It’s not surprising that for many women who have breast implants, they’re often not thinking about the moment that they will remove them.
Nothing lasts forever, however.
Breast implant removal surgery, commonly referred to as “breast explant”, is a common term that women who have had breast implants for an extended period of time will encounter, particularly if they have run into unexpected issues with their implants.
You may have reached your 10- or 15-year milestone and are just discovering that your implants may need to be replaced, or perhaps you are experiencing pain and discomfort in your chest.
A breast explant, just like breast implants, may not be right for everyone.
So before you decide if now is the time, it is always best to arrange a no-strings-attached conversation with one of our friendly nurses at Cairns.
Getting all the information that you need starts by getting the right answers, straight from the experts.
5 signs your implants need to be replaced
Women who’ve had breast implants may choose to undergo breast implant removal for a couple of reasons.
Whether you are not satisfied with the original procedure or you have health or personal issues regarding them, it is best to consult with an expert surgeon to find out the next steps.
Our plastic surgeon can help you understand your options, whether you want to remove the implant and opt for a breast lift instead, or remove the implant and replace them with new ones.
Here are five reasons why you may consider replacing your breast implants.
Sign #1: You have the desire to change the size of your breasts
Breast implants in Queensland usually last for 15-20 years.
Some women may choose to get them replaced earlier for a more preferable size.
What you wanted 10 or 15 years ago may not always align with your preferences now, so whether you want to increase or decrease the size of your bust, you might consider implant removal (and subsequent replacement, should you wish to retain your implants).
Sign #2: You have a ruptured breast implant
Sometimes it’s easy to detect ruptures from an obvious physical change in your breast appearance or form, such as swelling, firmness, or any pain and discomfort.
But often, with smaller ruptures, it’s impossible to tell that there’s been a leak, as your breasts may look or feel the same. A breast implant rupture with no visible signs or symptoms is called a “silent rupture”.
Some surgeons recommend that you have a breast MRI scan every three years, so that you, your doctor, and your plastic surgeon know everything that’s happening internally.
Breast implant silicone shells are prone to wear and tear. Saline implants may also have a valve that can cause a leak.
If you do have a puncture or leak, the implant must be surgically removed as soon as possible.
What is the life expectancy of a silicone breast implant?
Silicone breast implants will generally last between 10 and 20 years. However, people might consider having them replaced earlier than this, for any number of reasons, one such being a leak or rupture.
This serious issue can be caused by:
- Breast blunt trauma
- The natural ageing process
- General wear and tear
- Accidental perforation during implant surgery or other related surgeries such as biopsy
That’s why it is important to consult with a certified surgeon every year, just in case you have a breast implant leak or rupture.
Sign #3: Deformed and asymmetrical breasts
Another telltale sign to watch out for is asymmetrical or deformed breasts.
You may be unhappy with what your previous surgeon has done, and a surgery error may often cause this.
This can be very noticeable as the implanted breasts may look different from each other from various angles and positions on your chest.
Why do my breast implants fall to the side?
Over time, breast implants can shift or move, especially if the breast tissue supporting it thins out, thus decreasing support for the implants.
You may need a reposition procedure to move the implant back into place.
As such, we recommend a breast revision consultation for a different breast implant surgery to correct your condition.
Sign #4: Capsule contracture
When the tissue on your breasts tighten, they can become dense. This can cause a condition called capsular contracture.
Your breast implants will usually develop scar tissues that can thicken and can further result in this condition.
Capsule contracture can have a swollen and heavy feeling, changing your breasts’ shape and making them sit higher on the chest.
This condition can be treated by removing the implanted breasts and, optionally, replacing them with new implants.
Sign #5: Deflated implants
Deflated or sagging breasts are two signs that you need breast implant replacement.
Poor elasticity can lead to your nipples pointing downward or upward, and even drooping, which can be very uncomfortable.
There are several common causes of deflated implants, including:
- Weight loss
- Other non-implant surgeries
What happens to breast implants when you’re old?
Your breasts change as you get older.
They may look very different as you become pregnant, breastfeed, or gain and lose weight, and they will most probably sag over time. You may need to consider replacing your implanted breasts to uphold the appearance they originally had.
The older your breast implants are, the greater the risk of ruptures or deflation; that’s why you need to eventually have them replaced or removed.
Not sure if breast replacement is right for you?
Get expert advice from Cairns Plastic Surgery
Cairns Plastic Surgery understands that a breast implant replacement is a major decision that can’t be made lightly.
If you’re unsure whether you are the right candidate for breast implant replacement, or want more information on how much breast implants in Cairns cost, then you should book an information session with one of our nurses.
Our team at Cairns will help you understand everything that you want to know about breast implant replacement.