lived their usefulness, you need to schedule a consultation with Dr. Leo Lapuerta. He has more than 20 years of experience and is triple-board certified with over 20,000 procedures completed. He will discuss your personal goals and the type of revision surgery to accomplish your desired results with a breast implant exchange in Houston. Schedule a free consultation today.