Breast Procedure

Implant Exchange / Removal

Implants will often need to be replaced after 10 or 15 years, as this is their expected ‘shelf-life’. For some patients, capsular contracture (hardening of the scar tissue around the implants)  develops, which can alter the shape and feel of the breasts, as well as causing discomfort. Implant exchange will usually involve removing the capsule as well as changing the implants themselves. The implant plane might need changing from over the muscle to under, or vice-versa.

An uplift or reduction in breast tissue might also be combined here, as often the breast tissue and skin has been stretched and might have drooped over the years.

This is also a good opportunity to reduce breast size, something that is gaining popularity in recent years.

At a Glance

Treatment Time

Implant exchange / removal usually takes around 1 - 2 hours, oor longer, depemding on what other procedures are needed. We use a general anaesthetic and you can usually go home on the same day.

Reasons for Doing This

To replace old implants, to correct capsular contracture, to improve discomfort, or to achieve a more desirable shape and size of the breasts.


You may find that you’ll need to take 2 weeks off work. You may find that you’re reasonably mobile within 1 day but low activity levels will be required.

Sport & Exercise

Sports and exercise may need to be avoided for approx. 4 - 6 weeks, depending on the surgery.


In many cases only 1 procedure is required for long-term results.

Reasons to Avoid

If you have any doubts. Our team of experts will provide support and guidance all the way through your treatment journey; using the consultation to determine your suitability and your certainty.

Prices from


Prices from


Real Plastic Surgery - Implant exchange removal

What to expect on the day

The surgeon will aim to make incisions in the same place as the previous surgery. The implants can then be removed, as well as any hardened scar tissue (capsule). If new implants are to be inserted, the surgeon may be able to use the same approach as before, placing them in the same position.

If different sized implants are requested the technique can be adapted to suit. The positioning of the breasts can be improved and breast implant exchange / removal can also incorporate other procedures, such as an uplift (mastopexy).

Not all patients feel they want to replace old implants with new ones. In this case, the breasts can be reshaped and any excess skin can be removed to create natural looking breasts, without implants.

Showering after implant exchange / removal.

As part of our aftercare advice REAL plastic surgery will recommend that you do not shower for around 1 week after the procedure. The breasts will have dressings applied and the wounds will need to be allowed to heal before you can get them wet.

Follow up and aftercare.

Before you leave the clinic we will make a follow up appointment. This is 1 week after the procedure and we will assess how well your wounds are healing. Other aftercare instructions may include: not driving until it is comfortable to wear a seat belt, avoiding heavy lifting, not going to the gym for 4 – 6 weeks and taking 1 – 2 weeks off work.

What to expect on the day

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a number of reasons why a person requires surgery to exchange or remove their implants. In many cases the implants are 10 or 15 years old and will need to be removed for health and safety reasons. If you were considered to be suitable for implants to be inserted, you should also be suitable to have them removed.

We aim to use the same incision locations as the previous implant surgery so there should be no new scars. This depends, of course, on being able to use a similar approach to the previous procedure. 

Just because you wanted implants at one time, it doesn’t mean you have to replace them with new ones. People often change their mind as they get older and the appearance they once wanted to achieve, doesn’t fit with their more mature style / image. Our surgeons can adapt the procedure to create natural looking breasts that do not require the use of implants.

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