Breast implant exchange involves replacing your current implants with new ones, while breast implant removal involves removing your implants altogether. If you’re considering breast implant exchange or removal, it’s important to understand the risks and benefits associated with these procedures. Patients who wish to exchange their implants for a different size or type may do so for aesthetic reasons or because they’re experiencing complications such as capsular contracture. Patients who opt for breast implant removal may do so because they no longer wish to have implants, to avoid future surgeries, malfunctions, or other associated risks.
If you live in Denver, CO, and are considering an exchange or the removal of your breast implants, come to Millard Plastic Surgery for a consultation. Here, Dr. Todd Zuhlke, MD, F.A.C.S. can assess your individual case and help you make the best decision for your health and well-being. Call us today at (303) 792-5665 to schedule a consultation or fill out this form. And be sure you keep up with all the latest trends in cosmetic surgery by following our blog.
- 1 Why Exchange or Remove Implants?
- 2 Breast Implant Removal
- 3 Breast Implant Exchange
- 4 What are the Benefits of Implant Exchange or Removal?
- 5 Ideal Candidates for Implant Exchange or Removal
- 6 Personal Consultation
- 7 Preparation
- 8 Breast Implant Removal Procedure
- 9 Breast Implant Exchange Procedure
- 10 Recovering from Surgery
- 11 What are the Results of Implant Removal?
- 12 What is the Cost of Implant Removal in Denver, CO?
- 13 References
Why Exchange or Remove Implants?
Breast implants can be a great way to improve the appearance of your breasts and boost your self-confidence. However, they’re not right for everyone, and there are a number of reasons why you may wish to exchange or remove your implants.
Some of the most common reasons include:
- You are ready to replace your original implants – Breast implants are not designed to last a lifetime. In fact, most women will need to replace their implants after 10-15 years. Especially since the FDA reported that 80% of women will experience a ruptured implant after that time.  If you’ve had your implants for 10 years or more, you may be ready for an implant exchange.
- You’re experiencing pain or other problems with your implants – Some women experience complications such as capsular contracture, which can cause pain and changes in the appearance of your breasts. If you’re experiencing any problems with your implants, exchange or removal may be the best solution.
- You want to change the size or type of your implants – If you’re unhappy with the size, shape, or feel of your breasts, you may be considering an implant exchange. Dr. Zuhlke can help you choose the right size and type of implants to achieve your desired results.
- You no longer want implants – Some women simply decide they no longer want breast implants and opt for removal.
- You’re concerned about the long-term risks associated with breast implants – While the risks of complications from breast implants are low, they are not nonexistent. If you’re concerned about the long-term risks of breast implants, implant removal will set your mind at ease.
Whatever your reason, Dr. Zuhlke knows how to address your concerns and will work with you to ensure you are completely happy with the results of your procedure.
Breast Implant Removal
Patients who choose to completely remove their breast implants may find that they experience some sagging or loss of volume in their breasts. We see this with older women whose skin has seen a decline in the production of collagen and elastin, and in patients with heavy implants that have stretched their skin over time. In these cases, a Breast Lift (mastopexy) may be just the thing to restore their breasts to their previous appearance. In addition to a lift, which will help to improve the shape and position of your breasts, you may also need a Skin Tightening procedure.
Additionally, many patients will have a capsule of scar tissue around their implants, which will need to be removed along with the implants to prevent capsular contracture. Capsular contracture can lead to discomfort, breast deformity, and implant rupture, and occurs in about 1 out of 10 people who have implants. 
For patients who need volume in addition to lift, Dr. Zuhlke may recommend Fat Grafting as a way to add volume and improve the contour of your breasts. Fat grafting is a procedure in which unwanted fat is removed from another area of your body, such as your thighs or abdomen, and injected into your breasts; this can provide a natural way to add volume with the added benefit of contouring an area of stubborn fat elsewhere on the body.
Dr. Zuhlke will work with you to determine the best way to achieve the results you desire so you leave Millard Plastic Surgery completely satisfied.
Breast Implant Exchange
Breast Implant Exchange removes a patient’s current implants and replaces them with a new set. Today’s breast implants are safer and more durable than ever, and upgrading to newer implants can be a prudent way to avoid any risk of complications. Breast implant exchange often involves changing from saline to silicone, or from one type of silicone implant to another. You may also choose to change the size, shape, or profile of your implants.
Patients who are aging often find that the size of the implant that was suitable for them at a younger age is no longer appropriate. As we age, our skin loses elasticity and the breasts often begin to sag, or perhaps you feel that larger breasts no longer fit your lifestyle or look appropriate on your frame. Dr. Zuhlke can help you choose the right size and type of implant to achieve your desired result.
If you’re experiencing any problems with your implants, such as pain, capsular contracture, rippling, or changes in sensation, breast implant exchange may be the best solution.
What are the Benefits of Implant Exchange or Removal?
There are many benefits to implant exchange or removal, including
- Relief from pain or other problems caused by your implants
- Improved self-esteem and body image
- Greater satisfaction with the appearance of your breasts
- Reduced risk of long-term complications associated with breast implants
Furthermore, the methods and advancements developed since you last had your procedure can mean that you achieve even better results the second time around.
