Breast Implant Exchange & Lift

Procedure After breast implant surgery, scar tissue forms around the implant (=capsular contracture), which can cause discomfort and cosmetic concerns. This natural process happens after about 10–15 years. If the overlying tissues have become lax, implant replacement combined with a breast lift can improve the shape and size.
Women over 50 or women with a strong family history of breast cancer should have a breast cancer screen prior to cosmetic surgery.
Breast implants come in different volumes and projections (=profiles), can be round or teardrop–shaped (=anatomical / contoured), have a rough (=textured) or smooth surface and can be placed under the muscle (=dual plane) or over the muscle (=subglandular). Teardrop shaped implants look more natural but can rotate. Rough implants last longer (=less capsular contracture) but have a small cancer risk (BIA–ALCL). Implants under the muscle last longer (=less capsular contracture) and look more natural but surgery takes longer and causes more bruising.
A breast lift (=mastopexy) removes skin, reshapes the breast and lifts the nipple area. The improvement is mainly in the central and lower breast areas. The implant gives fullness to the upper breast.
I don’t use drains routinely. The wounds are repaired with sutures under the skin which don’t require removal and dissolve within four months. A support garment following surgery is recommended.
Scars Anchor shaped: Around & below areola & in breast fold
Operation time 3 hours
Anaesthesia General
Hospital Stay Day Surgery > (Overnight)
Benefits Cosmetic, Psychological, Functional, Symptomatic
Risks Bleeding, Infection, Scar problems (stretched, thick, abnormal pigmentation, red, retracted etc.), Skin cones, Skin penetration, Wound separation, Slough, Necrosis (Nipple / skin / fat), Pain, Nerve injury (Numbness, weakness), Bruising, Swelling, Overcorrection, Undercorrection, Asymmetry, Remaining stretch marks, Recurrent redundancy / droopiness, Cosmetic imperfections (higher risk after subsequent pregnancies / weight changes / menopause), Seroma, Shoulder problems, Pneumothorax, Inability to breastfeed, Capsular contracture, Implant rupture or leak, silicone granuloma, lymphadenitis / displacement / rotation / extrusion, Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma, Rippling, Contour irregularities, Unfavourable nipple shape / position, Need for further surgery (including implant removal), Allergic reaction, Chest infection, Heart attack, Stroke, Blood clots in legs & lungs
N.B. Most complications are unlikely and serious risks are rare
Risk factors Smoking / contraception / flights within 6 weeks of surgery, overweight, high blood pressure, bleeding tendency, diabetes
Optimising factors Diet rich in Vitamin C and protein, plenty of fluids, fresh air, scar massage, sun protection, support garments, breast band and massage (only if advised by me)
Discomfort 1 – 2 weeks
Bruising 2 – 3 weeks
Recovery Light activities 2 weeks, Driving 3 weeks, Physical work / sports / sex 6 weeks, Unrestricted 3 months
Acceptable appearance 2 – 4 weeks for most patients (This is subjective)
Final result 6 – 18 months
Alternatives No Surgery, Garments, Bra Enhancers, Implant Removal and mastopexy, Fat transfer instead of implant replacement, Implant exchange or removal without mastopexy

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