In 2015, over 300,000 women had breast augmentation surgery. While this surgery is considered safe and effective, implants aren't guaranteed to last a lifetime. In fact, most implants have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years before some deflation is experienced. Thankfully, breast implant replacement surgery is typically easier on the patient than the initial breast augmentation surgery.
Initial Breast Augmentation - Process & Recovery
For a breast augmentation surgery, the patient normally undergoes the following process. First, they're sedated by an anesthesiologist. An incision is made in an inconspicuous area so scarring is minimized. The breast implant is then inserted. The incision is closed with sutures and skin adhesive or surgical tape. Results are immediate.
Patients are monitored after surgery for a while. Breasts are typically wrapped and supported so they heal quickly with minimal pain. Most patients are released to go home within a few hours of surgery. Before leaving, patients are given instructions and prescriptions to help the healing process. Doctors typically order a few days of rest, but slight soreness may last for up to a few weeks.
Breast Implant Replacement - Process & Recovery
The process is very similar with implant replacement surgery, with a couple of significant differences. During an initial augmentation, a pocket must be made to accommodate the implant. Thus may be either above or below the muscles of the chest. This takes more time in the operating room. More importantly, however, it is responsible for the majority of the pain you feel after a breast augmentation. During a breast implant replacement, this pocket is already present because the implant has been in place. Patients generally feel less pain and have a much shorter recovery period after implant replacement. If other procedures need to happen at this time such as removal of scar tissue, leaked implant material or changing the location of the pocket, this may not necessarily be the case.
When Should You Replace Your Breast Implants?
Most people replace their implants when they experience deflation or another issue. If you're considering breast implant replacement surgery, schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss the pros and cons. They can also schedule an exam to gauge your need for implant replacement.
Interested in reading more about your options? The following articles might be of interest: