How To Know When Your Breast Implants Need Replacing

Mr Andrew Pieri MBBS MRES FRCS
Mr Andrew Pieri MBBS MRES FRCS

Specialist cosmetic & cancer breast surgeon

Table of Contents

Getting a breast augmentation can be a great way to transform your appearance, but like everything, the initial results won’t last forever.

Over time, your body shape will change, and that will affect the appearance of your breast implants. While breast implants are generally considered safe, any medical procedure comes with risks, and in some rare cases, medical complications or pain may mean that your implants need to be removed.

Whatever the reason, breast implant removal is an option that every woman getting a breast enlargement needs to know about. Once the old implants are out, they can be exchanged for new ones if you want, or you can explore alternative ways to enhance your look.

Woman holding a breast implant to her chest before breast implant replacement surgery

Signs Your Breast Implants Need To Be Replaced

It’s not always easy to tell when your breast implants need to be replaced. Many surgeons say that breast implants last between 10-20 years, but every woman is different, and yours might need to be replaced sooner. Here are some of the signs that you need to get your breast implants removed.

You Experience Breast Pain

A little breast pain and swelling are normal immediately after your breast augmentation surgery, but after a few weeks, the pain should be completely gone. If you feel your breast augmentation recovery isn’t going to plan and you’re still in pain several months after the procedure, consult your breast surgeon.

Breast pain following implant surgery could be due to a range of issues, including surgical complications or, in very rare cases, BIA-ALCL. This lymphoma is rare. Removing the implants is usually the only treatment needed, and it will be the first option to get you back to full health.

Your Breast Implants Rupture

Breast implants consist of a silicone shell filled with either saline solution or silicone gel. While these products are designed to last, there are instances when they might rupture. 

 

With silicone implants, the consistency of the filling is a gummy texture, so most patients won’t notice if their implants rupture and there won’t be any change to their body. 

If the filling does leak out and leave the shell of the implant, it is often still contained within the capsule of scar tissue that every patient develops around their implant, known as “intra-capsular rupture”. If this occurs, you may notice a slight change in the shape of your breasts, and you should report this to your breast surgeon. 

Woman with breast asymmetry in white bra

You Notice Breast Asymmetry

As mentioned, your breast implants can change over time due to lifestyle factors, such as weight fluctuations. This can occur in both breasts or just in one, making them appear significantly different, which is referred to as breast asymmetry.

After a few years, you may notice that one breast has changed so much that you need to have a new implant fitted to that side. Usually, the issue represents as acute swelling in one breast. 

If you have implants, especially ones that have been in for a few years, and you experience an increase in asymmetry, it’s important to get in touch with your GP to seek referral to a specialist breast surgeon “triple assessment clinic” to get the situation reviewed. You can then regain your confidence with both breasts looking the same.

Your Implants Rotate

As your body changes, your breast implants may move or rotate, causing pain and changing the appearance of your breasts. In some cases, you may not notice that your implants have rotated, especially if you have round implants.

With teardrop implants or breast implants that rotate significantly, you will notice a difference. In this case, you can have your implants replaced to reduce the chances of further rotation. If you had your procedure only a few months or years ago, you might not need your breast implants exchanged. Your surgeon can manually flip them over or conduct more surgery to adjust their position while keeping the existing implants.

 

You Develop Capsular Contracture

When you have breast implants inserted, your body forms scar tissue around them- in the case of breast implants, a small pocket is formed around the implant. This is entirely normal and is usually almost unnoticeable. However, some women develop capsular contracture, where the scar tissue tightens so much that the capsule becomes uncomfortable and causes further complications, such as implant rotation.


One common treatment for a capsular contracture is known as a “capsulectomy”, where the whole capsule is removed. A capsulotomy used to be regularly performed, and some surgeons still perform this procedure routinely.


This is where cuts are made in the capsule to open it up and release the tension. However, research shows that doing this is associated with a high rate of early recurrence of capsular contracture, and so Mr Pieri rarely performs this as a treatment for capsular contracture. He prefers to completely remove the capsule, a process which is associated with lower rates of recurrence.

You Want A New Look

If you’ve had your old breast implants for a while, then it might be time to consider new ones. Whether they’ve moved as your body has changed or your tastes have evolved, and you want a different breast size, new implants could be the answer.

New breast implants can transform your look, but only if you take the time to consider all your choices. Think about breast implant size and placement to help you achieve the look you want. If you’re unsure about how to get the right results from the procedure, your surgeon can talk you through the options during your implant sizing session.

Breast Implant Replacement Newcastle

Many women choose to return to their original breast surgeon for breast implant removal and replacement, but that’s not always possible. If your former surgeon has stopped practising, or you did not feel comfortable with them previously, then it might be time to explore a new option.

Whether you’re an existing patient or a new face, Mr Pieri has extensive experience providing breast augmentation and implant removal across Newcastle. He can provide you with top-quality care from start to finish.

To start the breast implant replacement process, book a consultation by calling 0191 2820197 or emailing [email protected].

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