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Breast Implant Replacement Review: Made Me Feel So Comfortable

Published by Dr. Brandon Richland, MD

“I love Dr. Richland! I have been going to him for 2+ years for Botox and have always loved my results. I also just had a consultation with him about getting my breast implants removed and replaced. He made me feel so very comfortable and explained everything to where I understood about what to expect. Staff is incredible and extremely friendly.”

Read the full Google Review here.

Understanding Breast Implant Replacement

Breast implant replacement is an important procedure for individuals seeking to maintain or enhance their breast aesthetics due to various reasons, such as implant defects or personal preferences.

Types of Breast Implants

There are primarily two types of breast implants: silicone breast implants and saline breast implants. Silicone implants are filled with silicone gel, which is a thick, sticky fluid that closely mimics the feel of human fat. On the other hand, saline implants are filled with sterile salt water and are inserted empty, then filled once they’re in place.

  • Silicone Gel Implants: More natural feel, less risk of rippling
  • Saline Implants: Adjustable size, lower cost

Reasons for Replacement

Breast implant replacement may be considered due to a variety of reasons, including:

  • Capsular Contracture: This occurs when the scar tissue that naturally forms around the implant tightens and compresses the implant, causing discomfort or changes in appearance.
  • Implant Rupture: Over time, implants can rupture. A saline implant deflation is noticeable due to loss of volume, while silicone implant rupture may go undetected without imaging tests.
  • Aesthetic Changes: Personal preference changes regarding size, shape, or symmetry.

The FDA recommends monitoring breast implants for potential complications over time, which can also lead to replacement.

Choosing the Right Implant Size and Shape

The decision to replace an implant includes considering the right size and shape to achieve desired results. Factors include body type, original breast tissue, and individual aesthetic goals.

  • Size: Measured in cubic centimeters (cc’s), the volume of implants can vary widely.
  • Shape: Available in round or teardrop (anatomical) shapes, each offering different contours.

Patients should consult with a qualified plastic surgeon to understand the options and implications of replacing their breast implants.

Preparation and Procedure

Breast implant replacement surgery requires careful planning and coordination between the patient and the plastic surgeon. An understanding of the surgical process, preparation steps, and postoperative care is integral for a successful outcome.

Consultation with a Plastic Surgeon

Before proceeding with breast implant replacement, a thorough consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon is essential. During the consultation, the surgeon evaluates the patient’s medical history and current breast implants. They discuss the patient’s goals and expectations, and explain the available options. This is the time to address the risk of scar tissue development and determine the necessity for additional supportive measures, such as an acellular dermal matrix, which may be used to reinforce tissue around the implant.

The Surgery Process

Breast implant replacement surgery typically involves the removal of the old implants followed by the placement of new ones. The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia. The plastic surgeon makes an incision, often at the same site as the original surgery to minimize additional scarring. The location of the incision, whether under the areola, along the breast crease, or under the arm, varies depending on the specific case. After removing the old implants and any scar tissue, the surgeon positions the new implants. Drains may be placed to prevent fluid accumulation, and the incisions are carefully closed to reduce bleeding and swelling.

Steps of the Surgery Process

  • Anesthesia: Administer general anesthesia to ensure a pain-free experience.
  • Making Incisions: Create an incision in the predetermined location.
  • Removal of Old Implants: Extract the existing implants and clear away scar tissue if needed.
  • Placement of New Implants: Insert and position the new implants correctly.
  • Closing Incisions: Suture the incision sites to minimize scarring and enhance healing.
  • Placement of Drains (if necessary): Install drains to reduce the risk of fluid accumulation and swelling.

Postoperative Recovery and Care

Post-surgery, patients need to adhere to a specific recovery protocol to ensure the best healing. This generally includes wearing a compression garment or support bra to help reduce swelling and support the new breast position. Medications may be prescribed to manage pain and lower the risk of infection. Patients should limit physical activity as directed by the surgeon to prevent stress on the healing incisions. Regular follow-up appointments are crucial to monitor the recovery progress and promptly address any complications like unexpected bleeding or changes in blood supply to the breast tissue. The surgeon provides detailed instructions on incision care, recognizing potential problems, and the timeline to resume normal activities.

Considerations and Complications

When considering breast implant replacement or revision surgery, it’s crucial to understand the longevity of implants, possible risks, and the financial implications.

Longevity and Maintenance

Breast implants, whether silicone gel-filled or saline, are not lifetime devices. Patients should be aware that breast implant replacement may be necessary over time. Regular check-ups, including MRI or ultrasound, might be recommended to detect “silent ruptures” in silicone implants. Following a surgical plan that includes post-operative care and maintenance is essential for extending the life of the new implants.

Potential Risks and Complications

Here are some risks associated with breast implant replacement:

  • Infection and bleeding can occur, as with any surgery.
  • Asymmetry, rippling, or implant malposition may necessitate additional procedures.
  • Capsular contracture, where hard scar tissues form around the implant, may require a capsulectomy.
  • An increased risk of BIA-ALCL (breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma) has been noted, particularly with textured breast implants.
  • In rare cases, Breast Implant Associated Squamous Cell Carcinoma (BIASCC) has been found in the capsule around breast implants.
  • Breast reconstruction surgeries, including breast implant replacement, may involve the use of ADM (acellular dermal matrix) or surgical mesh to support the new implant pocket, which carries its own set of risks.

Financial and Warranty Information

Breast implant replacement surgery can be costly and is not always covered by insurance. Some factors affecting the price include the surgeon’s fee, facility costs, anesthesia, and the type of implant. It’s important to understand what the costs cover and whether a lifetime warranty is available for the new implants. Implant manufacturers may offer warranties that cover implant replacement in specific instances, such as implant rupture, with expiration dates.

Costs of Revision Surgery:

  • Surgeon’s Fee: This can vary based on experience and location.
  • Hospital or Surgical Facility Costs: Outpatient surgery centers may be less expensive than hospitals.
  • Anesthesia: The type of anesthesia and duration of surgery affect cost.

Patients should ask for detailed risk information and read the patient decision checklist provided by the manufacturer, as part of making informed decisions about breast implant replacement surgery.

Always remember, setting realistic expectations and having a comprehensive understanding of both the aesthetic and medical factors involved in breast implant replacement can significantly contribute to satisfaction with the results and overall self-esteem.

Schedule Your First-Class Cosmetic Consultation with Dr. Brandon Richland, MD

Contact Dr. Richland today by visiting RichlandMD.com, scheduling a cosmetic consultation, or by calling 714-844-0398 or 949-997-2958 directly.

Cover Image Illustration by: Dr. Brandon Richland, MD