Breast Implants Exchange Overview

Breast Implants Exchange Overview

Posted on August 17, 2020

Breast Implants Exchange 

Breast augmentation ranks among the more popular cosmetic surgery procedures in the US today. However, the results with breast augmentation are not permanent, and most women may be required to replace or exchange the breast implants at least once in their lifetime. Patients should be made fully aware of this possibility at the time of the primary procedure so that they can make an informed decision.
Breast implant exchange surgery should ideally be performed by an experienced breast surgeon only because it can be more complicated compared to the primary procedure. Dr. Thomas Fiala is an experienced plastic surgeon providing procedures such as breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction.

Why Breast Implant Exchange may be needed?

Several factors may necessitate the need for implant exchange at some stage after the primary breast augmentation surgery. Capsular contracture is a common occurrence, which may happen at some point of time in the future, and lead to implant damage, or loss of implant shape, position or alignment. In some cases, the breast implants may be functioning fine, but the patient may choose to exchange the implants with a new quality or new size or shape.
Some women may be using traditional saline implants, and may like to make switchover to the latest highly cohesive silicone implant qualities for improved results. If the plastic surgeon determines that the patient is a suitable candidate, they may recommend an implant exchange surgery.

What is Capsular Contracture?

The formation of a “capsule” of scar tissue around any kind of implant (medical or cosmetic) is a normal part of the healing process. The body automatically reacts to any foreign object it detects within it and attempts to isolate said object by creating a barrier of scar tissue around it. In the case of breast implants, this is usually a good thing – the capsule helps to keep the breast implants in place, preventing slippage. In some patients, however, this capsule of scar tissue becomes unusually hard and starts to contract around the implant. This can lead to both aesthetic problems and, in extreme cases, pain in the breasts. Research shows that about one in six breast augmentation patients experience some degree of capsular contracture, though not all cases present with obvious symptoms.

Who should Avoid Implant Exchange?

Voluntary breast implant exchange procedure for aesthetic reasons may not be recommended in the following cases:

  • The candidate has been diagnosed with a cancerous or pre-cancerous growth in the breast area.
  • A current infection is present in some part of the body.
  • The candidate is pregnant or nursing a newborn.
  • The candidate suffers from a health condition that may pose the risk of bleeding or delayed healing during or following surgery.
  • The candidate’s blood flow is poor due to a previous procedure.


The breast surgeon will aim to use the existing scars to make the new incision. The old implants will be removed and replaced with new ones through the incision. If there has been an implant rupture or leakage, the implant cavity will be cleared and disinfected of any rupture material or debris. The existing breast cavity will be used to place the new implants. Once the new implants are adjusted into the desired position, the surgeon will close the incision with sutures or skin adhesive.


Patients will experience mild pain and discomfort for the first week. Bruising and swelling are common, but will subside on their own gradually. If the previous implant was placed in the front of the muscle, the recovery will involve a period of transition as the muscle will gradually accommodate the new implant. Patients can usually go back to work within two weeks after the procedure.

For More Information on the Treatments and Procedures Offered, contact Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Thomas Fiala at Fiala Aesthetics in Greater Orlando to Schedule Your Consultation:

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