Breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic surgery performed in the country. While most women are extremely pleased with their results, there are a few cases that do not work as planned. After receiving implants, some women have a change in their aesthetic preference and wish their breasts were larger or smaller. More troublesome, however, are issues such as implant leaks and capsular contracture. No matter the problem, Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery offers the breast implant exchange so that women have a second chance for beautiful, healthy breasts.
Breast Implant Exchange
The breast implant exchange is a surgical technique created to safely swap out existing breast implants with new ones. Women may opt for a similar implant to the one already in place, or change factors like size, shape, and type. The implant exchange can restore a woman’s confidence in her appearance and improve her overall health.
Although not everyone will see their cosmetic surgeon for a breast implant exchange procedure, the procedure is common for women with older implants. Remember, breast implants are not meant to last forever. While they may look beautiful for 10 years or longer, eventually they will need to be removed or replaced. There are also unfortunate situations where problems occur after a breast augmentation making removal necessary. These can include leaks, ruptures, rippling, and the formation of unexpected scar tissue.
Common reasons for a breast implant exchange include:
- Leaks: Although rare, both silicone and saline implants have a small chance for leakage, especially as they get older.
- Improved technology: Women may opt to replace older gel implants with thin shells with newer, safer implants made with a highly cohesive gel.
- Preference: Over the years, changes in lifestyle and aesthetic desires can mean a change of heart on the original implant size, so women may want to go larger or smaller.
- Better shape. Some women elect to have a new breast implant inserted in order to change the position and contour of their chest.
- Capsular Contracture: Some scar tissue forming after a breast augmentation is normal. However excessive scar tissue can form around the implant causing the breast to become hard, deformed, and painful.
- Wrinkling & Rippling: In some situations, especially on thin women, wrinkles and rippling of the implant can become noticeable.
- Asymmetry: Most women have some sort of breast asymmetry, and this can continue to change over time, even after initial implants have been placed.
- Type: Women with older saline implants may determine that newer, more natural looking silicone gel implants will improve the look and feel of her chest.
The ideal candidate for a breast implant exchange can be almost any woman who has had a breast augmentation in the past and is looking to change her implants. She should be in generally good health and understand the benefits/limitations of the procedure. Women who are pregnant, nursing, have a current infection, or have experienced a reduced blood supply should postpone their implant exchange.
The Breast Implant Exchange Procedure at Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery
Dr. Vitenas’ breast implant exchange is a safe and efficient procedure. Performed at the Houston Surgery Center, the breast implant exchange is an outpatient surgery, using general anesthesia. Depending on a woman’s specific needs, the outpatient procedure will take between one and two hours to complete.
To begin, Dr. Vitenas will make a thin incision along the inframammary fold (along the breast crease). From here, he will remove the old implant and the surrounding capsule, if needed. Dr. Vitenas will then place the new, carefully selected implants. The implant position can be changed from above the chest muscle (subglandular) to below the chest muscle (submuscular). Those women who are going with smaller implants may require a breast lift or breast reduction to eliminate stretched, unwanted skin and tissue.
Recovering From the Breast Implant Exchange
The recovery from a breast implant exchange is normally easier than the initial surgery and requires little downtime. Most women are ready to return to work in two to three days. Swelling and bruising are minor and resolve quickly. While there is little pain after the procedure, prescription medication can make the healing process more comfortable.
Breast implant exchange sutures are placed inside of the wounds, meaning there are no stitches to remove. If any additional techniques need to be utilized, such as removing scar tissue, the recovery may take longer. No strenuous activities for two to four weeks.
Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery employs the newest and safest breast implant exchange techniques. However, a surgical procedure will have a small chance for complications to occur. These can include infection, scarring, asymmetry, and loss of sensation.
If you are unhappy with your current breast implants, contact Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery to schedule a consultation with Dr. Vitenas. Call the office at 281.484.0088 for more information or assistance with a first appointment. Consultations can also be done online, simply fill out the Contact Us form.
Implant Exchange FAQ
The breast implant exchange is a surgical procedure designed to remove previous implants and replace them with new ones. The procedure can be performed for aesthetic or medical reasons.
The best candidate for a breast implant exchange will be in good health and looking to change the current implants. No matter the reason for the exchange, the prospective patient should understand the surgical technique and hold realistic expectations.
The breast implant exchange is a perfect time to update the size, shape, and type of implant that will work best with your aesthetic desires. This may mean going smaller or larger, as well as changing from saline to silicone.
Dr. Vitenas begins an implant exchange by making an incision along the inframammary fold (below the breast). He will then remove the old breast implant, as well as the surrounding capsule and excess tissue if needed. The new implants will be placed and the incisions sutured.
Dr. Vitenas’ incision will be placed along the breast crease (the inframammary fold).
Dr. Vitenas performs all breast implant exchange procedures at the Houston Surgery Center. These private surgery suites are located in the Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery building.
What can I expect from my implant exchange recovery period?
An implant exchange is generally easier than the initial procedure, with less discomfort and little downtime. Recovery will take less than a week. The sutures are placed inside the wounds, so no stitches need to be removed.
When can I return to work after having a breast implant exchange?
Most women are feeling well enough to return to work two to three days after having their breast implant exchange procedure.
Are there any risks associated with an implant exchange procedure?
Dr. Vitenas has been performing the breast implant exchange procedure for almost 30 years. His procedure is safe and effective. However, there is a rare chance that a complication will occur. These include scarring, infection, bleeding, asymmetry, and loss of sensation in the breast or nipple.
What is a breast implant exchange?
Breast implant exchange is a procedure which involves the removal of previous implants, and replacing them with new ones. This procedure is often accompanied by a breast lift, or mastopexy.
*Client testimonials are based on personal experience. Individual results may vary.
How do I know if I’m a candidate for breast implant revision surgery?
Good candidates for breast implant exchange include healthy women who have previously undergone breast implantation and wish to change their implants. Women may seek breast implant exchange for a variety of reasons including size issues, implant type issues, and problems with the implants.
Where is the incision made?
The incision for breast implant exchange is made in the inframammary fold, or the area under the breast. Through this incision, Dr. Vitenas will remove the old implant with or without the surrounding capsule. He will then place the new implants. If necessary, the implant position can be changed from above the chest muscle (subglandular) to below the chest muscle (submuscular).
What is the recovery time for breast implant exchange?
The recovery after this surgery is usually two to three days. Patients typically experience little discomfort, though medication can be taken if necessary. Because all stitches are placed inside the wounds, there are no sutures to remove.
How much is a breast implant exchange using either silicone or saline implants?
Dr. Vitenas uses the Silicone Gel and Saline Implants and the price range of the surgery is between $7,500 and $9,500. A specific price quote will be given to you at your consultation; the fees will reflect which type of implants you and Dr. Vitenas choose. This quote will also include your operating room and anesthesia costs and all of your follow up visits; the only thing it doesn’t include is your prescription medications which your insurance should assist with.