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A Practical Guide to Implant Replacement Options


When it comes to breast implant replacement, knowing your options and understanding what leads to the need for replacement can help ease the decision-making process. Whether it’s due to complications, a desire for a different size or type, or simply the natural aging of your implants, getting to the heart of the matter is the first step.

  • Implant Longevity: On average, implants may need replacing every 10-20 years, but this varies based on the individual and the type of implant.
  • Reasons for Replacement: Common reasons include capsular contracture, implant rupture, and the desire for a change in size or shape.
  • Types of Implants: Mainly, there are saline and silicone implants, each with their unique benefits and considerations.

Each woman’s journey with breast implants is unique, with factors like lifestyle, body changes, and personal preferences playing a significant role. If you’re in Newport Beach, California, and feeling unsure about your previous surgery results, or if you’re experiencing discomfort or dissatisfaction with your current implants, exploring your implant replacement options is a wise move towards achieving the appearance you desire and ensuring your comfort and health.

Infographic detailing the average lifespan of breast implants, reasons for replacement over time, and a comparison between saline and silicone implant types, with a focus on helping women understand their breast implant replacement options - implant replacement infographic comparison-2-items-formal

Understanding Implant Lifespan

When it comes to breast implants, knowing how long they last is key to planning for the future. Let’s break it down into simple terms.

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Average Lifespan

First up, the average lifespan of breast implants. Generally, expect them to last around 10 to 20 years. But this isn’t a hard rule. Some may need replacement sooner, while others last longer.

Factors Affecting Longevity

Several factors can influence how long your implants last. These include:

  • Your body’s response: How your body reacts to the implants can affect their longevity. Some people may develop scar tissue that impacts the implant.
  • Implant type: Whether you have saline or silicone can make a difference.
  • Activity level: High-impact activities might affect the durability of the implants.
  • Surgical technique: How and where the implants are placed can play a role.

Saline vs. Silicone

Now, let’s talk about Saline vs. Silicone.

  • Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water. If they leak, the body easily absorbs the saline, and the implant deflates. They’re known for a firmer feel and are generally less expensive. However, they might not last as long as silicone implants due to the nature of the filling.

  • Silicone implants are filled with silicone gel. They tend to feel more like natural breast tissue. If they leak, the gel may remain within the implant shell or escape into the breast implant pocket. Silicone implants often require more regular checkups post-surgery, including MRI scans to ensure they’re intact.

In Summary

Understanding the lifespan of your implants, the factors that affect longevity, and the differences between saline and silicone can help you make informed decisions about your body and future procedures. Always discuss these aspects with your surgeon to get tailored advice based on your situation.

Moving forward, knowing the signs that indicate you might need an implant replacement is crucial. Let’s dive into that next.

Signs You May Need an Implant Replacement

When it comes to your health and well-being, it’s vital to stay informed about the signs that may indicate a need for an implant replacement. Here are some of the key indicators:

Pain or Discomfort

If you’re experiencing unexplained pain or discomfort around the implant area, it might be a sign that something isn’t right. This could be due to a number of issues like capsular contracture or even a rupture.


Implants can break or develop leaks. For saline implants, this might be more apparent as the implant deflates. However, silicone ruptures can be trickier to detect, making regular check-ups important. The FDA recommends MRI screenings) 3 years after your initial surgery and every 2 years following, to monitor for silent ruptures.

Bottoming Out

This occurs when the implant slips below the natural crease of the breast, causing the nipple to appear too high on the breast. This shifting can distort the natural shape of your breast and may require correction.


Especially relevant for shaped implants, if your implant rotates, it can alter the shape of your breast in an unnatural way. This often necessitates an implant replacement to correct the orientation.

Shape Change

Any noticeable change in the shape or symmetry of your breasts can be a cause for concern. These changes can result from implant displacement, rupture, or capsular contracture.

Capsular Contracture

This happens when the scar tissue around the implant tightens and squeezes the implant, causing it to become misshapen and hard. It’s one of the most common complications and a clear sign you may need an implant replacement.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to consult with your surgeon. They can help determine the cause and discuss your options for implant replacement. Early detection and action can make a significant difference in your outcome and satisfaction.

Next, we’ll explore the various types of implant replacement options available, ensuring you’re equipped with the knowledge to make the best decision for your health and appearance.

Types of Implant Replacement Options

When it comes to implant replacement, there are several options available depending on your needs, preferences, and the specific issues you might be facing with your current implants. Let’s dive into these options:

Saline to Silicone

Switching from saline to silicone implants is a popular choice for many seeking a more natural look and feel. Silicone implants are known for their ability to mimic the softness of natural breast tissue more closely than saline implants. If you’re considering this switch, the procedure involves the removal of your current saline implants and the placement of new silicone ones, often through the same incisions to minimize additional scarring.

