Breast implants don’t last forever. The expected time before you need your breast implants replaced is ten to fifteen years. This is because the body changes due to childbirth, weight gain, weight loss, and simply changes with time as we age. As time passes your implant will become smaller, change shape, and in some cases can become mis-shapen, hard and painful. We advise you have your breast implants checked via a routine ultrasound or a check-up at a clinic that undertakes these procedures. You can also attend your GP practice – your GP will refer you on if necessary.
This treatment is suitable for anyone who has had their breast implants in place for more than ten years, or who is experiencing pain or a change in shape in either or both breasts.
This operation involves a general anaesthetic and an overnight stay. We can often use the same incision to take the old implant out. We need to make sure any scar tissue that has formed around the implant is removed at the same time, keeping as much of the natural breast tissue as possible.
If you undergo a breast uplift or breast re-shaping there will be additional scarring. This will fade with time and we’ll discuss it with you at your consultation.
It usually takes slightly longer to perform this operation than your original implants took, simply because we have to prepare for your new implants to be inserted. Remember there are no guarantees that the implant cannot harden again, and it can happen at any time.
You may decide not to have your implants replaced in which case you will need to have some skin removed because the breast skin will have stretched. This breast reshaping procedure without implants is called a Mastopexy.
If you want to have the implants back again but go smaller, we can often replace your old implants with a breast reshape, done at the same time.