Breast augmentation is consistently the most popular plastic surgery procedure performed each year in the United States. While most women are extremely happy with their augmentation results, some wish to change their size with weight changes, after breast feeding, or with hormonal changes, and occasionally some experience a rupture or capsular contracture occur. For different reasons, women who have had a breast augmentation sometimes decide to have a breast implant exchange. At Plastic Surgery Associates, Dr. Francisco Canales and Dr. Heather Furnas offer the most advanced breast implant exchange techniques in order to individualize a patient’s needs and desires.
Breast Implant Exchange from Plastic Surgery Associates
A breast implant exchange is a surgical procedure designed to swap out older breast implants with new ones. Women sometimes choose an implant similar to their original saline or silicone gel implants, or they may choose a different size, shape, or type. This decision is made with the surgeon review the different implant types, sizes, and shapes most appropriate for her goals and which will lead to the most aesthetic result.
Dr. Canales and Dr. Furnas are board certified plastic surgeons, each with a over two decades of breast augmentation experience. Over the years, they have refined their breast implant exchange techniques for optimal patient safety and outcomes. Prior to scheduling an implant exchange, the surgeons evaluate the patient, including a breast exam and review of health. And finally they review the patient’s expectations. Dr. Canales and Dr. Furnas then create a tailored breast implant exchange treatment plan geared toward achieving the patient’s goals.
Why choose a breast implant exchange?
There are many reasons that a woman may need to swap out her excising breast implants. Patients’ breasts and bodies change with age, breastfeeding, hormonal changes, and weight change. Original implants may no longer achieve the patient’s desired outcome. Large implants may feel heavy or droop, and sometimes patients decide to increase their size. Capsular contracture, rippling, deflation of saline implants are also reasons women choose to exchange their breast implants. In addition, women having a breast life may decide to exchange their implants for a new version at the same time. The most common reasons women opt for a breast implant exchange include:
- Combination of implant exchange at the same time as a breast lift.
- Desire to change in size
- Desire to change from saline implants to silicone gel implants
- Combination with revision of position of implants or capsular contracture
- Exchange older for younger, more advanced implants.
- Capsular Contracture
- Deflated saline implant
- Leaking silicone gel implant
The Ideal Candidate for a Breast Implant Exchange
Women should be in generally good health before undergoing the surgery. Patients who understand the breast implant exchange procedure, the recovery requirements, and who have reasonable expectations are the best candidates. Those who are pregnant or nursing must postpone the procedure until they have delivered and weaned. Medical conditions putting them at risk may mean they are not candidates.
Before scheduling a breast implant exchange, a private consultation will be arranged with Plastic Surgery Associates’ Dr. Canales or Dr. Furnas. At this appointment, the surgeons will review the woman’s medical history and goals, perform a physical examination of the chest and breast tissue, and make recommendations.
The Breast Implant Exchange Procedure
Dr. Canales and Dr. Furnas perform their breast implant exchange as outpatient surgery, under general anesthesia, in The Surgery Suite, an accredited surgical suite with the highest safety standards. The surgery time varies according to the patient’s situation, typically varying from one to two hours.
The procedure varies according to the previous procedure performed, whether a lift is being done, whether internal shaping is being done, and whether capsular release is being done. Consequently the approach is individualized and highly variable from patient to patient. Dr. Canales and Dr. Furnas review the surgical plan with patient before surgery. They work with their patients as a team.
Recovering from a Breast Implant Exchange
Women can expect their recovery after a breast implant exchange to take about 1-2 weeks. Normally, the recovery is often easier than that of a primary augmentation, as the chest muscles have already stretched to accommodate an implant. Most women are ready to return to work and daily activities in 1 -2 weeks. Strenuous activities, exercise, and heavy lifting will need to be postponed for up to six weeks, depending on the procedure performed.
Dr. Canales and Dr. Furnas each have more than 20 years of breast augmentation experience, offering the safest, innovative breast implant exchange procedures available today. However, as with any surgical procedure, there is always a small chance for complications to occur. In rare instances, infection, scarring, nerve damage, and asymmetry can be seen. Dr. Canales and Dr. Furnas will discuss the chance for complications during the consultation appointment.
For More on the Breast Implant Exchange from Plastic Surgery Associates
If you are unhappy with your current breast implants, schedule your confidential consultation with Dr. Canales or Dr. Furnas. Contact Plastic Surgery Associates’ Santa Rosa office at 707.537.2111. A patient coordinator will be happy to answer your questions and assist in scheduling your initial appointment. For those patients, outside of the Santa Rosa or Novato area, virtual consultations are available. Speak with your patient coordinator for more information.
Breast Implant Exchange FAQ
What is a breast implant exchange?
A breast implant exchange is a surgical procedure, swapping original breast implants with newer ones. This may be done for medical reasons, such as capsular contracture or implant rupture, as well as an aesthetic choice, when the original shape/size no longer fits with a woman’s lifestyle.
Could I be a candidate for breast implant revision surgery?
An ideal breast implant exchange candidate will be in good health, seeking to change her current breast implants. Potential patients should understand the surgical procedure, be committed to the recovery requirements, a hold realistic expectations.
Must I swap my implants for the same type and size?
A breast implant exchange marks an opportunity for women to change the size, shape, or type (saline versus silicone) of implant. Women may choose to go larger or smaller, as well as change the positioning of the implant (over or under the chest muscle).
Will my breast implant exchange result in new scars?
Dr. Canales and Dr. Furnas generally try to perform their breast implant exchange using the initial incision location, when possible. However, this is not always possible, meaning a new scar will result from the breast implant exchange procedure. If this is the case, the surgeons meticulously and carefully place their breast implant exchange incisions so that scarring is well-concealed.
When can I return to work after my breast implant exchange?
The breast implant exchange recovery will normally take about a week. While mild swelling and bruising is common, these resolve quickly. Most women are feeling good enough to return to work or school in three to five days.
Breast Implant Exchange at a Glance:
|Purpose:||To swap current breast implants with newer implants, for either aesthetic or health reasons.|
|Procedure:||Dr. Furnas and Dr. Canales can often make their incision along the primary breast augmentation scar, from here removing the original implant and replacing it with a newer, more appropriate implant. If needed, a second incision will be made by the areola or along the breast crease. Dissolvable sutures are placed for proper healing.|
|Recovery:||Recovery from a breast implant exchange takes about a week. Women may see swelling, a tight feeling along the breasts, and mild discomfort for the first several days. A surgical bra will need to be worn for several weeks. Most women are feeling good enough to return to work in three to five days.|
|Results:||A breast implant exchange can safely provide a sculpted chest, with the desired breast shape and fullness. Benefits from the procedure are long-lasting.|
|Related Procedures:||Breast Augmentation, Mastopexy, Breast Reduction, Capsular Contracture|