Silicone to Saline

Conversely, you might opt to replace your silicone implants with saline ones. Reasons for this might include personal preference or concerns about silicone. Saline implants offer a firmer feel and the peace of mind that, in the event of a rupture, the body can safely absorb the saline solution. This replacement also involves removing the current implants and replacing them with saline ones, again, typically using the original incision sites.

Size Adjustments

Perhaps you’re satisfied with your current type of implant but wish to change the size. Whether you’re looking to increase or decrease the size of your implants, this option is entirely customizable to your desired outcome. Adjusting the size of your implants can help achieve better proportionality with your body or refresh your look as your aesthetic preferences evolve.

Addressing Complications

Complications such as capsular contracture (scar tissue forming around the implant), implant rupture, or displacement can necessitate implant replacement. Addressing these complications often involves removing the affected implant(s), treating any associated issues (such as removing scar tissue), and replacing the implant. This option is crucial for not only aesthetic reasons but also your comfort and health.

breast implant replacement - implant replacement

Can Implants Be Removed and Replaced in One Surgery?

Yes, it’s common practice to remove and replace implants in a single surgery. This approach minimizes recovery time and reduces the number of times you need to undergo anesthesia.

How Often Do Implants Need to Be Replaced?

While implants don’t have an expiration date, they are not considered lifetime devices. On average, implants might need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years, either due to complications, wear and tear, or personal choice.

Does Insurance Cover Implant Replacement?

Insurance coverage for implant replacement varies. It’s often covered if it’s deemed medically necessary (e.g., in the case of a rupture or severe capsular contracture). However, if the replacement is for cosmetic reasons, insurance might not cover the costs. It’s essential to check with your insurance provider for specifics.

Choosing the right option for your implant replacement requires a comprehensive evaluation and discussion with a board-certified plastic surgeon. They can assess your current situation, listen to your goals, and recommend the best course of action. The most important thing is that you feel confident and comfortable in your decision, ensuring your health and satisfaction with your appearance.

In the next section, we will delve into the replacement procedure itself, covering key aspects such as the removal process, what the replacement entails, expected recovery time, anesthesia used, and how long the procedure typically lasts.

The Implant Replacement Procedure

When considering implant replacement, know what the procedure involves. This section will guide you through each step, from removal to recovery, to help you understand the process and set realistic expectations.

Removal Process

The first step in implant replacement is the removal of the existing implant. This is a carefully conducted process where the surgeon makes an incision, usually following the scars from your previous surgery to minimize additional scarring. The old implant is gently removed, and if necessary, any scar tissue (known as a capsule) that may have formed around the implant is also addressed during this time.

Replacement Process

Once the old implant is removed, the surgeon will replace it with a new one. You might have discussed with your surgeon whether to go for the same type of implant or switch between saline and silicone, or even adjust the size. The new implant is inserted through the same incision, placed in the pocket, and positioned correctly to achieve the desired aesthetic outcome.

Recovery Time

Recovery varies from person to person but generally follows a predictable path. Initially, you will experience swelling and discomfort, but this can be managed with medication prescribed by your surgeon. Most patients can return to their normal daily activities within a few days, although it’s recommended to avoid strenuous activities for at least six weeks to allow proper healing.


The type of anesthesia used during implant replacement surgery depends on the complexity of the procedure. For straightforward replacements, local anesthesia with sedation may suffice, keeping you comfortable but awake. More complex cases, however, may require general anesthesia, where you’ll be asleep throughout the procedure.

Procedure Length

The duration of the implant replacement surgery can range from 1 to 4 hours, influenced by factors such as the complexity of the surgery, whether there’s significant scar tissue to remove, and if additional procedures like a breast lift are performed simultaneously.

Implant replacement surgery is a significant decision and understanding the procedure is the first step towards feeling confident in your choice. With the right surgeon, such as Dr. Mark Anton, known for his expertise in breast surgeries including implant replacements, you can expect a procedure tailored to your needs and goals.

Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast surgeries, like those at OC Breast Surgery, ensures you receive the highest level of care and expertise throughout the process.

In the next section, we’ll address common concerns and questions surrounding implant replacement to further guide your decision-making process.

Addressing Common Concerns and Questions

When considering implant replacement, questions and concerns naturally arise. Let’s address the most common ones to help you make an informed decision.

Can Implants Be Removed and Replaced in One Surgery?

Yes, they can. Implant removal and replacement can typically be done in a single surgery. This process involves taking out the old implants and replacing them with new ones, possibly adjusting for size, shape, or type as desired. This approach is efficient, reducing the total recovery time and minimizing the number of times you have to undergo anesthesia.

How Often Do Implants Need to Be Replaced?

