If it’s been some time since you had your breast augmentation, you might wonder when you should get a breast implant exchange. Your doctor may have mentioned during your consultation years ago that your breast implants would eventually need to be replaced. It can be helpful for your peace of mind to know what is exchange surgery and when you will need it.
What is Exchange Surgery for Your Breasts?
A breast exchange surgery occurs when the implants that were put in place during the initial breast augmentation are replaced with new implants. This is a surgical procedure similar to the original implant surgery, which will require some recovery time.
When Do You Need a Breast Implant Exchange?
There is no hard and fast rule for when to schedule your breast exchange surgery. The average lifespan for implants has been around 10 years after breast augmentation in Houston, TX, but that can vary widely by individual. Some patients need new implants sooner while others can safely keep the same implants for much longer. It’s best to check in regularly with a doctor who can help identify when the right time for you to have an exchange will be.
If you experience any complications from the implants, you will need to have them removed sooner. At that time, you must decide if you want to replace them. The implants may rupture or break, which will require an implant exchange. A rupture or leak in silicone implants may not be noticeable, but saline implants will cause the breast to shrink noticeably as the saline is absorbed into the body. In either case, it’s a good idea to pay attention to your implants and check in with your doctor if you have any concerns.
Reasons for a Breast Exchange
As mentioned above, you may need to have an exchange due to the implants rupturing. The revision surgery may also be required with capsular contracture, which is when scar tissue hardens around the implants.
Another reason for revision surgery is if the implant moves its position. When this happens, the surgeon will need to go in and move the implant back into place. They may replace the original implant with a new one to reduce the risk of it occurring again.
A New Look with Exchange Surgery
One of the main reasons that you may be considering breast revision or exchanging your breast implants is because you want a different look. Bodies change over time, and an implant from 10 or 15 years ago may not provide the silhouette or size you desire now.
With changes to your body from pregnancy and breastfeeding or menopause, your breasts may start to sag or lose their fullness. You may prefer a smaller implant or even none at all. A good surgeon can help you determine your options and come up with a plan for the new look you’ll love.
Planning for Your Breast Implant Exchange
When you meet with your surgeon, the first step will be to determine what you want from the surgery. If you’re just replacing implants that have worn out with time, the process will be different than if you decide you want a smaller or larger implant.
Your doctor will review the health of your natural breast tissue and the placement of the current implants, check the elasticity of your skin, and talk through your goals to come up with the right next steps for you.
Your doctor may recommend a breast lift with the exchange surgery. Breasts start to sag with age, especially if they are larger. You may need to have the breasts lifted to restore that youthful look.
Another issue arises when a person comes in for an implant exchange and wants to have smaller implants. All that skin and tissue will need to be lifted to achieve the desired look.
Your surgeon may also recommend fat grafting. While this procedure can be done to increase the size of breasts slightly, it’s also used to create the desired shape when paired with implants. Fat is often grafted to the top of the breasts to create more fullness. It’s quite common to combine abreast augmentation with lift to achieve your desired results.
What to Expect with Breast Implant Exchange
The surgery should take between one and three hours, depending on if it’s just an exchange procedure or if the surgeon has combined it with additional procedures like a breast lift. Recovery will be similar to your initial breast implant procedure – you will be sore for some time after the surgery, and should plan to take the week off to begin your recovery. The doctor will provide limitations, such as how much you can lift or exercise in the weeks following.
You will be able to resume most activities in two weeks, but other restrictions will stay in place for about six weeks. You’ll start to see the results of your exchange then, but any changes can take up to six months to become fully evident as the healing process takes place.
Learn More About Breast Implant Exchange
If you are ready for a new look or your implants are at the end of their life, you can talk to Dr. Leo Lapuerta about a breast implant exchange. Dr. Lapuerta is a triple-board-certified surgeon with more than two decades of practice in plastic surgery procedures, such as breast augmentation, facelifts, BBL, and nose jobs. He has performed thousands of breast surgeries and strives to provide the results each individual is looking for. You can schedule a free consultation when you contact us today at 713.340.0990 to learn more about breast implant exchange.