While breast implants have been designed to provide comfort, support, and a beautiful figure, they do need to be replaced – find out why and when with Toronto Plastic Surgeons.
Many women opt to replace their breast implants even when they aren’t worn out, just to be safe and take preventative measures. You should get your breast implants replaced if:
Breast implants do not last a lifetime – contrary to popular belief. Implants may have to be replaced due to complications, the desire to increase or decrease their size, or sagging and rippling. If you have silicone implants, you should get yearly mammograms and MRI scans every five years to check for ruptures. As a general rule of thumb, you should attend yearly checkouts and replace implants after 10-15 years, unless there are no concerns.
When you and your doctor decide that it’s time for surgery, you will receive an IV to sedate you or general anesthesia so you don’t feel any pain. During the operation, an incision will be made around the areola and under the lower fold of your breasts. The implants and scar tissue will be removed and replaced with new implants (if you are getting an implant replacement). Stitches, tape, and adhesives will help close the incisions and begin the healing process.
If you’re replacing your implants for aesthetic reasons, it is best to consult with your surgeon and ask as many questions as possible to make sure that this size will provide you with long-term satisfaction. Pick a shape and size of implant that you know you can look good with but also live with for the next 10-20 years. Take into consideration your lifestyle, comfortable exercise, bra shopping, and the figure you’d like to achieve.
To avoid implant complications that are out of your control, be sure to choose a board-certified, experienced surgeon like Dr. Bell, follow all aftercare instructions, and get regular MRIs or mammograms to check for silicone ruptures or saline deflation.
To prepare for your breast implant removal, you may need to:
Be sure to have someone to drive you home following your surgery, as you will be put under general anesthetic. You should also have someone stay with you for the first night following your procedure to make sure you are keeping your head elevated, hydrating, and have everything you need to heal.
During your consultation, you will be advised by your surgeon which implants are best for your goals, desires, and medical history, and your surgical options will be discussed. You can go ahead with implant removal, implant removal with a breast lift, removal of tissue, or implant replacement.
If you are looking to remove implants and get them replaced, Dr. Bell will recommend implants of a size and shape that suit your body and goals. You may be able to return home the day of your surgery, but recovery time differs for everyone. You can resume working in five days, but stay away from strenuous activities for six weeks.
Your breasts will be covered in gauze following your implant removal or replacement. You may have drainage tubes, which will be removed in a few days, and you may need to wear a surgical bra. Your doctor can prescribe pain medication for you or give you the go-ahead to use over-the-counter pain medication. You may have some swelling and scars, but these will fade over time. Carefully follow all aftercare instructions and you will heal quickly and beautifully.
One of the choices you have to make when pursuing an implant replacement or your first breast implant procedure is whether you want saline or silicone implants. Both have an outer silicone shell, but the implants feel different and are filled with different substances.
Saline breast implants are filled with sterile salt water, but are put into the chest area empty and filled once they’re in the correct position. You must be 18 or older to receive saline breast implants, and you will know if they need to be replaced when they begin to look uneven, deflate, or ripple around the edges.
Silicone breast implants are made with a gel filling, and many patients report that they look and feel like natural breasts. These implants are only available to people 22 and older, but are available at any age for breast reconstruction surgery. You will know if they need to be replaced when they begin to harden, look uneven, or sag. MRIs and mammograms every 5 years, along with yearly doctor’s visits, can help you avoid any complications.
Before getting breast implants, consider your desired placement, type, size, and shape – all of which you can discuss during your consultation with Dr. Bell. Your procedure can also be combined with a breast lift or scar tissue removal, depending on your goals, past health concerns, and lifestyle.
All implant procedures come with risks, such as breast pain, changes in nipple sensation, hardened scar tissue around the implant, scarring, bleeding, infection, dissatisfaction with the implants, ruptures, or leaks. When a saline implant ruptures, also referred to as a silent rupture, the body can safely absorb it. When a silicone implant leaks, the leak will either stay inside the implant shell or leak outside and deflate the implant.
Follow all aftercare instructions, attend regular doctor appointments, and check in with your surgeons to maintain your rejuvenated dream figure!