You may be well aware (or maybe not) that breast implants are not permanent devices that will last forever, no matter what. Given a long enough period of time, they will ultimately break down in the case of silicone (lose their integrity) or deflate if they are saline. All my patients are clearly informed of this at the time of their consultation. This is also outlined in the earlier blog Breast Revision Surgery for Ruptured Breast Implants.
If a woman has disrupted or deflated implants and wants them removed but also have new ones placed, this is known as a breast implant exchange, a type of breast revision surgery. This, however, is not the only reason one would choose to have this type of surgery. Other common reasons for a breast implant exchange include:
- Change in size – desiring a larger or smaller implant
- Change in profile – wanting a more or less projecting implant and/or one that is wider or narrower
- Wanting different implant fill material – virtually always going from saline implants to silicone ones, rarely the opposite
- Capsular contracture – to possibly reduce the risk of recurrence of capsular contracture, it has been recommended to also place new implants at the time of surgical treatment of this issue
So, for whatever reason, you are contemplating undergoing a breast implant exchange.
Meanwhile, you may not fondly recall the discomfort and pain from your original breast augmentation years ago, a time when surgical techniques were not as refined as related to minimizing postoperative symptoms as they are now. Such experiences were substantially worse when the implants were placed in a submuscular pocket (deep to the chest wall muscle) as compared to above the muscle.
What can you expect with regard to pain and general discomfort following a breast implant exchange?
Fortunately, the answer is great news if you hate pain!
For the average run of the mill breast implant exchange, most women experience little to no pain whatsoever.
Little to no pain at all.
In fact, the majority of my straightforward implant exchange patients take either no postoperative pain medication whatsoever or, at most, a few Tylenols.
For many of my breast implant exchange patients, it is like night and day when they compare the discomfort level and overall recuperation period of their original breast augmentation performed years ago to their recent implant exchange.
Ok, so maybe it’s not really like a walk in the park…
But, you may actually be able to take one the very next day after your surgery.
For more information or to schedule your free consultation with me, please contact my office at (480) 451-3000.
Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona