Breast Implant Replacement Sydney
Breast implant replacement surgery is the solution when you need new implants
Patients get Breast implants replaced for several reasons. Not wanting implants anymore, implant rupture, capsular contracture, malrotation, bottoming out, wanting more modern smoother implants, changing size – bigger implants or smaller implants. These are all popular reasons to have your implants replaced or exchanged.
Breast implant replacement is done with or without capsulectomy – that is the removal of the scar tissue capsule formed inside the pocket around the implants. Partial, full, and en bloc capsulectomy is sometimes necessary to deal with breast implant complications.
Based on your condition, Dr Hunt might recommend getting the capsule removed along with your breast implants. Breast implant replacement surgery, with or without capsulectomy, can restore your beautiful perky breasts, and allow you to show them off for more years to come.
What Is Breast Implant Replacement Surgery?
Breast implant replacement is a breast implant revision surgery. It’s done in patients who had breast augmentation and now need implant revision due to complications, change of heart, or wanting to upsize or downsize their implants.
Breast implant replacement procedure is also called:
- Breast implant removal surgery or Explantation surgery followed by new implants
- Breast implant revision
- Secondary breast augmentation
- Implant exchange surgery
- Breast Implant upsize / downsize
Surgery to have implants removed can be done with or without capsulectomy – the removal of the capsule around the old implants. The formation of a hard fibrous capsule around breast implants is completely normal. It’s part of the physiologic response to foreign bodies (the implants).
Capsules are usually not problematic, however, in some women, they might contract and lead to breast deformity – a condition called capsular contracture. This, and other conditions, sometimes necessitate capsulectomy with breast implant replacement.
Who Should Have Breast Implant Replacement Surgery?
Older Breast Implants may fail within 10-15 years of your breast augmentation. Occasionally, this might occur much earlier.
You should consider getting breast implant replacement if:
- Your breasts are sagging (get implant replacement with lift)
- Your breasts have become uneven (asymmetric)
- You have a ruptured implant
- You have a breast deformity (usually due to rupture or capsular contracture)
- You are not satisfied anymore with your original breast implant surgery
- You have implant malrotation
- Your implants have bottomed out and the implant has sagged within the breast
- You want to get bigger implants (implant upsize)
- You want to get smaller implants (implant downsize)
- You don’t want implants anymore
- You want to change the shape of your implants and breasts
If you are not satisfied with how your breasts look, then you can have breast implant replacement anytime.
Benefits of Breast Implant Replacement
Having your implants replaced has many advantages. Considering the benefits of getting new implants, there’s no reason why you should postpone getting them. Benefits of implant revision surgery include:
- Restoring perky, round, and firm breasts
- Improving your cleavage
- Lifting the breasts and nipple
- Rightg sizing your breasts – Upsizing or Downsizing
- Fixing breast asymmetry due to contractures, rupture, or malrotation
- Restoring your self-confidence and positive body image
Who Needs Capsulectomy?
Capsulectomy is not performed with every implant replacement surgery. Plastic surgeons usually avoid removing the capsule unless it is absolutely necessary. It’s more traumatic and invasive and can increase the risk of surgical complications.
Nevertheless, capsulectomy is sometimes indicated with explantation. You might need capsulectomy if you have:
- Capsular contracture: This is the most common complication of breast implants. It’s when the fibrous capsule hardens around your implants, causing deformity and pain. Capsulectomy is necessary for severe capsular contractures (Baker grades III or IV). Severe capsular contractures happen in 8% to 19% of breast augmentations.
- Breast Implant-Associated Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL): This is a type of immune cancer associated with certain types of breast implants. Treatment of BIA-ALCL includes “en bloc capsulectomy”. This means removing the implant and capsule in one piece. Enbloc removal is riskier and could lead to a punctured lung.
- Breast implant illness (BII): This is a group of non-specific symptoms that are thought to be related to breast implants. The role of capsulectomy is still debated in women who have BII but many find improvement with at least partial capsulectomy
Dr Hunt will determine whether or not you need a capsulectomy when having your breast implants exchanged. He will explain the risks and benefits of capsule removal before you decide.
How is Breast Implant Replacement Surgery Performed?
Depending on why you’re having your implants replaced, Dr Hunt will recommend also getting capsulectomy or en-bloc capsulectomy.
Implant Replacement without Capsulectomy
In most cases, implant replacement is done without removing the capsule. This reduces the rates of complications after implant exchange. The procedure is very safe, and the only risks are usually those associated with anaesthesia. In this procedure, Dr Hunt performs an inframammary incision (in the crease below the breast). He cuts the capsule open and removes the old implant. He then puts in a new implant, closes the capsule, closes the breast tissue, and finally closes the skin.
The capsule is left as it is, and used as a surgical pocket to hold the new implants. Unless there’s a specific reason to remove part or all the capsule (BIA-ALCL, severe contractures, severe calcification), the capsule is left in place.
Implant Replacement with Partial or Total Capsulectomy
The consensus in the plastic surgery community is that capsulectomy should only be done when necessary. Capsular contracture is a clear indication to have the capsule fully or partially removed. However, even without capsular contracture, surgeons sometimes remove parts of the capsule that appear to be too hard or have too many calcium deposits. The rationale behind that is that these calcium deposits:
- Can interfere with future mammograms since they can mimic or mask breast cancer
- Can lead to more biopsies and the consequent surgical risks
- Might harden more and cause a lump formation
There’s minimal evidence that suggests that removing the capsule might also reduce the risk of BIA-ALCL in the future. Nevertheless, a lot of authors challenge this claim.
Partial or full capsulectomy is done directly after removing the implants. Dr Hunt will cut out the capsule in pieces. He will strip it off the ribs and chest muscles, and cut any fibrotic tissue and some of the surrounding normal breast tissue. After the capsule is removed, a new surgical pocket is created, and new implants are introduced.
When Dr Hunt removes parts of a calcified capsule, it’s called “partial capsulectomy”. If the whole capsule needs to be removed, like with severe capsular contracture, then it’s called a “full capsulectomy”.
Implant Replacement with En Bloc Capsulectomy
En bloc capsulectomy means removing the implant and the encasing capsule in one piece. It’s usually reserved only for patients with breast implant-associated cancer (BIA-ALCL).
Breast implant en bloc removal is more invasive and has more risks. Dr Hunt will cut more tissue out, sometimes including the chest and intercostal muscles on your ribs.
There’s a 4% risk of lung puncture and pneumothorax (air leak) with en bloc capsulectomy. It’s a more technically challenging surgery and requires more operative time.
En bloc breast implant removal is performed only in very specific cases, like BIA-ALCL, due to the associated risks.
Disadvantages of Capsulectomy
Implant removal with capsulectomy may carry some extra risks compared to surgery without capsulectomy:
- Increased surgical time by an average of 1 hour
- Increased surgical risks (like pneumothorax)
- Increased costs
- Longer recovery time
- More painful during recovery
- Higher risk of nerve and blood vessel damage (especially when removing the axillary part of a capsule)
Dr Hunt will always weigh the risks against the benefits. Capsulectomy is only performed if you’re likely to benefit from it.
Recovery after Breast Implant Replacement
Recovery after having your breast implants replaced needs a total of 4-6 weeks. Nevertheless, you can get back to work and daily routines much earlier.
You can expect to experience pain, swelling, and bruising in your breasts. The intensity and duration of symptoms are largely dependent on how invasive the surgery was. Implant removal with capsulectomy usually brings on more pronounced symptoms.
In general, swelling, bruising, and pain, will peak at 3-5 days after your implant replacement. After that, they will gradually decrease and be gone by 4-6 weeks.
Dr Hunt recommends that you wear a surgical compression bra for at least 4-6 weeks after your procedure. You should wear this day and night, even while sleeping. Moreover, it’s recommended that you sleep on your back after breast revision.
Real Patient Results for Breast Implant Replacement Surgery
Download Dr Hunt's Guide
Cosmetic Breast Surgery Guide
The ultimate Cosmetic Breast Surgery Guide has been created by Dr Hunt and his team as a useful tool to help you plan and consider this procedure.
Throughout the guide, we will discuss the ins and outs of different types of Breast Surgery, from what makes an ideal candidate, to pre-surgery planning answers to the most frequently asked questions received from real-life patients.
Breast Implant Replacement Cost Sydney - How much is implant replacement in Sydney NSW? Prices & Fees
The cost of having your breast implants removed or replaced is variable. It depends on the type of surgery you get (e.g. en bloc removal, partial capsulectomy, or no capsulectomy). Moreover, the cost of the new implants, anaesthetist fees, surgeon fees, and hospital theatre fees all play a role. You can call the team for an estimate or after your first consultation with Dr Hunt, you will get a quote.
