San Francisco Revision Breast Implant Surgeon

Premier San Francisco plastic surgeon Dr. Kenneth Bermudez, MD has extensive expertise in breast surgery, including revision breast augmentation surgery. Revision breast surgery is typically more complicated than the initial breast enhancement surgery, so it is crucial to have a well-qualified plastic surgeon, such as Dr. Bermudez, perform the procedure.

Breast Implant Exchange

Revision breast augmentation surgery usually involves replacing the existing breast implants with new breast implants, a technique referred to as “breast implant exchange.” However, a patient may desire revision breast surgery for any number of reasons, including:

  • Unsatisfactory results from a different, under-qualified cosmetic surgeon

  • Desire for larger- or smaller-sized breast implants

  • Desire for a different type or shape of breast implants

  • Breast implant rupture (which can range from an extremely subtle leak to full deflation)

  • Capsular contracture (a condition in which scar tissue forms around the implant)

  • Shifting of breast implant position

  • Change in breast tissue, due to skin stretching, weight loss, weight gain, pregnancy, etc.

Dr. Kenneth Bermudez, MD can treat patients seeking breast implant exchange in San Francisco or even those who simply want to remove their breast implants entirely. During your initial consultation, Dr. Bermudez will review your unique medical and surgical history, as well as your aesthetic desires for your breasts. He will then recommend a breast surgery option to best meet your needs.

Who is a Candidate for Breast Implant Exchange?

The most appropriate candidates for revision breast surgery involving implant exchange have seriously considered both the possible risks and the rewards of the procedure. They have reasonable expectations and goals for revision breast surgery, seeking to improve, not necessarily perfect, certain aspects of their breast profile. Suitable candidates for breast implant exchange (or removal) are in good overall physical and emotional health, and they have decided to pursue revision breast surgery for personal reasons, not to please someone else.

Contact our plastic surgery office to learn more about candidacy for breast implant exchange surgery.

Breast Implant Exchange Procedure

During your consultation, Dr. Bermudez will discuss the concerns that led you to seek revision breast surgery, including how satisfied you are with your breast size, shape, and positioning. He will also inquire about any surgical complications you may be experiencing or if there is anything specific that you want to change about the appearance of your breasts. He takes this information into account when formulating a customized revision surgery treatment plan to address your needs and concerns.

The exact nature of your revision breast surgery, including the duration of your procedure and recovery period, varies depending on individual factors, such as: if you would like a breast implant exchange; if you want to remove the implants all together; or if you would like a different breast implant placement approach (e.g., shifting implants from under the breast tissue to under the pectoral, or chest, muscle).

In general, however, the procedure is performed under general anesthesia or a combination of local anesthesia and a sedative. It usually takes Dr. Bermudez about three hours to complete the revision breast surgical procedure, which is similar to the initial breast augmentation procedure, aside from any changes to be made in this secondary process.

Breast Implant Exchange Recovery

The recovery period following breast implant exchange surgery is similar to recovering from the initial breast augmentation procedure. However, symptoms may be more intense while you recover from revision breast surgery, as secondary surgical procedures are generally more complex.

Patients may experience moderate to significant pain and discomfort during the first four or five days immediately following the revision procedure. The treated area might be bruised, swollen, tender or numb. These are normal symptoms that can be relieved by applying cold packs and taking oral pain medication as directed by Dr. Bermudez. Patients may also experience changes in nipple sensation, including a tingling sensation, temporary numbness or permanent numbness.

Those who have undergone revision breast surgery should expect to take about a week off from work or their daily routine. During this time, they should rest as much as possible, avoid direct stimulation to the breasts and avoid any rigorous activity, such as heavy lifting. Dr. Bermudez will advise patients when they can begin to slowly resume their normal activities, including their exercise routine.

Contact our practice today to schedule a consultation.

Possible Complications

There are risks associated with any type of surgery, including revision breast surgery. Although Dr. Bermudez takes every safeguard available to minimize the risks associated with breast implant exchange, possible complications include:

  • Negative or allergic reaction to anesthesia

  • Excessive bleeding

  • Blood clots

  • Infection

  • Slow healing

  • Scar asymmetry

  • Breast asymmetry

  • Changes in nipple sensitivity, including persistent numbness

  • Possible interference with breastfeeding

  • Capsular contracture (i.e., development of scar tissue around the breast implant)

  • Breast implant rippling

  • Breast implant rupture

Also, patients with silicone breast implants must undergo a breast imaging exam (i.e., ultrasound or MRI) every three years after the first breast enhancement procedure to check breast health.

During your consultation, Dr. Bermudez will review all potential complications related to revision breast surgery. He will provide instructions that you can follow to help minimize potential complications.


