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smileSome women contemplate getting breast implants for months or years before finally pursuing their dreams of an increased bust size. But even patients who conscientiously research breast augmentation and schedule multiple consultations with different surgeons sometimes decide to undergo a second procedure to exchange their implants.

Aside from any medical complications, here are the 6 most common cosmetic reasons a woman may decide to get different implants:

  1. Second thoughts about size: Deciding on the size of implants is a difficult choice for many patients. Some women have a specific appearance in mind when they first think about getting alterations, but they decide later they prefer a different look. Some patients tend to be conservative when first getting implants, only to realize that they want to increase the implant size. Others feel that downsizing will provide a look that’s more in harmony with their bodies. This is perhaps the top reason women swap out their implants.
  2. Opting for silicone: Many women with saline implants are choosing to exchange them for the newer generation of silicone gel implants. As the breast augmentation specialists at The Plastic Surgery Group in Albany, NY point out on their website, “The latest cohesive silicone gel implants are very popular right now because many women think they look and feel more like natural breasts than saline implants.” Many patients may not have had silicone implants as an option when they had their initial breast augmentation surgeries, because they weren’t available in the U.S. until 2006. Now, silicone is the far more popular choice.
  3. Newer technology: Even women who already have silicone implants decide to exchange them for new advanced technologies. The newer implants are more durable and look and feel more natural than silicone implants available even 5 years ago.
  4. Changing shape: Until fairly recently, all implants were round. Now, anatomically shaped implants that more closely resemble a breast’s natural teardrop appearance are available. Women who want their breasts to appear fuller at the bottom can exchange round implants for the shaped options.
  5. Revising placement: As patients learn when they initially get breast augmentation, the implants are placed inside pockets created by the plastic surgeon during the procedure. The pocket is made either above the pectoral muscle, so the implant is covered only by the existing breast tissue, or behind the muscle. A patient who opted for saline implants inserted above the muscle (called subglandular placement) may notice implant wrinkles or rippling that’s visible under the breast skin. Changing to a submuscular placement eliminates that issue in most cases.
  6. Giving the breasts a boost: Even with implants, your breasts are subject to changes over time. Changes occur due to aging, fluctuating weight, hormonal factors, and gravity. Women may decide that they are dissatisfied with the appearance of their breasts and choose to have new implants placed in a higher position that gives the breasts a more youthful contour. In some cases a breast lift may be combined with the implant exchange to achieve the desired look.

Alternative types of implants

Breast implants are medical devices and, while extremely durable, they do wear out over time. That may happen in 10 to 15 years or more. But elective implant exchange is a procedure that many women choose even earlier to get the look they want.

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