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Breast Implant Exchange

There can be many reasons why you might want to have your breast implants exchanged. It could be that you are really unhappy with the results of a previous breast augmentation, or maybe that you want to be bigger or smaller in size or be a completely different shape. You may in fact need your breast implants exchanged because you have developed complications from your implant surgery (rupture of your implants or a capsular contraction - a tightening of scar tissue around the implant).

Breast implant revision surgery requires experience, judgement and skill. Through his NHS work managing all types of cancer and developmental breast reconstruction, Mr Ghattaura has developed a specific expertise in this complex field. Indeed, many patients seek him out for this. During your consultation, Mr Ghattaura will identify your specific areas of concern and then carefully study the details of your previous surgery, with operation notes if available. He will then formulate a plan, tailor made to your personal goals. This may involve an exchange of your breast implant for a different size, shape or composition. He may also recommend a complete redesign of the tissue pocket in which the implant sits.  

What's involved in the procedure?

The breast implant exchange procedure is performed under general anaesthesia with normally a one night stay in hospital. Mr Ghattaura typically begins by removing the previous implant and the surrounding scar tissue (implant capsule) though the old scar. He then studies the implant for any ruptures, folds or gel bleed and records the serial number if available. He then sterilises the old implant pocket and makes any adjustments to the pocket at this stage. This can be a complete repositioning of the pectoralis muscle, or making the whole implant pocket smaller or bigger as needed. He then carefully chooses an appropriate replacement implant based on your breast dimensions.

Time to recover

After your surgery, you will need to wear a support bra for 6 weeks to maintain the new implant position. You can expect some swelling, bruising, and some soreness for the first few weeks. Oral pain medication can be used to alleviate  side effects, which should begin to resolve quickly. The scar is often red and raised initially, but should fade as your body heals. Typically, patients recover for about a week at home before returning to work and resuming normal activities. Exercise and strenuous activity is to be avoided for at least a 4-6 weeks following surgery.

Available at HMT Sancta Maria, Spire Cardiff Hospital, Nuffield Health and BMI Werndale

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