Breast augmentation is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures, whether to give women an improved silhouette, build up the bust after a mastectomy or just to perk up natural assets that have drooped over the years. However, sometimes women want or need to change their implants, and there are a number of valid reasons for doing so.It is certainly possible to have breast implants modified, but it is important to select a surgeon who is experienced in this type of procedure and takes the time to understand exactly the reasons for undertaking the surgery. The procedure will be affected to some degree by the condition of the implants that are already in your body. While in most cases the surgery itself should not be that complicated, it will require full anaesthesia, which means there is some risk involved. Recovery should be much like the original augmentation, and possibly a bit faster.
The reasons for someone wanting to change the implants could include realising that the initial choice does not really suit their frame, or that they are no longer the size and shape that is desired, or that the implants have become hard to the touch – also known as capsular contracture. Technology and techniques have also improved, and women may want to replace old implants with better modern types. The implants may also have sunk, ruptured or deflated.
If your current implants are unsatisfying or no longer look the way you want, it could be a significant relief to have them changed. Having the size and shape you really desire could also be a big confidence boost.
The first step in changing your implants is to have the current implants assessed. You should discuss their condition with your surgeon, the desired outcome after changing the implants, and the options available for making this happen. It is also a good idea to attend a sizing session where the various shapes and sizes of new implants can be considered to ensure you will be happy with your choice.
When the surgery takes place, it will be a lot like the procedure when the implants were first inserted. A general anaesthetic will be used, the surgery will probably take around two hours, and the patient will be required to spend a night in hospital for observation.
Generally, the surgeon will make their incision at the site of the scar for the original implants to remove them, and then put the new ones in. If the new implants are larger than the ones removed, then the surgeon may need to make some space internally by releasing the breast capsule around the implant (called a capsulectomy).
If there is a problem with the current implants, then it is recommended to consult the original surgeon, as they will know exactly what work was done and how best to correct it. If the implants are being changed for other reasons, then getting another surgeon is absolutely fine.
Some women can be worried that putting in smaller implants could result in loose skin. Generally, this is not a cause for concern, as the skin will retract following surgery, and many women are pleasantly surprised at how their breasts adapt to the changes without any assistance.