What is a Breast Implant Exchange?

This surgery usually involves replacing the existing breast implants with new breast implants, although some may prefer to leave the implants out and try breast augmentation with fat grafting. Others may want fat grafting or no implants at all but desire a breast lift. During your initial consultation, Dr. Esmailian will discuss your concerns and vision for your breasts. He will review your medical and surgical history and recommend the best options to meet your needs. The procedure for each individual varies, based on what you and Dr. Esmailian decide about your outcome goals.

The time of surgery and recovery are different depending on whether you would like a breast implant exchange, want to remove the implants altogether, use fat grafting to augment the breasts, or would like a different breast implant placement (such as shifting the implants from under the breast tissue to under the muscle of the chest).

For all patients, the procedure is performed under general anesthesia. It takes about three hours to complete the surgery.

What are the Benefits of a Breast Implant Exchange?

A breast implant exchange is designed to replace ruptured breast implants or older-generation implants, but this surgery can provide additional benefits, as well. These may include:

  • Softening the feel of breast implants hardened by capsular contracture
  • Lifting breast implants that have migrated downward, giving patients perkier breasts
  • Restoring fullness in the upper area of the breasts
  • Lessening the ability to feel breast implants through the skin
  • Correcting breast asymmetry
  • Correcting the positioning of breast implants, including symmastia (breasts that look joined in the middle)
  • Providing additional clothing options
  • Creating a more natural look overall

Who is a candidate for breast implant exchange?

The most appropriate candidates have reasonable expectations and goals for revision breast surgery, are in good health, and are aware of the potential risks of the procedure. They may be defined by the following characteristics:

  • A desire to switch from textured to smooth breast implants
  • A desire for different-sized implants
  • A desire for a different type and/or shape of the implant
  • Unsatisfactory results from a different surgeon
  • Breast implant rupture (ranging from a subtle leak to full deflation)
  • Capsular contracture (scar tissue formed around the implant)
  • Shifting of breast implant position
  • Change in breast tissue, due to skin stretching, weight loss, or gain
  • Changing aesthetic with age
  • Swelling

What is the Recovery Time for a Breast Implant Exchange?

During the first four or five days of recovery, you can expect moderate to significant pain and discomfort. Swelling, bruising, or tenderness may occur in the treated area. These symptoms are to be expected. They can be much relieved by using an ice pack and by taking pain medications. Patients may also experience temporary numbness in the nipples.

You will need to take about a week to rest. During this time, allow yourself to relax and heal, refraining from any strenuous activity, work, or heavy lifting. Dr. Esmailian will advise you about when you may begin to slowly resume your usual activities and routines.

What are the Risks Involved?

There are risks associated with any type of surgery, including implant exchange surgery. Dr. Esmailian takes every precaution to minimize any risks. Possible complications include:

  • Slow healing
  • Negative or allergic reaction to anesthesia
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Blood clots or infection
  • Scar or breast asymmetry
  • Possible interference with breastfeeding
  • Capsular contracture (i.e., development of scar tissue around the breast implant)
  • Breast implant rippling or rupture
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Why choose Dr. Esmailian for your breast implant exchange?

Dr. Esmailian, a double board-certified plastic surgeon serving Orange County and beyond, delivers beautifully natural results that are nuanced and sophisticated, fulfilling his clients’ wishes for improvement. He listens carefully to your goals and concerns, crafting a treatment plan to resolve your aesthetic imbalances and restore your self-confidence. 

After obtaining his medical degree at the George Washington University School of Medicine, Dr. Esmailian went on to pursue a demanding General Surgery Residency Program at the world-renowned University of Southern California. Throughout his training, he received numerous awards, including Outstanding Resident of the Year, Outstanding Resident Teacher of the Year, and Administrative Chief Resident. In order to further his skill set, Dr. Esmailian then completed a Plastic Surgery Residency at the Indiana University Hospital in Indianapolis.

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