23rd Oct, 2020

What if I want to change the size of my implants?

Breast implant exchange

Many women who have had breast augmentation feel satisfied with the outcome. However, there are some women who later decide that they want to change the size of their implants. They may wish that they’d gone larger or smaller in the first place, or they may have found that their aesthetic preferences have changed over time, and they now prefer something different.

If you wish to exchange your implants for a different size, what is involved? Will the procedure be easier than the original surgery? What can you expect?

Exchanging for larger implants

Going from smaller implants to larger ones is actually the easier route. When breast implants are placed into the body, a natural capsule of scar tissue is formed around the implant. In order to exchange for larger implants, the surgeon simply needs to open up the capsule, take out the old implants, and put in the new ones. As long as the increase in size isn’t too dramatic, the capsule and surrounding tissue will simply stretch and grow to accommodate the larger implants.

In most cases, Dr. Sjarif can use the same incision lines from your first surgery, so that you won’t have new scars from your exchange procedure.

Exchanging for smaller implants

Women are sometimes a little surprised to learn that exchanging for smaller implants is actually a little bit more challenging than exchanging for larger ones. This is because of the capsule. When exchanging for a smaller implant, the capsule will be too large. While a capsule that’s too small is able to stretch and grow to a larger size, a capsule that’s too large will generally not shrink down to fit around the new implant. 

With too large a capsule around it, the implant does not  stay in place, which can allow it to move around within the breast in an unnatural way. The excess capsular tissue itself may also affect the appearance of the breast. Because of these issues, the capsule will need to be removed during the procedure. (A new, appropriately-sized capsule will naturally form around the new implants, just as occurred after the initial implant placement procedure.)

The procedure for removing the capsule without damaging the surrounding tissues is more complex than placing implants. The use of the existing incision lines is not always possible, because Dr. Sjarif needs good visualization of the space to perform this procedure in the best possible way, and the incision choice must allow this. He will discuss this with you during your consultation to let you know what would likely work best.

Combining with breast lift

Some women may want to have a breast lift along with their implant exchange. Over time, many women experience sagging of their natural breast tissue (including the skin) as part of the aging process, or after pregnancy or a significant change in weight. Additionally, women who had very large implants placed initially may have experienced excessive stretching of the skin and connective tissue of the breast, which can make them more likely to droop and sag. Sagging skin can affect the position of the implants, so if you have this problem, correcting it at the same time as your implants are exchanged may improve the cosmetic result.

A breast lift can usually be performed at the same time as the implant exchange, so that you only need surgery once. The old implants will be removed, the lift will be performed to reposition the nipple to its youthful position on the chest, and then the new implants will be placed. Doing the two procedures together allows Dr. Sjarif to tailor the amount of skin and tissue removal during the lift to create the ideal appearance for the breast with the new implants.

Breast implant exchange

If you’re in our area and are considering exchanging your implants for a different size, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sjarif to get personalized advice. Whether or not he performed your initial breast implant placement surgery, he will be happy to offer you his knowledge and skills to help you tailor your breast augmentation outcome, with the goal of achieving the beautifully feminine body contour that you consider ideal. Simply contact our office to book your appointment in any of our offices (in Kogarah, Miranda, or Wollongong).

Posted on October 23, 2020 in

Related Articles