Implants don’t come with an expiration date, but they’re not considered lifetime devices. On average, implants might need replacement every 10-20 years. However, this varies based on individual factors and the type of implant. Regular check-ups and monitoring are crucial. If you notice any changes or experience discomfort, consult with your surgeon. Not every implant will require replacement, and many last well beyond the average without issues.

Does Insurance Cover Implant Replacement?

Insurance coverage for implant replacement can be complex and varies widely. Generally, if implant surgery was initially performed for cosmetic reasons, insurance might not cover replacement costs unless there are medical issues involved, such as rupture or capsular contracture. If the initial implantation was for reconstruction, especially after mastectomy, there’s a higher likelihood of partial or full coverage for replacement. It’s essential to check with your insurance provider for the specifics of your policy.

Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon, like those at OC Breast Surgery, ensures you receive comprehensive care tailored to your needs and goals. They can also assist with navigating insurance questions and provide documentation needed for claims.

Remember that the journey to replace implants is highly personal and varies from one individual to another. Your surgeon is your best resource for advice tailored to your specific situation.

Choosing the Right Surgeon for Your Implant Replacement

When it comes to implant replacement, choosing the right surgeon is paramount. It’s not just about the surgery itself but finding a professional who understands your goals, concerns, and can guide you through the decision-making process with expertise and empathy.

Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons

First and foremost, ensure your surgeon is board-certified. This certification means they have completed rigorous training, exams, and have a proven track record of professionalism and success in plastic surgery. Board certification is a marker of trust, indicating that your surgeon meets nationally recognized standards for education, knowledge, experience, and skills to provide high-quality care.

Dr. Mark Anton

In the realm of breast surgery, Dr. Mark Anton stands out not only for his board certification but also for his extensive experience and recognition in the field. With numerous awards from prestigious institutions, Dr. Anton’s expertise is both nationally and globally acknowledged. His work focuses not just on achieving aesthetic excellence but also on ensuring the health and safety of his patients.

Choosing Dr. Anton and the team at OC Breast Surgery means you’re opting for a level of care that’s both personalized and rooted in deep surgical expertise. Dr. Anton’s approach is comprehensive—he doesn’t just look at the procedure in isolation but understands the importance of harmony and balance in outcomes that align with the patient’s physique and expectations.

OC Breast Surgery Specialization

OC Breast Surgery specializes in a range of breast procedures, including implant replacement. This specialization means that they’re not just generalists in plastic surgery but have a focused understanding and experience in breast surgeries. This focused expertise is crucial because breast surgery is complex and requires a nuanced approach for optimal results.

The team’s approach is holistic, starting from the initial consultation to post-surgery follow-ups. They emphasize education, helping patients understand their options and what to expect throughout their journey. This patient-centered care is what sets OC Breast Surgery apart.

Choosing the right surgeon for your implant replacement is a crucial step in your journey towards achieving your desired outcomes. With board-certification as a baseline for quality, and specialized expertise as a marker for excellence, Dr. Mark Anton and OC Breast Surgery offer a combination of both. Their commitment to patient care, safety, and achieving beautiful, natural-looking results makes them a standout choice for anyone considering implant replacement.

As you consider your options, the right surgeon will not only have the technical skills necessary for a successful procedure but will also make you feel supported and understood throughout the process.


When it comes to implant replacement, understanding your options and the importance of choosing a surgeon who aligns with your needs cannot be overstated. At OC Breast Surgery, we believe in a personalized approach to each patient’s journey. Every individual’s body, goals, and concerns are unique, and we tailor our services to meet these specific needs.

Personalized Approach

We recognize that the decision to undergo implant replacement is significant. That’s why we prioritize a one-on-one consultation to understand your desires and concerns fully. Our goal is to ensure that you feel confident and informed about your choices. Whether you’re looking to address complications, change size or type, or update aged implants, we’re here to guide you every step of the way.

Importance of Follow-up Care

Follow-up care is crucial for a smooth recovery and optimal results. We emphasize the importance of post-operative appointments to monitor your healing process and address any concerns that may arise. Our commitment to your well-being extends beyond the surgery room; we’re dedicated to supporting you through your entire recovery journey.

Achieving Desired Outcomes

Our mission is to help you achieve the results you desire, ensuring that you feel more confident and comfortable in your skin. By combining our expertise in implant replacement with a commitment to personalized care, we aim to provide outcomes that meet or exceed your expectations.

Choosing the right surgeon is a pivotal step in your implant replacement journey. With Dr. Mark Anton and the team at OC Breast Surgery, you’re choosing a group of professionals dedicated to safety, excellence, and delivering results that align with your vision. Let us be part of your journey to achieving the beautiful, natural-looking results you deserve.