Replacing of a woman’s own implants for newer ones is referred to as breast implant exchange surgery which also is a category of breast revision surgery. The implants could have been originally placed for a breast augmentation, during a breast lift or in breast reconstruction.
There are several reasons why a woman would select this course of action with some of the most common ones being to:
- change the size of the implant
- alter the shape with regard to projection and width
- change from saline to silicone implants or vice versa
- replace an implant which has ruptured
- change the implants as an incidental part of another breast issue such as drooping or capsular contracture
Usually the number one reason for a breast implant exchange is to obtain larger implants in order to have breasts that are significantly larger. Very uncommonly does a patient request going to a smaller size. In most of these situations, it is either because they were made excessively large initially by their surgeon or they gained a considerable amount of weight in the intervening period of time resulting in concomitant natural breast enlargement.
It is quite rare for my personal patients to desire different implant sizes and when they do, it is usually years later and often precipitated by another event such as an implant rupture. How is it that my implant exchange rate is very low? During my patient’s consultation, I listen carefully to their desires and concerns, take measurements, have them “try on” different implants as well as show them photographs of other patients that may be relevant for their situation. Finally, during surgery I will first use temporary “sizers” so as to precisely determine the perfect implant for them.
The relative proportions (profile) of the implant which affect the ultimate breast configuration, are also important. By explaining and offering different profile implants such moderate, high and super-high, my patients can realize the customized appearance they desire. For example, a patient who has a very narrow chest and wants a lot of projection but without excessive width, would benefit from a higher profile implant. A woman who is relatively broad, has a moderate amount of breast tissue and doesn’t want to be extremely large, would be better off with a moderate profile implant.
Finally, most of the patients that I see who have saline implants and are undergoing an exchange for whatever reason, switch to silicone implants. The reason is fairly obvious – they look and feel far more natural. Only in rare circumstances do they go from silicone to saline and it is never for aesthetic reasons.
For more information on breast implants, breast enlargement or any other plastic surgery procedure that I perform or to schedule a complimentary consultation, please contact my office at 480-451-3000.
Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona