Breast Implant Removal And ExchangePatients should be aware that while results with breast implants are long lasting, they are not permanent.  You may need to undergo implant removal and exchange plastic surgery at some point in the future. It is important to understand that breasts will change over time due to aging, gravity, hormonal factors, and weight fluctuations. 

If your breast implants get damaged or the breast appearance becomes less than satisfactory in the future, you may consider breast implant removal or exchange to restore more natural looking breasts. 

Virginia Institute of Plastic Surgery, led by board certified plastic surgeons Dr. Burton M. Sundin and Dr. Reps B. Sundin, provides breast implant removal and exchange to patients in Richmond, Fredericksburg, Northern Virginia, and surrounding locations.


What is Breast Implant Exchange?

Breast implant exchange is a plastic surgery procedure to replace (or remove) the original implants from the breast tissue. Some women may need this surgery for medical reasons, while others may choose it for their cosmetic needs.

If the patient only wants implant removal, she may additionally have to undergo breast lift surgery to restore the youthful firmness of the breasts. But in most cases, women choose breast implant replacement, where the old or damaged implant is replaced with a new one according to the patient’s unique preferences and breast anatomy. 


Need for Breast Implant Exchange 

Breast implant removal or exchange plastic surgery may be required for aesthetic reasons if the implants no longer match with your lifestyle or you feel the need for a different type or size of implant. Sometimes a woman may want to switch from saline to silicone implants, or from silicone to ultra cohesive silicone. 

Implant exchange or removal may also become necessary if a woman experiences implant damage, leakage, capsular contracture, displacement, rupture, rippling, or another implant complication. 


Surgical Procedure 

In case of breast implant removal, the surgeon will typically approach the existing implant through the same incisions that were used for breast augmentation. The procedure may be completed in less than one hour if only removal is performed.

Breast implant replacement may involve some additional work, especially if the patient has chosen a different size or shape of implants in place of the old ones. The surgeon may have to create a new breast pocket where the new implant can be placed. 

An independent breast implant removal is often accompanied by breast lift, which will address the skin laxity and reposition the sagging or deflated breasts as well as nipples after the implants are removed. 

In a few cases, the surgeon may recommend an en bloc capsulectomy technique for breast implant removal. With this procedure, the entire scar tissue is removed with the implant inside remaining intact. This technique is particularly useful where silicone implant removal is involved. 



Immediately after the surgery, the breasts will be wrapped in bandages. Within a few days, the patient will be required to wear a surgical bra, which she should use for several weeks until the breasts firm up. Most patients can return to their normal routine in about one to two weeks after the surgery.

Plastic surgeons at VIPS receive patients from Richmond, Fredericksburg, Northern Virginia, and nearby areas for breast implant removal and exchange surgery.

For more information on the surgical and non-surgical procedures and treatments by Board Certified Cosmetic Plastic Surgeons Dr. Reps Sundin and Dr. Burton Sundin please visit

Serving Richmond, VA, Fredricksburg, Williamsburg, Northern Virginia, Washington DC, Vienna, McLean, Fairfax, Loudoun County, Ashburn, Tysons Corner, Reston, Arlington and surrounding communities.

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