Replace Breast Implants

When and why to undergo the procedure, what should be considered?

Replace breast implants

It is difficult to answer how long breast implants "last" in a general sense. A common rule of thumb is that implants should be replaced after about 15 to 20 years after breast augmentation, but on the other hand, a change of breast implants is not necessarily required if there are simply no complaints or if patients are completely happy with their implants.

Learn on the following pages under what circumstances a change must be made, how the change takes place, what risks are involved and what costs you can expect for a breast implant exchange.

When is it necessary to replace breast implants

The most common reasons for changing a breast implant are due to complications, discomfort, and pain that patients experience.

These can be caused by:

• Capsular contracture: this occurs when a collagen-rich capsule of hard, body-derived breast tissue forms around the implant and causes pain and increased sensitivity in the breasts due to increasing pressure.

• Symmastia: overly large implants, too wide implant pockets, and a too-small distance between the implants and the breastbone result in the implants separating from the tissue and causing the breasts to compress in the middle. The décolletage disappears and the breasts are exposed to permanent mechanical friction, which can lead to inflammation and scarring.

• Rippling: breast implants show visible and palpable wrinkles and bulge through the breast tissue. These wrinkles can be seen only with certain movements (especially when bending over) or even when standing, depending on the severity.

• Double-bubble deformation: overly large/heavy implants have too little support in the breast tissue and implant pockets and slip downward, forming a second visible under-breast fold.

• Bottoming out: again, overly large implants slip out of the implant pockets downward, causing an unnatural lower bulge of the breast by shifting the breast volume. The nipple is raised and points unnaturally upward.

• Implant rupture: although in most cases there is no great health risk from a ruptured implant and leaking silicone, as the body's defense reactions form a tissue capsule around the implant, it is important to change the implant as soon as possible after a rupture.

In these cases, changing a breast implant may be beneficial or even necessary. However, in some of the above complications, good results can also be achieved by repositioning the breast implant, for example from on top of the muscle (subglandular) to under the muscle (submuscular), and/or by strengthening the breast tissue and adjusting the implant pockets.

Other reasons that can lead to an implant change are for example due to aging or weight-related skin and breast tissue sagging. Existing implants no longer fill out the breasts or can no longer support sagging and drooping.

In these cases, new implants ensure that the overall appearance is harmonious again.

Replace breast implants for a new appearance

Lastly, some women simply want a different appearance after a few years - a fuller bust, more curves, more volume. In this case, a breast implant exchange is often the result. 

Breast implants replacement - Procedure

Typically, changing a breast implant or both breast implants is comparable to the first insertion of the breast implants, with the only difference being that the already implanted implants must be removed before the change.

Minimally invasive surgical techniques that rely on minimal touch and small incisions usually result in a "gentle" breast implant change. This is also true because the surgeon will try to place the new implants in the positions of the existing implants if possible, which can avoid or minimize additional incisions and scars.

If a patient does not only want to change her breast implant, but also wants to say goodbye to silicone implants permanently, fat transplantation can be performed to build up breast volume.

Or, instead of changing the breast implants or in addition to that, a tightening of the skin on the breast can be performed.

Pain after replacement of breast implants?

Replacing breast implants is an operation under general anesthesia. Accordingly, postoperative pain will occur, but it is usually not stronger than after the first breast operation.

Risks of replacing breast implants

Similarly to other surgeries, there may be complications such as bleeding, swelling, and other typical post-operative issues. There may also be discomfort after the placement of new implants, such as capsular contracture, rippling, etc. However, high-quality implants, thorough preoperative evaluations, highest standards of hygiene, and minimally invasive surgical techniques significantly reduce these risks.

Scars after replacing breast implants

As far as possible, the surgeon will use existing access points, avoiding new cuts and visible scars. However, this is not possible in all cases, so new, smaller scars may remain.

What to keep in mind after a replacement of breast implants

As with the first insertion of breast implants, it is also recommended to take it easy physically during the first few weeks after the procedure, to wear a compression bra, and to avoid strenuous physical activity, heavy lifting, and sudden movements.

This allows the surgical wounds to heal, scar tissue to form around the implants, and to stabilize their position.

How much does it cost to replace breast implants?

What are the costs for exchanging breast implants? The cost of exchanging breast implants depends on various factors, such as the quality of the new breast implants and any additional procedures (tightening of the skin, padding of the skin with autologous fat, etc.). The question of costs for a breast implant exchange cannot be answered in a general way. However, I would be happy to discuss all the details regarding "costs of a breast implant exchange" with you personally and individually.

Regarding the cost coverage by public health insurance, this is only possible if the removal of the existing implant is medically necessary. However, the cost of inserting new breast implants is usually not covered by the health insurance.

Replacing breast implants in Munich

As a recognized specialist in plastic and aesthetic surgery with long-standing experience in breast augmentation, I offer personal, individual and discreet advice in my modern practice in Munich for plastic and aesthetic surgery.

specialist in plastic & aesthetic surgery. 

Over 6000
surgeries - Experience from practice and continuing education. 

During a personal appointment, I will advise you very individually. Make the most of your type. I am looking forward to seeing you!