Breast implant replacement surgery is a cosmetic surgical procedure that removes older implants from your breast and replaces them with newer breast implants. It is done to correct unsatisfactory results obtained after a previous breast implant surgery or in cases where complications arise after the surgery. Breast Implant Replacement Surgery is performed by Dr Rebecca Wyten, Female Specialist Plastic Surgeon in Melbourne. If you can’t find or don’t feel comfortable consulting with your original doctor or surgeon, See Dr Rebecca to get a second opinion about your current breast implants.
Why should you get your implants replaced?
Benefits of the implacement replacement surgery include but are not limited to:
- It helps give the desired shape, size and look to your breasts that were not met by the previous operation
- It helps to correct any asymmetry of your breast
- It enables the replacement of your ruptured/ contracted implants with fresh pair of implants
- It helps improve your self-confidence and issues related to self-image
- Replacing larger implants with lighter implants can help resolve issues related to neck pain and shoulder pain by improving posture
Am I a suitable candidate for Breast implant replacement?
You are an ideal candidate for the surgery if:
- You are discontent with the results from previous implant-based surgery
- You have had a change in mind regarding the desired breasts size
- The implants have moved from their original place
- There is an implant site infection
- There is rupture, hardening, leak or an asymmetry of your implants
In addition to these, the surgery is ideal for you if:
- You have realistic expectations regarding the results of the operation
- You are a non-smoker or are willing to quit smoking pre and post-operatively
- You are in ideal physical health with no underlying condition
Download our Breast Implant Removal & Replace Guide
Dr Wyten’s Breast Implant Replacement & Implant Revision Surgical Procedure
The stages of the procedure for breast implant revision surgery is summarized below
Your operation is done under general anesthesia in hospital theatre. The anesthesia is performed by a specialist anaesthetist.
2. Making The Incision
In your breast implant revision surgery, the incision is usually made below the crease of your breasts (inframammary approach) irrespective of the site of the previous incision. This is usually the method of choice as the incision is made inconspicuously made at the base of the breast, which improves post-operative aesthetics by limiting scarring to the minimum.
Other incision techniques that can be used for the surgery include:
- Peri-areolar incision: In this approach, as the name suggests the incision is made around your areola. The size of the incision is less than 5 cm so it is ideal for taking out and inserting small saline-based implants.
- Breast lift incision: In this technique, a vertical cut is made extending from the areola to the base of your breast and another cut is made around the areola, providing a lollipop shape to the incision.
The type of incision used will be based depending upon the procedure and degree of revision required.
3. Old Implant removal
After a suitable incision is made the previous implant is taken out in combination with the surrounding breast capsule as a single block/piece. It is called an En-bloc technique of implant removal. Removal of the capsule along with the implant gets rid of any accumulated fluid within the capsule. This prevents any fluid from leaking to the breast tissue. This method also prevents capsular contracture from recurring.
Another method of implant removal is a Partial capsulectomy method. In this method the implant is removed through an incision is made in your breast capsule. The implant is removed first, followed by the capsule. This method is preferred when a part of the capsule has fused to the rib cage or the chest muscle and needs to be kept in its place.
4. New Implant Insertion and replacement
After the implant is taken out along with the surrounding capsule, the new implant is inserted through a suitable pocket(space) made in the breast. The shape and size of the pocket are predetermined before the surgery depending on your needs.
A pocket can be made primarily in three locations :
- Over the muscle: In this pocket placement technique, the implant is placed underneath the mound of the breast but above the chest muscle layer
- Under the muscle: In this technique, the implant material is placed underneath the chest musculature
- Dual plane technique: In this technique, the implant is placed partially underneath the breast mound and partially underneath the chest muscle.
The pocket can be created in the same layer as your initial implant or in a different layer, this too is determined before the surgery.
After the creation of a suitable-sized pocket, the implant is placed and carefully positioned. You can choose the size, shape and type of your new breast implants.
5. Incision Closure
After insertion and proper positioning of the new implant, internal sutures are used to tighten implants in their place and the breast is reshaped. Later the skin is sutured and secured in place with adhesives.
Recovery after Breast Implant Replacement Surgery
The surgery is usually done as a day procedure that lasts about an hour and a half. You will be able to return home on the day of the surgery itself. However, Dr Wyten may recommend you to stay in the hospital overnight for monitoring purposes.
Gauze dressing and bandages will be placed at the incision site and drains may be placed under your skin to drain excess fluid. You will have to take proper care of this area to prevent infection.
Dr Wyten suggests the use of a compression bra for at least two to four weeks postoperatively to accelerate the healing process of your breast. The garment also helps reduce pain and swelling around your breast.
After the surgery, you should keep your upper body raised by about 30 degrees while sitting and sleeping for at least a week. This helps in swelling remission and wound healing. You should sleep on your back to prevent the implant from slipping out of position
In most cases, you will be able to return to your work after 5 to 10 days of the surgery provided that your work doesn’t require you to lift heavy objects.
