Breast augmentation remains one of the most popular aesthetic procedures provided in the United States. The American Society of Plastic Surgery confirms that the procedure typically lasts between ten and twenty years without adjustments, making breast augmentation one of the safer, effective, and lasting plastic surgeries available. However, life happens, skin sags, and tastes change. If this is the case for you, then you might need to consider a breast implant exchange.
Dr. Brent offers a range of cosmetic and plastic surgery in Santa Barbara and Beverly Hills. He is an expert in breast implant revision, using his years of experience to make sure that you are satisfied with your implants.
What is a Breast Implant Exchange?
A breast implant exchange is a procedure that effectively removes and replaces an existing breast implant. In most cases, patients opt for an exchange when the texture, size, or shape of the implant no longer suits them. If your implants ever feel lumpy, hard, or uneven, you should speak with your board-certified plastic surgeon at your earliest convenience.
If you have started to experience sagging as a result of aging, childbirth, or weight fluctuation, then you should share your concerns with your surgeon. The skin can be easily addressed during an implant exchange. But, it will involve some extra work on the part of your surgeon to ensure a successful renegotiation of the breasts’ shape.
What Does the Procedure Involve?
Although you can watch a video of the procedure via the American Society of Plastic Surgery’s vlog, it isn’t for everyone. If you have a sensitive stomach or simply don’t have a strong desire to watch the video, then here are the basic steps that go into a breast implant exchange.
1. Surgery Prep
As your surgeon is preparing for surgery, one of the first things they will do is mark the contours of your breasts and any past incision points. Their intention is to preserve your natural curves and avoid additional scarring. If you’re looking for a change to your existing breast shape, make sure to mention it.
Once you’re ready, you will receive general anesthesia. Your surgeon’s team will scrub in and prep your skin with an iodine solution to prevent bacterial infection. Dr. Brent Moelleken is double board-certified and will take every step necessary to ensure your safety throughout the procedure.
If possible, your surgeon will follow your existing scars to prevent further scarring on your breast. They will cut each layer of tissue away, down through the pectoral muscle, until they reach the implant itself.
3. Implant Removal
Dr. Brent carefully removes the old implant.
4. Exchange Prep
Depending on your situation, your surgeon may have to clear away some tissue to make more room if you’re increasing the size of your implants or are lacking in mobility. Once adequate space is created, your surgeon will use a temporary implant or “spacer” to gauge the size of the implant and how it fills out the breast. Then they will flush the cavity with antibacterial solutions to ensure that you are protected from infection.
5. Implant Insertion
It is important that the new implant never touches any possibly contaminated surface, so your surgeon will use a special delivery tool to insert the implant through the incision without allowing it to touch the exterior of your skin. It’s a careful process that your board-certified surgeon has trained to perform.
Once your implant is in place, your surgeon will suture the incision closed layer by layer. Once they’re done, you’ll be sent to recover as the general anesthetic wears off. Afterwards, it is up to you to carefully follow your surgeon’s instructions, as they will vary depending on your individual case. Once you’ve healed, you can go back to life as normal.