Breast Implant Replacement Surgery FAQs

Breast Implant Replacement Surgery FAQs

Will an implant replacement procedure treat drooping breasts?

In some cases, the breasts may appear to be dropping due to complications associated with the implants. If the implants are dropping downwards and pulling on the breast tissue, for example, then a replacement of the implants may resolve the problem.

However, if the drooping is due to excess skin, or weakness of the breast tissue and fibrous ligaments, then other procedures may be more suitable. Your surgeon will discuss these procedures, such as breast uplift surgery, during your consultation.

What are the breast implant replacement complications I should be aware of?

If you are considering having breast implant replacement surgery, you should first know that every surgery is associated with some level of risk. However, choosing an experienced BAAPS/BAPRAS member surgeon reduced the risk of any complications developing.

Informing yourself properly about breast implant replacement preparation and aftercare and following the advice of your Medbelle surgeon will also help your recovery run as smoothly as possible.

Managing your expectations during your recovery

Any surgical procedure can lead to some pain and discomfort in the days or even weeks after surgery. Breast implant replacement is no different. You will likely experience some of the following symptoms

  • Pain and discomfort
  • Bruising and bleeding
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Nausea
  • Scaring

These symptoms are, however, not necessarily a sign of an issue worth worrying about or evidence of a surgical complication. To find out more about recovery from a breast implant replacement procedure, read more on our Breast Implant Replacement: Preparation and Aftercare page.

What can I do to reduce the risk of breast implant replacement complications?

Aside from preexisting medical conditions, there are indeed some factors that you can control which will decrease the chance of a surgical complication.

Smoking and nicotine use

Medbelle surgeons strongly advise that you stop smoking or using any other nicotine products 6 weeks before your surgery. You should continue to abstain from nicotine or smoking for at least 6 weeks after the procedure as well.

Nicotine, which is found in cigarettes and other tobacco products, including many e-cigarettes, naturally reduces blood flow. It is known as a vasoconstrictor.

Limiting the blood flow of any tissue during surgery increases the likelihood of complications like tissue necrosis and infection. It can even increase the time it takes you to recover from a breast implant replacement procedure.

Find out more about why Medbelle surgeons recommend stopping smoking for surgery.

What are the general surgical risks and breast implant removal complications?

General surgical risks and complications include:

  • Blood clots
  • Anaesthetic risks
  • Allergic reaction to a surgical component (i.e. medical tape)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pain

Your surgeon and their medical team will do everything possible to prevent any breast implant replacement complications from developing. You may be given medication to thin your blood, control your pain or ease nausea. You may also be given compression socks or a compression bra to wear after surgery.


An infection can develop after any surgery. An infection will become apparent in the first 2 to 3 weeks of your recovery from breast explant.

You should contact your surgeon at the first sign of infection. The following symptoms may indicate an infection:

  • A temperature above 38° C
  • Redness surrounding your incision that begins to grow and spread out
  • Any foul-smelling fluid coming from a surgical wound
  • Pain or discomfort that isn’t controlled with painkillers

All infections should be assessed and treated. If you act fast and take the right steps to prevent the infection from worsening, it will most likely remain mild and easily treated by antibiotics.

Left unchecked, infections can seriously impact your health and the outcome of your breast implant replacement surgery.

What are the specific breast implant replacement surgery risks and complications?

Disappointment with your results

The vast majority of patients are very happy with their results after breast implant replacement surgery. Some, however, may be unhappy with the aesthetic results or regret having surgery.

Choosing an experienced BAAPS/BAPRAS member surgeon for your breast implant replacement surgery will help reduce this risk.

Think carefully before electing to have any cosmetic surgical procedure and try to envisage exactly how you want your breasts to look. If you follow your Medbelle surgeon’s aftercare instructions carefully, it can also help to achieve the best possible results.

Capsular Contraction

The body naturally surrounds any implanted foreign object, including implants, with fibrous scar tissue. This scar tissue creates a capsule around the implant.

The vast majority of the time, these capsules comfortably hold the breast implants and cause the patient no problems whatsoever.

Capsular contracture occurs if this capsule begins to constrict. This can happen in one or both breasts. If you suspect you may be experiencing capsular contracture, you should seek medical advice from your GP. It can lead to physical pain and also emotional discomfort caused by the aesthetic deformity caused by the capsule

You may be experiencing capsular contracture, if:

  • Your breast feel unnaturally hard
  • Your breasts develop an unnaturally round shape
  • You are experiencing pain and discomfort

Changes in sensation

After breast explant surgery, you may experience an altered sensation across your chest. This breast implant removal complication is more likely to happen to the nipples and incision areas.

This is because nerve connections to the skin or breast tissue may have been damaged during surgery, especially if you have a more invasive procedure such as a breast lift included with your breast explant.

Any change in sensation will more than likely return to normal with time as the nerves heal. It can take several months for this to happen.

In rare cases, however, nerve damage and loss of sensation can be permanent after breast implant removal.

Other risks and complications associated with breast implant replacement surgery

  • Lateralisation
  • Double-bubble
  • Gravity effect

Published: Friday 31 December 2021

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