What is a Breast Implant Exchange?

A Breast implant exchange is a surgical procedure that removes or replaces existing breast implants placed during breast augmentation. Breast implants are not meant to be lifetime devices and may need to be changed throughout the course of ones life.


Reasons For Breast Implant Exchange

The procedure may be indicated for medical reasons or it may be the patient’s personal choice. Breast Implants are not intended to be liftetime devices.

1. Desire Smaller Breasts:  We see many patients who, as they age, desire smaller breasts.They’re in a phase of life where they desire a breast size appropriate to their age. This is a fairly simple straightforward procedure. The patient and Dr. McDonald discuss the desirable size, then the doctor is able to remove the exisiting implants and replace with a new implants at the same time.

2. Medical Reasons: Complications with existing breast implants may necessitate their removal. Complications can include breast implant rupture, capsular contracture, implant displacement, and more recently, the placement of textured implants. (Read here about the textured implant recall) These complications are typically discovered when a patient experiences breast pain or hardening, leading them to get MRIs.  If you have a recent MRI, mammogram or ultrasound, be sure to bring copies to your consultation with Dr. McDonald.

3. Remove Completely: Some patients want to be rid of implants all together, and opt to get them removed completely. When breast augmentation is first performed, the skin stretches to accommodate the implants. Once removed, it is likely that your skin will not shrink back to a satisfactory state. As a result, it is common that a breast lift (mastopexy) is necessary to achieve an aesthetically pleasing shape. 


What is the Cost for Breast Implant Exchange?

An Implant Exchange can range from $5,600-$7,490.  The cost varies based on the facility chosen by the patient, the type of new implants and whether or not a lift will be performed.


Does Insurance Cover Breast Implant Exchange?

The original reason for getting your breast implants matters to health insurance companies. If your implants were put in after a mastectomy or your doctor believes that removing your implants is medically necessary, then it’s possible your health insurance will cover your breast implant removal.

If the original reason for getting breast implants was for augmentation of healthy breasts, it’s possible some health insurance companies will cover the implant removal surgery if they consider the services to be medically necessary. Look into your policy details and call your member benefits to learn more information.