There are many reasons why women choose or need to replace their breast implants. An implant replacement can have different causes. For example, a desire to change the size is a typical motivation.
Older breast implants filled with liquid were generally given a lifespan of 10 to 15 years, after which they should be replaced. More modern implants do not have an expiry date as they keep their shape better and they are less likely to leak thanks to their so-called cohesive gel filling.
In this case, it is not recommended to replace implants unless complications occur. One of these risks is a very rare condition called capsular contracture, a painful hardening and deformation of the breasts, which has to be corrected by surgery. Thanks to the roughened (textured) surface of modern implants, this rarely occurs nowadays.
If it is not necessary to adjust the outer skin layer, it is very easy to replace an implant. In special cases, it may be necessary to change the position of the implant, mainly if the change in the implant pocket results in a sensible improvement.
Before the procedure, we examine the breast and clarify the reasons for needing or wanting the surgery. Depending on the result of the consultation, the surgical procedure varies.
The breast implants are usually accessed through scars from previous breast operations, through which the old implants are removed and new ones are inserted. If a patient has capsular contracture, the capsule will also be surgically removed.
This outpatient surgery takes about 1 hour and is performed under general anaesthesia. Thanks to state-of-the-art anaesthetics, a gentle wake-up phase follows. After about 1 hour of rest, the patient can be picked up. All patients receive the mobile telephone number of the surgeon to ensure availability around the clock. Showers can be resumed on the 2nd day after the surgery. Strenuous exercises should be avoided for 2 to 3 weeks. During this time, the patient wears a special support bra. The first check-up visit is after 1 week, and the final follow-up is after 12 weeks.