Longer downtime and recovery period may be required if the implant were replaced for complex conditions- like an infection or a capsular contracture. You should avoid lifting heavy objects for at least 6 weeks post-operatively as it takes time for the implant to settle in its place.
You should also avoid smoking and indulging in strenuous exercises as they can hamper the healing process.
It may take up to 3-4 months for you to appreciate the final results of the surgery as most of the swelling and bruising will have subsided by then. You should meet your surgeon if the pain and swelling do not improve over time.
Breast Implant Replacement Surgery Before and After Photos
You can see Dr Rebecca’s real patient before and after photos of Breast Implant Replacement when you come in for a consultation
Risks and Complications Associated with Implant Revision Surgery
The decision to have implant revision surgery is extremely personal and you’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.
You will be explained in detail the possible complications associated with the surgery by Dr Rebecca Wyten and her team. You will then be asked to sign a consent form after you fully understand the procedure and its potential risks.
The possible risks of the surgery include:
- Keloid or unattractive scarring
- Bleeding and hematoma formation
- Poor healing of incisions
- Temporary or permanent changes in sensation around nipple and breast.
- Formation of firm scar tissue around the implant, giving rise to capsular contracture.
- Leak or rupture of the new implant
- Wrinkling of the skin over the implant
- Complications related to anesthesia.
- Seromas (fluid accumulation under the breast skin or around the implant)
- Blood clots
- Persistent pain and swelling
- Complications related to heart and lungs.
You should immediately consult your surgeon if any of these features develop after the surgery.
Although Breast implant replacement surgery is a simple surgery where the potential benefits significantly outweigh the involved risks and a good result is usually expected post-surgery; however, there are no guarantees, in addition to the surgery and the surgeon, the success of the surgery is also dependent on how your body responds to surgery and healing.
Sometimes a revision surgery may be required to achieve desired results.
Do you just want them removed? – Breast Implant Removal Surgery
Breast implant removal surgery is an alternative to breast implant replacement surgery, where the old implant is removed and not replaced with another implant.
It is indicated in the following cases:
- You have an auto-immune response to the implant, where the immune system of your body attacks the implant.
- The implants have been in-situ for a long time (The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommend removing or replacing implants every 10 to 15 years)
- Leakage of implant substance
- If there is a calcium deposit around your implant
- You have constant pain in the implant site
- Capsular contracture of the breast
The procedure is for you if you do not want to have another implant placed in your breasts. A breast implant removal is usually combined with a breast lift, as not replacing an implant will lead to excess skin around the breast, leading to its sagging.
Why Choose Dr Rebecca Wyten? – a top Melbourne Female Plastic Surgeon
Patients choose Dr Rebecca Wyten because she is a highly experienced Specialist plastic surgeon. She has 19 years of expertise in plastic surgeries of the Breast and tummy. She is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Warm and down earth Dr Rebecca Wyten puts patient safety and well-being as a matter of utmost priority and approaches every case with highly innovative techniques.
FAQs – Questions about Breast Implant Replacement Questions
How often should breast implants be replaced?
It is recommended that you remove or replace your breast implants every 10 to 15 years. However, you may require removing /replacing it earlier if any complications develop.
What happens if you do not replace your implants?
Breast implants are not meant to be kept for a lifetime. Anyone undergoing any procedure involving placement of implants should reasonably expect to remove or replace the implant down the line.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommends removing or replacing implants every 10 to 15 years. However, if any complications develop, you should get them removed earlier as it can lead to consequences like constant breast pain and tightening around the breast.
Having a breast implant for too long increases the risk of implant rupture and capsular contracture.
Is it possible to remove breast implants and not have them replaced?
Yes, you can remove breast implants and not replace them if you no longer want implants.
It is indicated in cases where there are auto-immune reactions to the implant. Here your own body recognizes the implant as a foreign cell and attacks it.
How much does it cost to have my breast implants replaced or changed?
Breast implant replacement is a highly individualized surgical procedure and the cost for it will vary depending upon the type of implant used, complexity and length of the procedure. You can know about the approximate cost involved in the procedure after consultation with Dr Wyten.
Also, as it is a cosmetic procedure, in most cases your insurance will not cover the procedure. However, in certain cases where there is a medical indication for your implant removal; you will receive some coverage from your insurance company depending on their policy.
Book your consultation with Dr Rebecca Wyten now.
Medical References about Breast Implant Replacement & Revision surgery:
- Breast Revision Surgery – Replacing Breast Implants Melbourne Surgeon (cocorubyplasticsurgery.com.au)
- Breast Implant Revision | American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery.org)
- Replacing Breast Implants (Breast Revision Surgery) Melbourne
Meet the REAL Dr Rebecca Wyten – Mum, Wife, Talented Artist and Caring, Precise Surgeon
Watch this video to learn more about the life and work of Dr Rebecca Wyten.
Dr Rebecca Wyten has Clinic Locations in Hawthorn & Berwick serving the Eastern and South Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne, Australia