Do you wish you had gone bigger when choosing your implants? Do you wish your new breasts were a tad smaller, or felt softer and more like a natural breast? If your answer to any of these is yes, you’re not alone: though most women are happy with their breast augmentation results, many wish they had made different decisions (often wishing they’d gone bigger!) when choosing breast implants the first time around. Not to worry — help is in sight! Dr. McAllister offers his breast implant exchange procedure for women who want to exchange their breast implants for those of a different size or shape, or to fix complications from their previous surgery that are causing them discomfort or embarrassment. Read on to learn about this procedure, including what implant issues it corrects.

Would You Benefit from a Breast Implant Exchange?

You might be a good candidate for this procedure* if you agree with one or more of the following statements:

  • You wish you had chosen larger or smaller implants
  • You want your breasts to be firmer or softer than they are (i.e., you want the more natural feeling of silicone implants over saline)
  • You are unhappy with the way your breast implants look now that you’ve lost weight or gone through pregnancy
  • You are experiencing discomfort and/or embarrassment due to problems with your current implants

*Prior to having breast implant exchange surgery, talk to Dr. McAllister about the medications and vitamins you are taking. Certain medications that increase the risk of bleeding such as aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (e.g., ibuprofen) and some vitamins/homeopathic regimens should be discontinued prior to any elective surgery. Also, if you are a smoker, it is recommended that you stop smoking well in advance of the surgery, as smoking can affect your body’s ability to heal.

Other Than Size, What Implant Issues Can This Surgery Address?

You may also consider removing and replacing your breast implants if you experience one or more of the following implant issues:

  • Capsular contracture — when scar tissue forms around the implant, making it uncomfortably hard.
  • Rippling — when ripples form on the implant’s surface and can be seen through the skin.
  • Bottoming out — when the implant migrates to a lower position, and is no longer centered behind the breast mound and nipple.
  • “Double bubble” — when the implant drops below the breast fold (underneath the breast) and creates an indentation.
  • Symmastia — when the implants both shift to the midline of the chest, creating a “uni-boob” effect.
  • Damaged implants — when implants are leaking, ruptured or damaged in some way as a result of excess trauma to the chest or other factors.

What Might Breast Implant Exchange Involve?

Dr. McAllister’s breast implant exchange procedure is usually performed as an outpatient surgery. Depending on the extent and type of surgical correction needed, the procedure can take anywhere from one to three hours to complete. Since this surgery is performed for many reasons, it is tailored to fit the needs of each individual patient. When simply replacing implants to change their size or type, the old implants will be removed and the new ones will be put in their place. If you wish to discuss changing the location of the new implants (i.e., moving them from under the chest muscle to over it, or vice versa), talk to Dr. McAllister about your options during your pre-surgery consultation.

If the breast implant exchange procedure is being used to correct complications from your previous breast augmentation, Dr. McAllister may use methods that involve re-positioning the implant in the breast pocket and then suturing the breast pocket in such a way that the implant won’t shift out of position in the future. To correct capsular contracture, a capsulectomy procedure may be performed, which surgically removes scar tissue that has formed around the implant within the implant pocket.

What Can You Expect During Your Recovery?

After surgery, Dr. McAllister will wrap your chest in compression bandages or place you in a soft surgical bra to provide support and protect your breasts as they heal. Since you won’t be able to drive or lift your arms immediately following surgery, you will need to plan for someone to drive you home and stay with you for at least the first 24 to 48 hours. Pain medication will be prescribed to ensure that your recovery is as comfortable as possible. Expect to have some swelling and bruising of your chest, just like you had after your first breast augmentation procedure, for about a week or two after surgery. To help with the swelling, sleep with your upper body elevated. To ensure a healthy recovery, it is important to refrain from smoking during this period, since smoking adversely affects your body’s ability to heal itself. You should be healed sufficiently to where you can return to work after five to seven days, and to moderate exercise after two weeks.

Call Us Today to Schedule Your Consultation

Would you like to learn more about the breast implant exchange procedure? Call our Panama City Beach plastic surgery center today at 850-233-7674 to schedule a consultation with Dr. McAllister.