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Breast implant exchange surgery is the replacing of one or both of one’s implants for a newer one or pair after previously having had a breast augmentation, mastopexy with implants or breast reconstruction. Why would a woman elect to undergo such a procedure? There are many reasons for this with some of the more common ones being:

  1. size change – usually to increase the implant volume and therefore the breast size; rarely to decrease
  2. to modify the breast configuration such as to make them more projecting or less wide
  3. to switch from saline to silicone implants; rarely, silicone to saline
  4. replace a ruptured breast implant
  5. in the course of treating one of a variety of aesthetic breast issues such as drooping or capsular contracture, replacing older implants with newer ones.

The most common reason for implant exchange is that a woman is unhappy with the selected size and wants to be significantly larger. It is fairly infrequent to desire a smaller size and this is often due either to the surgeon placing a far too large implant initially or the patient gaining a considerable amount of weight resulting in a marked enlargement of breast tissue.

In my practice, it is fairly rare for my patients to desire a change their breast implant size and if they do, it is usually years later. Why can I keep this rate extremely low? When evaluating my patients in consultation, I listen carefully to exactly what they want or think they want. I also measure and size them in the office, have them try on a variety of implants, and show them photos of other patients to provide them with a greater understanding and visualization. During surgery, this is fine tuned, as I will employ temporary implants in order to assess the effects of various sizes and configurations.

By offering many different styles of breast implants, I can customize the appearance that would be most appropriate and desirable for my patients. For example, patients who are very narrow and desire significant projection would be best served with higher profile implants whereas women who are broad with a moderate amount of breast tissue present may benefit more from moderate profile implants. Many of the patients that I perform implant exchanges on were done elsewhere and indicated that they were never offered or explained the options.

It is essentially unanimous that women prefer the silicone implants over the saline ones as they feel similar to breast tissue. When switching between fill materials, virtually all go from saline to silicone whereas the opposite is almost never performed due to aesthetic issues.

If you would like more information on silicone or saline breast implants, breast augmentation, breast lifts or any other plastic surgery procedure that I perform or to schedule a consultation with me, you can call my office at 480-451-3000.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

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