Do Breast Implants Need To Be Replaced?

Why undergo breast implant replacement?

Living with a fuller bustline after breast implants may come with some unexpected circumstances. Some women who have had a breast augmentation, change their mind and wish to have them taken out while others may simply need to have them replaced. Most commonly, the procedure is performed to manage the scar tissue that forms around the implants called capsules. But with improvements to surgical techniques and implants, the number of capsule related issues has declined.


Why would someone want a breast implant replacement?

Clients may be dissatisfied with the size, shape, texture, or positioning of the primary implant or wish to have them replaced due to the age of their implants. At Gold Coast Plastic Surgery, Dr Doyle conducts a preliminary examination to advise you on the best course of action. This procedure may be subject to Medicare and Health Insurance rebates.

When do breast implants need to be replaced?

There is still a common misconception that breast implants will need to be lifted or replaced every couple of years. This misconception has kept many women from undergoing breast implant surgery because they worry about future surgeries and associated long-term costs.

In truth, you should only need one or two follow-up surgeries in total. The average lifespan of breast implants is 20 years—although some have been known to last up to 40 years. About 20% of women who undergo breast augmentation will have their breast implants replaced or repaired within ten years of their first surgery.

What’s involved in breast implant replacement surgery

Breast implant removal/replacement is performed under general anaesthesia and usually takes an hour to complete. It is usually performed as a day stay in hospital. As is the case with breast augmentation surgery patients may return to work within 2 to 3 weeks. Strenuous exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for 6 weeks.


Smooth vs Textured implants

Textured implants, are able to grip and stay firmly within the surrounding pocket, making them resemble anatomical breast shapes. These implants are more likely to wrinkle and pucker and are difficult to remove during revision surgery as they become attached to the surrounding tissue. Studies have shown that patients with textured implants face a higher risk of a rare form of cancer called breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA ALCL). Although textured implants were originally designed to prevent capsular contracture, it is now clear that capsules form readily around textured implants. Due to this, Dr Doyle chooses to only implant using smooth implants.

Smooth implants usually have thinner shells which means they can move more freely in the breast pocket. They are commonly used to replace textured implants in cases where the textured implant has wrinkled or buckled. Smoother implants tend to last longer than textured ones, and have less risk of rippling.

Round vs Teardrop implants

Round implants give a natural looking breast for most women and are the most preferred option.

An anatomical teardrop shaped implant is usually reserved for women with very little breast tissue and for whom a round implant would appear unnatural.

When you have a consultation with Dr Doyle at Gold Coast Plastic Surgery, he will explain your options to you, and happily answer any questions you may have. If you would like to know more about breast implant replacement or to book a consultation with Dr Doyle please contact us today.