Florence Mussat, M.D.
680 N Lake Shore Dr. #1030 Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 751-9000

Implant Removal With Lift v. Implant Exchange

Unfortunate though it is, all good things must come to an end. While some women enjoy their breast implants for a lifetime, most women will eventually either need or want a revision on their initial augmentation. In addition to issues like breakage or leakage, the natural effects of time (sagging due to age or pregnancy) may make implant replacement necessary. As such, if you’re considering breast augmentation, you should also plan to have at least one additional surgery, i.e., either an implant exchange or a removal.

Removal or Exchange: Which Option Is Right for Me?

Breast implant removal is generally preferred by women who have decided that having larger breasts is no longer right for them. Increased activity levels, changing tastes, or medical considerations may make removal the most logical choice for some women. There are, however, a few things you need to know before you go down this route.

Because implants stretch the skin somewhat, you will almost certainly have loose skin left over once your implants are removed. In younger women who have had small implants, the breasts will sometimes firm up naturally and no further surgery will be needed. In the vast majority of cases, however, implant removal must be accompanied by a breast lift. A breast lift will restore your breasts to a perky, round shape, as if you had never had implants at all. There is, however, a small risk of additional scarring that’s not present with implant exchange. You’ll therefore need to decide whether or not this risk is outweighed by the possible benefits of implant removal.

Implant exchange, on the other hand, is usually selected by women who are happy with their implants overall. These women may want new implants to correct leakage or placement issues, or they might want to upgrade to a larger size. Either way, implant replacement can typically be completed in a single surgery, making it no more complicated or inconvenient than initial augmentation. The only additional step taken during revision surgery is pocket adjustments: Your surgeon might inject a soft tissue support like Strattice or GalaFLEX into the pockets where your implants are inserted.

If you’re not sure whether implant removal or implant exchange is the better choice for you, feel free to come see us for a consultation. We can help you weigh up the benefits and risks of each option based on your overall health and lifestyle. To learn more about your options, contact the office of Dr. Mussat for a consultation with the surgeon herself.