Objective: To replace an old breast implant with a new one, remove or modify the implant capsule and pocket.
Procedure duration: 1 to 3 hours
Pain level: 5/10
Recovery time: 7 to 15 days
Resumption of physical activities: 4 to 6 weeks
Dr. Boudana understands that breast augmentation represents a considerable investment. Therefore, he wants patients to be reassured about the quality and lifespan of breast implants. There is a misconception that breast implants should be replaced every 10 years, when in fact women can theoretically live their entire lives with the same implants. In reality, breast implants should only be changed if there is a problem.
In addition, implant manufacturers are so confident in the longevity of their product that they offer a lifetime guarantee on implants. This means that in the rare case an implant ruptures, the manufacturer will provide a replacement implant at no charge.
You should also note that in the rare case of rupture, cohesive gel and saline implants are particularly safe. While implants used decades ago had higher risks of rupture, today’s implants are safer. If a rupture does occur, saline implants contain a saline solution that will be absorbed by the body, while the solid silicone in a cohesive gel implant will not leak.
There are several reasons to want to replace breast implants. With the high-quality of today’s breast implants and the stringent pre-marketing safety standards, patients usually want to replace implants for cosmetic reasons rather than because of rupture or deflation.
Fluctuations in weight, pregnancy, tissue aging, as well as gravity, can impact breast appearance. In this case, replacing implants and readjusting the capsule (capsulorraphy) may be required.
Sometimes, mastopexy (breast lift) is necessary to reposition the nipple and areola and lift the tissues, which can sag with time.
Some patients also choose to increase or decrease breast size after several years.
Breast implant revision surgery (implant replacement) is usually done with an incision under the breast. The location of the incision will be discussed with Dr. Boudana during the consultation.
Anaesthesia and additional treatments
In some instances, breast implant replacement can be performed under local anaesthesia. For example, if the old implant is to be replaced with a larger one in a patient who does not require surgery or adjustments to the implant capsule or pocket, then local anaesthesia may be an option.
However, if a change in implant position is required, then the adjustment or modification of the pocket must be performed under general anaesthesia.
Additional procedures related to breast implant revision surgery may include capsulorraphy (raising the implant to obtain more contour), capsulectomy (removing the capsule around the implant), mastopexy (lifting the breast above the implant), or autologous fat injection (injecting fat around the implant to improve contour or shape).
These additional procedures will be discussed and proposed depending on your needs and expectations.
En bloc capsulectomy
En bloc capsulectomy is a procedure invented in France, which consists of removing the implant and the capsule at the same time (en bloc).
In practice, this procedure is rarely required, unless you have earlier-generation implants (made of liquid silicone) that have ruptured and where the silicone extrusion can be seen through medical imaging.
As today’s generation of implants are made of silicone gel, there is little risk that they will leak outside of the capsule.
En bloc capsulectomy is a highly precise procedure, requiring a surgeon experienced in the technique. Dr. Boudana has been performing this procedure for several years. He will be able to tell you whether you are a candidate for the surgery.
What does the surgery entail?
The surgery is performed under general anaesthesia and lasts between 1 hour and 3 hours.
Following the operation, you will need someone to take you home and help and monitor you for the first 24 hours.
Once you are under anaesthesia, the skin of your breasts will be carefully cleaned with an antiseptic to prevent infection. This step is performed according to medical recommendations and standards. The procedure then begins with the removal of the implant with or without the capsule. For better visualization, the surgeon uses fibre optic instruments to create a lodge for the prosthesis.
The insertion of the new implant is done using the latest techniques, which have been proven to be effective in minimizing the risk of complications:
- Protection of the nipples by an impermeable film preventing the spread of bacteria from the mammary glands;
- Irrigation of the implant with an antibiotic or antiseptic solution before opening the implant package;
- Washing of the prosthetic lodge with the antibiotic or antiseptic solution;
- No touch technique: the implant is slipped into a specific pocket for insertion;
- Multi-plane closure.
The use of an insertion pocket (Keller Funnel type) allows for a smaller incision, even for larger implants.
After the surgery, you will receive a personalized follow-up. Our nurses will also be available and will perform the first dressing change at our clinic, typically one week after surgery.
You will be given a postoperative instruction sheet when you are discharged as well as a prescription for pain medication.
All our follow-up appointments are free of charge for the first year after your surgery.
Breast augmentation surgery has one of the highest satisfaction rates.
According to numerous scientific studies, this procedure can not only improve the appearance and size of your breasts, but also improve your self-esteem and confidence.
With over 1,000 successful breast augmentation surgeries under his belt, Dr. Boudana will guide and advise you in selecting the ideal breast size and shape for your expectations and body proportions.
Get a consultation
The consultation can take place in person at the clinic or remotely by videoconference.