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What is breast implant exchange? Implant exchange surgery is a customized surgical procedure performed to replace existing implants with new implants. It may be performed on women with older implants, ruptured implants, or when the woman wants to achieve a different breast size, shape, or projection.

Why undergo breast implant exchange?

Each person has unique and very personal issues that can lead them to seek implant exchange. The most common reasons why a woman may choose to undergo implant exchange can include:

  • Breasts too large
  • Breasts too small
  • Restore sagging breasts after having children
  • To alter how implant is placed from under breast tissue to under muscles
  • To change from silicone to saline
  • To change from saline to silicone
  • To replace ruptured implants
  • To replace older implants
  • To achieve a more natural profile with teardrop-shaped implants
  • To resolve capsular contracture
  • To resolve rippling
  • To correct implant displacement

How does breast implant exchange work?

Breast implant exchange surgery is performed while you are under general anesthesia. The surgery involves placing an incision, usually in the same incision site as your primary surgery, through which the existing implants are carefully removed. For women who are struggling with capsular contracture, the scar tissue and entire surgical pocket will be removed. New implants are then placed within a newly-created pocket, and incisions sutured. The procedure requires about one to two hours to complete.

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What is the recovery from breast implant exchange surgery?

The recovery from implant exchange is similar to what you experienced with your original augmentation surgery. It is normal to have some bruising and swelling. To manage any discomfort, you will have prescription medication to keep you comfortable in the first stages. Most patients recover more quickly than expected, but generally are ready to return to work in about one to two weeks, depending upon how they heal.

Why choose Dr. Sugene Kim for implant exchange?

Dr. Sugene Kim is a double board-certified plastic surgeon who has garnered respect and acclaim for her meticulous surgical technique and excellent results. You can be completely confident that your implant exchange will be performed carefully, correctly, with the most stringent patient safety procedures.

Breast Implant Exchange FAQ's

Is implant exchange painful?

Most implant exchange procedures are less uncomfortable than the primary surgery, except in more complex procedures in which excess scar tissue (capsular contracture) must be corrected, or when the implant location is altered from below the natural breast tissue to submuscular to resolve rippling.

Do breast implants come with a warranty?

Modern breast implants produced by Allergan, including Natrelle, have a warranty. You are automatically enrolled for coverage when you have these implants placed in implant exchange. For rupture, the implants will be replaced free (for life), along with surgery cost assistance up to $3,500 for ten years. For capsular contracture at Baker Grade III or IV, your implants are warrantied for ten years. You have the option to upgrade to more extensive insurance within 45 days of your implant exchange.

How long do breast implants last?

Breast implants can last many, many years. If your implants are doing well, and you enjoy them, there is no reason to replace them. It is advised that you have them checked every few years to ensure there is no “silent rupture,” or a rupture in a silicone implant that is not noticeable. Breast implants can last many years, but the average lifespan is considered to be about 10 years, although many last far longer.

How much does implant exchange cost?

In implant exchange, your first and most important concern is the skills, experience, and quality of your plastic surgeon. The cost of the procedure starts at $9,000 and will vary based upon what must be addressed in your surgery, as each person has unique issues. In general, the cost will be in the range of your original surgery.

Sugene Kim, MD

Plastic Surgeon

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