Breast implants may be removed for medical reasons or the desire to change the shape or size of the breasts. It is possible to insert new implants following removal of existing breast implants.
Surgery is carried out under general anaesthetic and normally takes between one and two hours. You will usually stay in hospital for one or two nights.
Your implants will be removed through incisions made underneath your breasts or around the areola (the dark tissue around the nipple) and new implants inserted. The incision is closed with dissolving sutures. Dressings and a supportive bra will be fitted.
Further procedures, such as a breast uplift, may be required following the implant removal and replacement. Your surgeon will discuss these options with you at as part of your consultation.
It is normal to experience some discomfort, swelling and bruising in your breasts which should subside after a few weeks. The shape of the breasts can take several months to settle.
Your anaesthetist is likely to prescribe painkillers to reduce any potential discomfort. It is important to discuss any discomfort with our nursing team.
Your surgeon will advise when to wear your support bra and for how long. It’s important that you do not wear an under-wired bra until advised to do so.
You must avoid strenuous exercise, heavy lifting, swimming and vacuuming for four to six weeks after surgery.
The length of time you will need to be off work will depend on the type of work you do. Your surgeon will advise, however a minimum of one week is usual.
Breast implant exchange is a commonly performed and generally safe procedure. Nonetheless, all surgery and anaesthetic have some risk associated. Risks to all surgeries include infection, excessive bleeding, adverse reaction to anaesthetic or blood clotting.
Your surgery will result in scarring, however it should gradually soften and fade over several months.
Changes in sensation, including increased or decreased sensitivity may occur in different parts of the breast, including the nipple. These changes are usually temporary, lasting up to six months, however in some cases numbness is permanent.
In very rare cases thick, red and painful scars may develop. These scars can take several years to improve.