Breast Implant Exchange

Consultations offered at our five convenient locations in Harley Street, London, Princess Margaret Hospital, (Windsor), Spire Thames Valley, (Gerrards Cross), Kings' Oak Hospital, (Enfield) and Refresh Medispa, (Amersham)

Breast implant exchange is a very common cosmetic surgery procedure. There are many reasons why patients choose to have their breast implants exchanged with Maisam Fazel.

Before and After Photos

Before and After Photos

At a Glance

  • Duration: 1.25 hours
  • Daycase / Overnight: Daycase
  • Type of Anaesthetic: GA
  • Bra / Garment to be worn for: 6 weeks
  • Return to Work (depending on job): 4-5 days
  • Return to Gym: 2 weeks (lower body) 6 weeks (upper body)


Even though breast augmentation with implants consistently remains Maisam Fazel’s most sought after cosmetic surgery procedure with highly satisfied patients, breast implants are not considered a lifetime device. There are several reasons why a patient may decide to have their breast implants exchanged:

  • desiring a change in size or shape of the implants
  • changes to body shape (post pregnancy or weight change)
  • breast firmness or pain as a result of capsular contracture
  • ruptured implants
  • age of the implants


Breast implant replacement surgery requires careful thought and planning to ensure patients achieve their desired look. Maisam Fazel’s extensive experience allows him to produce beautiful results which take into account changes that have occurred from the previous augmentation.

Typically, the previous scar is reopened and the old implant is removed with its entire capsule (en bloc capsulectomy) if present. The breast pocket is then washed with an antibiotic solution before new implants are placed. The new implants tend to be a little larger to take up some of the loose skin arising from the previous augmentation.

Maisam Fazel may sometimes recommend combining breast implant exchange surgery with other procedures such as a breast lift or fat transfer to the breast.


How is the new breast implant selected?

This is one of the most important aspects of the consultation. To determine the most appropriate implant, the patient’s existing breast tissue, body frame and aesthetic expectations are taken into account. Typically, Maisam Fazel suggests placing slightly larger implants when performing breast implant exchange surgery. Usually this does not result in a change in cup size. If smaller implants are desired, Maisam Fazel may suggest combining this with skin tightening or a breast lift procedure.

Does Maisam Fazel need the details of the existing breast implants?

Although details of a patient’s existing breast implants can be useful, Maisam Fazel plans the implant exchange surgery based on the patient’s current anatomy and can suggest new implant sizes based on this information and on his extensive experience in this area.

What implant brands does Maisam Fazel use?

No one implant is suitable for all patients and thus Maisam Fazel uses a variety of implant brands based on the patient’s aesthetic goals and anatomical considerations.  However, Maisam Fazel will only use implants with a proven strong track record of safety. The implants that he frequently uses include Mentor, B-lite, Motiva and Nagor.

Are silicone breast implants safe?

While any surgical procedure carries certain risks, there are also certain risks associated specifically to a breast augmentation with implants.  Recently, there has been a link made between textured breast implants and a condition known as Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). The lymphoma forms in the capsule (scar tissue) that surrounds the breast implant. BIA-ALCL is very rare and tends to respond well to treatment. Currently, the advice from the UK government is that BIA-ALCL poses a very small risk. Maisam Fazel will discuss this in detail during the consultation.
Separately, very rarely, some patients report a wide range of auto-immune like symptoms which they attribute to their breast implants. Although this is not recognised as a disease, these symptoms are collectively called Breast Implant Illness. Many of these patients report feeling much better once the implants are removed together with the entire capsule, in a procedure known as an en bloc capsulectomy, which Maisam Fazel is an expert in.

Do breast implants have to be changed?

All the implants used by Maisam Fazel are of a very high quality and do not need to be routinely changed unless there is an issue with them or if the patient wants a change. Conversely, a breast implant is not considered a lifetime device and thus surgery may be required in the future to replace the implants.

Is a breast lift needed with implants?

This depends on the position of the nipple in relation the main volume of the breast tissue as well as its relation to the breast crease. Maisam Fazel can advise on the need for this after examination. If needed, Maisam Fazel is happy to perform a breast lift at the same time as a breast augmentation using either a lollipop (vertical) lift or his famous donut (periareolar) lift.