0800 0584558 Appointment


8 Signs You Need a Breast Implant Replacement

Breast implant surgery is a popular cosmetic procedure that enhances the shape and size of the breasts. While breast implants can offer significant psychological and aesthetic benefits, they are not lifetime devices. Over time, various factors can necessitate a replacement. Understanding when a breast implant replacement might be needed is crucial for maintaining both the aesthetics and health of the implants. Here are some of the key signs indicating that a breast implant replacement may be necessary.

1. Capsular Contracture

Capsular contracture occurs when the scar tissue that naturally forms around the implant tightens and thickens excessively. This can cause the breast to feel hard, look deformed, and sometimes be painful. It is one of the most common complications following breast implant surgery. The severity of capsular contracture is graded on a scale from I to IV. Grade IV is the most severe, often requiring surgical intervention to remove the scar tissue and replace the implant. This involves a procedure called capsulectomy, which removes the capsule tissue. If the capsule is not too thickened, a capsulotomy can be performed, releasing the capsule. Patients with capsular contracture are always at higher risk of recurrence of the capsular contracture. 

2. Implant Rupture or Leakage

Silicone and saline implants can both rupture, though the signs may differ. A rupture in a saline implant typically becomes noticeable quickly as the solution leaks out, causing the breast to deflate over hours to days. On the other hand, a silicone implant rupture might be a silent rupture, where the silicone leaks into the surrounding tissue without noticeable breast shape changes. Regular imaging tests, such as MRI, are recommended to detect silent ruptures in silicone implants. Extracapsular silicone may spread to the armpit's lymph glands, causing a lump. 

3. Implant Displacement

Implant displacement occurs when the implants move from their original position. This can result in asymmetry, where one breast is positioned higher than the other, or lateral displacement, where implants shift towards the armpits. Implant displacement can be due to several factors, including gravity, trauma, or incorrect surgical placement. Surgical intervention might be necessary to reposition or replace the implants. It is very common for implants to separate with time, resulting in a cleavage gap. Implant replacement or exchange surgery can sometimes try to bring the breasts closer together.

4. Rippling

Rippling refers to the visible or palpable wrinkling of the implant, which can occur with both saline and silicone implants. It is more common in patients who have thin breast tissue and skin. Rippling is typically seen on the outer perimeter of the breast, particularly when leaning forward. This can be aesthetically displeasing or uncomfortable, prompting implant replacement or adjustment consideration. This is very common and not a complication of surgery. Some options include changing implants to more filled types with a lower risk of rippling or increasing the coverage of the tissue over the implant using techniques such as fat transfer. 

5. Breast Implant Illness (BII)

Breast Implant Illness is a term used by women who have breast implants and who self-identify a variety of systemic symptoms that they feel are directly related to their saline or silicone, textured, or smooth breast implants. Symptoms can include fatigue, chest pain, hair loss, headaches, chills, photosensitivity, chronic pain, rash, body odour, anxiety, brain fog, sleep disturbance, depression, neurologic issues, and hormonal issues. While BII is not officially recognized as a distinct medical diagnosis, many women have reported relief after having their implants removed. The studies currently show about 25-50% may still have residual symptoms following implant removal.

6. Change in Personal Preference or Lifestyle

Personal preferences and lifestyle changes are also valid reasons for replacing breast implants. Some women may decide they want a different size or shape for personal or aesthetic reasons, or changes in body weight may have altered how the implants look or feel. Additionally, aging can change breast tissue density and elasticity, which can affect the appearance of the breasts with implants.

7. Regular Update After a Long Duration

Breast implants are not guaranteed to last a lifetime. The general recommendation is that implants be replaced or evaluated every 10 to 15 years. This periodic replacement helps prevent complications and ensures the implants remain in good condition.

8. Changes in Shape 

Breast implants and breast shape will always change with time. There can be many reasons for changes in shape, such as weight changes and pregnancy. These can often result in the breasts becoming more ptotic or droopy. The weight of the implants can also contribute to the breasts dropping. When the breasts drop, they may need an uplift procedure to lift them. 

Breast Health Is Our Priority 

If you experience any of the above signs, it is advisable to consult with a specialist plastic surgeon. Mr. Nassab offers breast implant checks and will perform an examination and then refer for additional tests, such as scans, if required. Regular follow-ups and imaging tests are crucial for maintaining breast health and ensuring the longevity of breast implants.

You can book your breast implant check at CLNQ using this link

Breast Implant Replacement model

Your Consultation

Consultations involve an in-depth discussion about your desired outcomes and planning bespoke solutions to address your concerns. Mr. Reza Nassab provides consultations in Cheshire and Manchester. We are committed to delivering the highest quality of care for our patients. Mr. Reza Nassab performs consultations and procedures in Knutsford, Cheshire, and Deansgate Square, Manchester. He operates in the exclusive boutique hospital in Wilmslow, Cheshire. This is a state-of-the-art facility providing the best in patient care. Mr. Reza Nassab provides consultations and minor procedures at CLNQ in Deansgate Square Manchester and Knutsford Cheshire.

Get in touch

Fill out the form below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Please send me information about your services*