Breast Implant Exchange
Women who have had prior breast implants for either reconstructive reasons or cosmetic concerns often require subsequent implant exchanges. The reasons for this range from evidence of implant rupture to painful capsule contracture or aging of the patient and their breast skin that changes the appearance of the breast. In addition, patients might prefer to have their textured implants exchanged to smooth implants given the increased association between textured implants and breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). Dr. Duffy will also often take a breast implant out in a breast cancer patient and exchange it for the patient’s own tissues and perform a secondary DIEP flap to improve both pain and appearance.
Breast implant changes are typically performed as an outpatient (unless a secondary DIEP flap is being performed after implant removal which always requires admission) and often are done in conjunction with soft tissue work on the breast itself such as a mastopexy. As noted in the breast augmentation comments above, breast implants are like any implant placed in a patient’s body (for example a hip replacement) and frequently do not last forever and need replacement.