Is breast implant replacement covered by Medicare or private health insurance?
If you meet certain strict criteria, you might be eligible for a partial rebate by medicare or health insurance subsidy for breast implant replacement surgery.
You can also learn more about possible Medicare & Health Fund coverage for Breast Implant Replacement, a Breast Implant Replacement Surgery Payment Plan, or the costs for breast implants replacement surgery on our Surgical Costs page.
Is Breast Implant Replacement Surgery Worth It?
Replacing your breast implants is definitely worth it. It can reverse any deformities caused by implant ageing or complications. It will restore the breasts you had after your first breast augmentation.
Statistics show that more than 93% of women who get breast revision surgery are satisfied with the results.
Take the next step today
With over 20 years of experience as a Specialist plastic reconstructive surgeon, Dr Jeremy Hunt has built a reputation in Sydney for his ability to get the best results using the most innovative surgical techniques.
Dr Hunt prides himself on the level of care and attention he offers and that begins from the day of first consultation. Join the thousands of happy past patients today by booking a consultation with Dr Hunt at your earliest convenience.
Dr Jeremy Hunt Plastic Surgeon
Take the next step today
Dr Jeremy Hunt is one of Australia’s leading specialist plastic surgeons. With over 20 years experience and thousands of happy patients, Dr Jeremy Hunt is the smart choice for your plastic surgery or non-surgical procedure.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health professional.
FAQs about Breast Implant Replacement
How long is surgery for breast implant replacement?
Breast implant revision can take anywhere between 1 and 2 hours or more. Breast revision with capsulectomy is on average an hour longer compared to implant exchange without capsule removal.
Is replacing implants painful?
Implant replacement is not a characteristically painful surgery. Routine painkillers are usually enough to control the pain during recovery. Explantation with capsulectomy can be more painful than surgery without capsule removal.
How many times can you replace a breast implant?
There’s no limit on how many times you can replace your implants. As long as there’s a valid reason, you can get your implants removed and exchanged as many times as needed. In general, breast implants last 10-15 years before needing to be replaced.
What happens if you don't replace breast implants?
Complications like capsular contracture, implant rupture, and malrotation can increase as the implants age. This can lead to breast deformity and sometimes breast pain. If you don’t change your implants, the deformity may persist and progress.
When should I redo my breast implants?
You should consider having your implants replaced after around 10-15 years of your initial breast augmentation. By then you’ll lose some of the benefits of your orginal surgery. Breast implant revision surgery can restore the perky and tight appearance for another decade or two.
What happens during the consultation?
During your consultation for breast implant replacement, Dr Hunt will start by asking you a few questions about your first breast augmentation surgery and why you want your implants exchanged. Expect questions like:
- When did you have your first breast augmentation?
- What kind of implants were used?
- Have you noticed any change in breast size or symmetry recently?
- What exactly do you want to change about your breasts?
- Do you want to get a lift with implant replacement?
Dr Hunt will then perform a physical exam to determine the features of your breasts and plan a proper surgical plan.
Please bring with you all details about your first surgery. This includes implant information, surgeon information, tests, imaging studies, and medical reports.
What are the Complications and Risks of Implant Replacement Surgery?
As with any other surgery, breast implant removal and replacement come with some surgical risks. These include:
- Wound infection
- Wound healing abnormalities (keloid scar, hypertrophic scar)
- Seroma formation (fluid collection in the breast)
- Hematoma formation (blood collection in the breast)
- Loss of nipple sensation
- Pneumothorax (lung rupture and air leak when intercostal muscles are dissected and cut in capsulectomy)
To reduce risks as much as possible, it is important to choose a plastic surgeon that has extensive experience in breast implant replacement. Dr Hunt is one of the top breast surgeons in New South Wales and Sydney, with hundreds of satisfied patients all around the country.
Further Reading & Medical Sources
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About Dr Jeremy Hunt
Dr Hunt has worked with thousands of patients across his 20-year career. He is widely regarded as a top plastic surgeon in Australia. This is reflected in his role as Spokesperson for the ASPS – Australian Society of Plastic Surgery. Dr Hunt is also a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) and Supervisor of Plastic Surgery Training at Sydney Children’s Hospital.