Revision breast surgery, including breast implant exchange, can correct bothersome aspects of your initial breast enhancement procedure, restoring your self-confidence. Specifically, revision breast surgery can:

  • Replace ruptured breast implants or older-generation implants

  • Soften the feel of breast implants hardened by capsular contracture

  • Lift breast implants that have migrated downward

  • Restore fullness in the upper area of breasts

  • Improve the look of implant rippling

  • Lessen the ability to feel breast implants through the skin

  • Correct breast asymmetry

  • Correct the positioning of breast implants, including symmastia (breasts that look joined in the middle)

  • Create a more natural look overall

  • Restore self-confidence

  • Provide additional clothing options

Perkier breasts are one of many perks that patients experience after revision breast surgery, including breast implant exchange in San Francisco with expert breast surgeon Dr. Bermudez.

Contact Our Revision Breast Implant Surgeon Today

In addition to revision breast augmentation surgery, Dr. Kenneth Bermudez, MD is highly sought after for his female breast reduction surgery, male breast reduction surgery and breast reconstruction options. The San Francisco plastic surgeon is also a respected authority on a range of plastic surgery procedures, including facial rejuvenation procedures such as facelift surgery and body contouring procedures such as tummy tuck surgery in San Francisco. Please schedule a personal consultation to find out more about these treatments.

Breast implant exchange FAQs

Why would I need breast implant exchange surgery?

Breast implant exchange surgery involves removing and replacing your existing breast implants for several different reasons. Some women undergo the procedure because they wish to change the size, shape, type, or position of their existing breast implants.

Other women have the surgery due to complications like implants that rupture or shift, or those that have capsular contracture (a condition that occurs when the body forms a hard, protective tissue capsule around the implant).

If you are thinking of having breast implant exchange surgery, schedule a private consultation with Dr. Kenneth Bermudez, MD. He will be able to answer any questions you may have about the procedure and discuss your goals for the surgery.

Do I need to have my breast implants replaced after ten years?

There is no hard and fast rule on when breast implants need to be replaced. The average lifespan of breast implants (both saline and silicone) are between 10 and 20 years. In fact, only a reported 20% of women need breast implant exchange surgery after 10 years due to complications with their existing implants.

To properly gauge whether you need breast implant exchange surgery, continue to have your breasts checked periodically by your surgeon, and perform breast self-exams regularly. Consult your physician about any breast changes and/or discomfort.

Can I remove my breast implants without replacing them?

Yes in such cases, depending on the patient, Dr. Bermudez may suggest performing a breast lift procedure to get rid of any excess, loose breast skin and tissue.

In cases where capsular contracture has occurred, and a patient wishes to have her implants removed without being replaced, Dr. Bermudez will perform an en bloc capsulectomy. This procedure removes the implant, along with the scar tissue capsule that has formed around it, all in one piece.

Moreover, if you don’t want your implants anymore, but you want to maintain the size of your breasts, fat grafting (using your own body’s fat) can be performed to maintain your look and give you a natural augmentation, without implants!

What type of anesthesia is used in breast implant exchange surgery?

Dr. Bermudez performs the breast implant exchange procedure with the patient under general anesthesia or, in some cases, using local anesthesia and a sedative.

During your pre-surgery consultation with Dr. Bermudez, he will discuss this and other details with you regarding the breast implant exchange procedure. At that time, you can also ask any questions you may have about the surgery.

What is the recovery like for breast implant exchange surgery?

You can expect a moderate to a significant amount of pain and swelling for up to five days after surgery. This can be relieved by OTC medication and cold packs applied to the area. Expect to take 3-5 days off work in order to heal properly. Patients should avoid heavy lifting and vigorous exercise for about 4-6 weeks after surgery. Dr. Bermudez will assess the progress of your healing and provide individualized instructions for a full and optimal recovery. What type of scars can I expect from breast implant exchange surgery?

The breast implant exchange procedure typically uses the same incision points as your original breast augmentation procedure, and therefore no new scarring will occur. In cases where additional incisions are needed, they will be placed in unnoticeable areas like under the curve of your breast or around the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple).

Will my breast implant exchange results be permanent?

The results of a breast implant exchange are long-lasting, but they are not permanent. Losing and gaining weight, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and the effects of aging will all have an impact on the appearance of your breasts.

How much does breast implant exchange surgery cost?

The cost of a breast implant exchange can vary, though the procedure typically costs anywhere from $8,000 to12,000+.

What should I keep in mind when looking for a breast implant
exchange surgeon near me?

When choosing a surgeon to perform your breast implant exchange, it’s important to do your homework. Start by knowing the difference between a cosmetic surgeon and a board-certified plastic surgeon. Where cosmetic surgeons are medical doctors with some education and training on cosmetic procedures, a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Bermudez has spent several years in specialized training and surgical residencies that focus on plastic surgery. Being board certified also means that the plastic surgeon has been vetted by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and found to be a highly skilled surgeon who maintains the highest level of patient care and safety.