Breast implant exchange is also known as breast augmentation revision surgery. It is simply the exchange of the breast implants, either for the same sized implant or for smaller/bigger ones, depending on the reasons for the exchange. This procedure can be done in combination with other surgical procedures, including a mastopexy (breast uplift).
We also provide breast implant removal (explant) surgery.
- 1 Deciding if breast implant exchange is right for you
- 2 What does this procedure involve?
- 3 What are the risks of this surgery?
- 4 Before and after gallery
- 5 Going home after surgery
- 6 How much does surgery cost?
- 7 Testimonials
- 8 Enquire about this surgery
Deciding if breast implant exchange is right for you
Some of the most common reasons women choose to have their breast implants exchanged include:
- Dissatisfaction with breast appearance: Some women were never happy with the cosmetic outcome of their original breast augmentation procedure. Others find that their breast appearance has changed over time due to aging, pregnancy or weight fluctuations.
- Interference with physical activity: Very large breasts can make it challenging to live an active, athletic lifestyle. If you have large implants, you made decide to reduce the size of these, rather than have them removed completely.
- Desire for a different sized implant: It can sometimes be difficult to envision how your new breasts will look before you undergo breast augmentation. If you feel that your initial implant was either too large or too small, you can exchange them for a size that is more appropriate for your frame.
- Implant complications: If you suffer a complication such as an implant rupture, hardening of the breasts (capsular contracture), muscle animation, double bubble appearance, or infection you may not want to have the implants removed completely, and therefore opt for an exchange. If you have had an implant infection, then you will have to wait 6 months between having the implants removed and having them re-inserted.
- Implant Shelf Life: The manufacturers life expectancy of breast implants is 10 or more years, although implants can stay in without problems for a much longer time however, they aren’t guaranteed to last a lifetime. Rather than have your implants removed you can decide to have an exchange for new implants.
What does this procedure involve?
The procedure is similar to breast augmentation surgery. To minimise scarring Mr Sherif Wilson MB, ChB, MS, FRCS (Plastic Surgery) will use your existing scars to remove your implants. One the implants are removed, Mr Wilson will insert the new implants and stitch up the incision. During your consultation with Mr Wilson you will have decided what sized implants you desire, either the same size, bigger or smaller. If you are going from bigger implants to smaller implants, there may be excess skin therefore a mastopexy (breast uplift) may be recommended at the same time. A mastopexy involves removing the excess skin and raising the nipple so that the breasts appear lifted and more youthful.
Surgery takes around 1.5 hours but with an uplift it takes around 2.5 hours. These procedures are performed under a general anaesthetic.
What are the risks of this surgery?
All surgery carries general risks such as bleeding, DVT and infection. Mr Wilson sees all his patients at least twice prior to surgery in order to ensure that all the risks and complications are discussed in detail, and this allows the patient to go home and think about any further questions they have.
Before and after gallery
Going home after surgery
You may be able to go home the same day of the surgery, but many patients will spend one night in hospital. Patients are recommended to take around two weeks off work immediately after the operation in order to ensure they recover fully.
Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)
Since 2014, a condition called anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) in association with breast implants has been identified. The risk of this is extremely small. It is not a breast cancer itself but is associated with the scar tissue or capsule laid down by the body around an implant. Cases of BIA-ALCL have occurred between 2-28 years after implant insertion with the average time being 8 years. It is most likely to show up as a swelling around the implant causing an increase in size of the breast (a seroma). It can usually be successfully treated by an operation to remove the implant and the capsule of tissue surrounding it.
Because it is so rare, International organisations are sharing data and information about this condition. Most of the cases worldwide have occurred in women with textured breast implants, with higher numbers of BIA-ALCL seen in women with implants that have a coarser texture than those with a finer texture.
It is important to ask your surgeon what the most up-to-date recommendations are. Implants continue to be considered safe, with safety approval from Government organisations such as the UK MHRA and USA FDA. They continue to be used in breast reconstruction patients following treatment of cancer worldwide. For more information, please see the links at the end of this booklet.
Breast Implant Illness (BII)
Breast Implant Illness (BII) is a term used by patients who have breast implants and experience a variety of symptoms that they feel are directly connected to their silicone breast implants. BII is not a medical diagnosis and there is no proven association with breast implants. The symptoms include tiredness, “brain fog”, joint aches, immune-related symptoms, sleep disturbance, depression, hormonal issues, headaches, hair loss, chills, rash, hormonal issues and neurological issues.
There is currently no scientific evidence to confirm this proposed link or any diagnostic test to show that a patient suffers from such a condition. Research continues in this area to establish if all of the symptoms that patients describe can be brought together into a single diagnosis. Some patients do report that their symptoms improve if their implants are removed but this is not true for all. More guidance on BII can be found on the Gov.UK and Fda.gov websites.
How much does surgery cost?
Depending on the type of procedure you decide to have, the cost of breast implant surgery can vary.
These are guide prices and are subject to change following an initial consultation with Mr Wilson, where a bespoke quote will be provided, specific to each patient.
At Nuffield Bristol Hospital
From £8,520 (with mastopexy)
At BMI Bath Clinic
At Winfield Hospital (Gloucester)
From £7,660 (with capssulectomy)
At St Josephs Newport
From £8,770 (with mastopexy)
At Spire Bristol Hospital
From £10,350 (with mastopexy)
Please visit the Testimonials page for the very latest, or click on the links directly below this contact form.