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3 Reasons to Replace Your Damaged Breast Implants

Posted September 13, 2023 in Breast Implant Replacement

5 Minute Read:

Breast augmentation is one of the most commonly sought-out plastic surgery procedures, and it helps women of all ages achieve the full, shapely chest they’ve always wanted. While most women experience stress-free procedures and remain satisfied with their enhanced breasts, other women develop complications with their implants or decide that their augmented look needs a bit of fine-tuning.

Women in lace bra looking into a mirror.

Breast implant removal — or breast revision — is a secondary procedure that adjusts the results of a previous augmentation, including removing and replacing damaged breast implants. 

Implant complications — or damaged implants — are the most common reasons women choose to undergo a secondary procedure, and even though complications are not always guaranteed, they are something to always be aware of. In fact, most breast augmentation patients know there is a chance they may need future surgery.

And while some women choose to remove their implants entirely, there are some benefits to replacing them.

1. Some Damaged Implants Can Cause Pain or Other Health Concerns

While most breast augmentations are completed without problems, there are always risks, most of which are unseen at the time of the initial surgery. Some implant complications require an immediate surgical fix because they cause physical pain. 

Capsular contracture occurs when the scar tissue that forms around the breast hardens and begins to squeeze the implant. This condition can occur at any point after the implants are placed, and it can cause physical pain. While this requires a secondary procedure, it is easily treatable. Here, the implant and troublesome scar tissue are removed, and the implant is replaced.

Another potential complication is implant rupture or deflation. This occurs when the silicone shell of a saline or silicone implant weakens and tears, allowing the contents of the implant to escape into the body. While saline ruptures do not pose any health risks — since the saline gets absorbed by the body — they still require an aesthetic fix. Alternatively, it is possible for the contents of a silicone implant to escape from the shell and enter into the breast pocket. This silicone needs to be removed.

Modern silicone implants consist of a thicker gel that tends to stay in place. However, the best course of action is to remove the implant as soon as possible to mitigate any risks. An MRI can detect a leak in silicone breast implants. 

Implant rupture can be treated by removing the implant and any loose silicone material before cleaning the breast pocket and inserting a new implant.

2. Even If Your Damaged Implants Aren’t Causing Pain, You Can Still Improve Aesthetics

Many complications associated with breast surgery do not pose medical risk, but they can be cosmetically unappealing. 

Implant displacement or malposition occurs when the implant moves out of the breast pocket.

  • Double-bubble deformity occurs when part of the implant falls beneath the inframammary fold, creating the look of a double breast.
  •  Bottoming out occurs when the implant falls to the lower part of the breast. This is the result of breast pocket failure and can quickly be repaired with breast revision surgery.
  • Symmastia occurs when the implants move towards the center of the chest, creating an unnatural breast aesthetic. 

In addition to the above, the breasts can change and develop imperfections in shape. Also, the natural aging process and pregnancy causes the skin to lose elasticity, changing how implants look and sit in the breast pocket. 

These aesthetic concerns can be corrected with breast revision.

3. Just Because You Had a Complication Once, Doesn’t Mean You’ll Have Them Again

Even if you’ve suffered from an implant complication, you are not necessarily guaranteed to experience another should you replace your implants. Many women who have experienced problems with their first implants have great luck with their replacement ones. 

It is possible for another complication to occur. It is important to remember this.

What Should You Know About Implant Replacement or Revision?

You Are Not Limited to Your Current Implant Selection. 

It can be difficult to determine your desired level of enhancement before seeing the final results. While you may think you know what size breasts you are interested in, there is always a possibility that a different size is better suited for your body type.

Patients can choose to switch their implants for implants of a different size/shape/filling material during a breast revision. This gives patients the opportunity to fine-tune their results (if they had any qualms about their initial implants) and achieve the results they may have wanted initially.

Whether you feel like the implants you chose are too small, or if you think that larger implants get in the way of your activities or clothing options, revision or replacement can change your augmented look.

Permanent Removal May Require a Breast Lift

Depending on the size and weight of your implants or the length of time that you had your implants, removing them without replacing may result in post-implant sagging. This sagging is caused by the sudden loss of breast volume and the gradual breakdown of the connective breast tissues.

Breast lift surgery raises the breasts and restores a youthful appearance by tightening tissues and repositioning the nipple-areola complex. 

While some women may experience sagging even with the replacement of their implants, the sagging will likely be more noticeable without. 

Breast lift surgery is beneficial for any woman who is unhappy about the drooping appearance of her bustline.

Additional Surgeries Come With Increased Risk

Patients choose breast augmentation to increase breast volume. If patients choose to remove their implants now, they may decide that they miss the volume they had and want implants again down the line. 

While a second breast augmentation can be performed at any time, every additional surgery comes with the risk of local complications, more extensive scars (from the repeated incisions), and difficulties due to the presence of more scar tissue. 

Since patients are already undergoing surgery to remove the damaged implant, why not replace it then if the patient still wants additional volume. This reduces the risk of complications.

Are You Interested in Breast Revision?

If you are interested in having breast revision or replacement surgery, or if you would like to get more information on which procedure is right for your correction, contact Cohn Plastic Surgery today at (205) 590-9900.