1 in 20 women in the US has had a breast augmentation; a statistic that is steadily growing each year.
It’s no surprise that a breast augmentation is the plastic surgery procedure with the highest satisfaction rate.
Getting breast implants is such a positive and empowering thing for most women.
Most women are totally satisfied with their breast augmentation outcome. Though there are some who are not 100% satisfied following surgery. Usually it’s due to size (too small or too big) or just an unhappiness with the overall aesthetic look of their new breasts.
Breast implant exchange
For the women who don’t 100% love their new additions following a breast augmentation surgery there is the option of a breast implant exchange.
It’s basically what it sounds like! In another surgery a Board Certified plastic surgeon will remove your existing breast implants and replace them with new ones.
The new breast implants could be a different size, shape, projection or filling (silicone or saline), or a combination of all of these.
I underwent a type of breast implant exchange myself. I had my original saline implants switched out in 2016 for a larger CC and a different profile (moderates to high profiles)
There are 5 main reasons why women may choose to exchange their implants:
To change the size - to go bigger or smaller. Changing size is the most common reason women opt to exchange their implants. It’s usually to go bigger (because they feel they went too small with their implants).
To get your pre-pregnancy body back. If you’ve gone through pregnancy and nursing with breast implants, then an exchange (usually for larger implants) could help to restore breast fullness (assuming you don’t need a lift).
To change the feel of your implants. Some women don’t like how their implants feel (too firm, or even too squishy). By changing out the breast implant with a different filled implant (silicone > saline, or saline > silicone) you can change the overall feel.
To change the implant profile. Switching the implant profile (the amount it projects) changes how the breasts look with implants (to either go more natural, or more augmented).
To turn back the clock. Implants are not lifetime devices. They may last you many years. Some women choose to get their implants switched out (just because they want to) after they’ve had them for a number of years.
If you end up not loving your breast implants, first up; don’t give yourself a hard time. It’s super hard to know exactly what you want when you opt to get a breast augmentation. There are a lot of choices to make AND you also have to figure out what your breast augmentation goals are.
We don’t always get it right the first time!
You may know pretty soon after surgery that you want to exchange your breast implants (note: you should wait at least 6 months after surgery before making a final judgment on your outcome - it can take this long for everything to fully settle), or further down the line your relationship with your implants may change (like me!). Either way your next step is to reach out to your Board Certified plastic surgeon.
Depending on your surgeon’s approach to an exchange you may be able to have your implants swapped out under local anesthesia. If so, this is so you can actually see your results and check you’re happy before your surgery is finalized. A local anesthetic also means less medications and a quicker recovery time AND less cost.
If you feel like you’ve missed the mark with your breast augmentation and don’t 100% love your new breast implants don’t feel bad about giving it a second go. Many women choose to exchange their breast implants. If taking a slightly different route to get the ones you expected gets you to a long and happy relationship with your breasts, then it’s still a positive outcome :)