Palm Desert Plastic Surgery Blog

Breast Implant Exchange Surgery

Breast Implant Exchange SurgeryAlthough the success rates in breast implant cosmetic surgery have dramatically improved over the years, but complications may still arise at some point after the primary procedure. In such cases, the patient will usually have the option to get breast implants exchanged, or have them entirely removed to restore the original, natural breast appearance.

Breast implant exchange surgery can be more complex than the primary procedure. Therefore, only an experienced breast surgeon should perform it. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Suzanne Quardt (Dr. Q) provides breast implant exchange surgery to patients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, and surrounding communities.


Implant Exchange Procedure

Breast implant exchange plastic surgery will be performed in a similar way as the primary breast augmentation procedure. The surgeon will usually prefer to use the old incision lines to remove damaged implants and replace them with new ones. This will ensure that no new scarring occurs after implant exchange procedure.

But if the new exchange implants are of a different type or size, or the positioning of implants is changed, it may become necessary to surgically adjust breast pockets through a new incision. Breast implant exchange is often accompanied by breast lift surgery, particularly if the exchange is performed several years after the primary procedure.

The aging effects over the years may cause the breast skin to become loose. Therefore, if the woman is receiving implant exchange many years after the primary augmentation, she may have to undergo breast lift as an additional surgery to achieve optimal aesthetic outcomes.

The choice of new implants will make a vital difference to the final results. Therefore, in breast implant exchange procedure, the patient should closely interact with the surgeon to determine the causes of primary implant failure, and choose the new implants with greater caution.


Choosing Between Exchange and Removal

Breast implant exchange is usually a simpler procedure than removal surgery. The risk of infection and bleeding is reduced because implant exchange will be less invasive surgery. However, in cases where the patient is having pain symptoms, arthritis or another autoimmune disease, the surgeon may recommend implant removal over implant exchange.

Experienced cosmetic surgeon Dr. Q receives patients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, and nearby areas for breast implant exchange surgery.


Combining with Breast Lift

If the patient wants to exchange large sized implants with relatively smaller ones, it can create a sagging appearance in the breast. In such situations, the surgeon may recommend a breast lift surgery in conjunction with breast implant exchange.



Recovery in breast implant exchange surgery can vary according to the complexity of the individual case. If the implant removal is accompanied by removal of scar tissue, the post-operative discomfort may be somewhat higher. The surgeon will prescribe pain meds for the first few days to keep the patient comfortable.

Most patients can return to their work or resume their daily activities in about a week to 10 days. Soreness in the breast area will remain for a few days after implant exchange, but will dissipate on its own.  

To learn more about the plastic surgery treatments and procedures performed by Dr. Suzanne Quardt (Dr. Q) please contact us at 760-324-2660. To learn more about Dr. Q’s Medical Spa please visit

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Rancho Mirage

Newport Beach

70-017 Highway 111, Suite #1
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
Tel: 760-537-4579

1101 Bayside Drive
Suite 200
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625
Tel: (949) 674-4058