Ideal Candidates for Implant Exchange or Removal
The best candidates for breast implant exchange or removal are:
- Physically fit and have maintained a healthy weight.
- Going in with expectations that are practical.
- People who don’t smoke.
- Patients who are bothered by the way their implants look.
- Patients who have felt discomfort or pain caused by your implants.
- People who feel burdened by the heaviness of their breasts.
- Patients who notice their breast tissue is becoming harder or tighter.
- Those who have been shown imaging showing possible evidence of a leak or rupture in the implants.
- Patients who know their implants have ruptured or leaked.
Patients ready to completely remove their implants should understand what to expect in terms of changes to their breasts, such as sagging or loss of volume. Patients considering breast implant exchange should be aware that they may need a second operation down the road.
During your consultation, Dr. Zuhlke will perform a physical examination and review your medical history to determine if you are a good candidate for breast implant removal or exchange. He will also discuss your goals for the procedure and develop a treatment plan to help you achieve the best results.
It’s important that you are honest with Dr. Zuhlke about your medical history and expectations for the procedure; this will help him develop a treatment plan that is right for you and ensure that you are satisfied with your results.
During this time, feel free to ask questions so you fully understand the details of the procedure and what to expect.
To prepare for surgery, you will need to:
- Stop taking blood-thinning medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, two weeks prior to surgery
- Arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure
- Fill your prescriptions before surgery
- Stop smoking two weeks before and two weeks after your operation
You will also need to arrange for someone to stay with you for at least the first 24 hours after your surgery and you may need help at home with your pets or children. Our staff will provide you with a complete list of preparatory steps leading up to surgery.
Breast Implant Removal Procedure
Breast implant removal is typically performed under general anesthesia and takes about one to two hours. The incisions used for the procedure will depend on the type of implants you have and the amount of scarring from your previous surgery. Dr. Zuhlke will try to make incisions in the same locations to avoid any additional scarring.
After making the incisions, Dr. Zuhlke will remove your implants and the surrounding scar tissue. Often, the scar tissue that forms around it is soft and doesn’t require removal. But sometimes the scar tissue hardens and when this happens, you may need to have both the implants and scar tissue removed. 
He may need to tighten the pocket to create a more uniform appearance and to decrease laxity in the breasts. At this point, if you have discussed a breast lift, Dr. Zuhlke will proceed in this direction. A breast lift includes skin excising to create a more lifted breast.
He will then close the incisions with stitches or surgical tape. You will be able to go home on the same day as your surgery.
Breast Implant Exchange Procedure
Breast implant exchange is similar to the removal procedure, but instead of removing the implants, Dr. Zuhlke will exchange them for new ones. The type of implant you choose will depend on your goals for the surgery and of course you will have decided upon the size, shape and type of implant before surgery.
After making the incisions, Dr. Zuhlke will remove your implants and the surrounding scar tissue. He will then insert the new implants and close the incisions with stitches or surgical tape.
You will be able to go home on the same day as your surgery.
Recovering from Surgery
After your surgery, you will need to take it easy. You may have some pain and swelling, which can be controlled with medication. You will also need to wear a surgical bra for support as you heal.
Most people take about one to two weeks off from work or other activities to recover from surgery. You should avoid strenuous activity, lifting heavy objects, and sexual activity for at least four to six weeks.
You will have a follow-up appointment with Dr. Zuhlke about four to six weeks after your surgery. During this visit, he will remove your stitches and check your incisions to make sure they are healing properly.
You will need to see Dr. Zuhlke for annual follow-up appointments to make sure your implants are in good shape and that you don’t have any problems.
It’s important to remember that breast implant surgery is not a one-time procedure. You will need additional surgery to remove, replace, or adjust your implants at some point in the future.
What are the Results of Implant Removal?
Most people are happy with the results of their breast implant removal surgery. You will likely see a difference in the size and shape of your breasts right away. It will take a few months for the implants to settle into their final position.
You will have scars from the incisions, but they will fade over time. The scars will be permanent, but they will be hidden by your clothes and are usually not noticeable.
You will feel more confidence when you see your new, beautifully shaped and positioned breasts. If you have experienced discomfort caused by your implants, you will be relieved and at ease when they are removed. Implant removal can vastly improve your quality of life!
What is the Cost of Implant Removal in Denver, CO?
The cost of implant removal in Denver, CO will vary depending on the type of implants you have and the extent of the surgery.
If you are interested in breast implant removal or exchange, please contact Dr. Zuhlke’s office to schedule a consultation. He will be happy to answer any questions you have and help you decide if this is the right procedure for you. Call (303) 792-5665 or fill out this form to begin your journey.
- Balen P. Breast implants. Clinical Risk. 2002;8(5):177-184. doi:10.1258/135626202760202745
- Headon H, Kasem A, Mokbel K. Capsular Contracture after Breast Augmentation: An Update for Clinical Practice. Archives of Plastic Surgery. 2015;42(5):532. doi:10.5999/aps.2015.42.5.532
- American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Breast Implant Removal. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Accessed October 18, 2022. https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/breast-implant-removal