Breast Implant Change Under Local?

I am wanting to upsize my breast implants. I consulted one PS that said it would be very quick and simple to just swap them via transaxial since no other work was needed. I think he said he would do it with just local anesthesia but I might have just heard him wrong. My question is 'can this procedure be done with just a local'? It would be awesome if I were awake during procedure. Thanks in advance for your your response

Doctor Answers 16

Breast surgery under local anesthesia

Revisionary breast implant surgery can certainly be done under local anesthesia, especially something as straightforward as a size change.  I have done it many times.  It is pretty easy to numb the entire breast with local anesthesia.


San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Breast Implant Exchange under Local

Yes, the operation can be done under local. However transaxillary approaches are tough this way.

If any pocket modification is necessary, than sedation will be necessary.

You should be prepared for this just in case.

Good Luck!

Dr. Chris Saunders

Christopher Saunders, MD
Wilmington Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Swapping implants under local.

This certainly can be done under local anesthesia as long as you are adequately anesthetized and comfortable.  However if the pocket needs to be manipulated for a larger size implant this may be much more difficult to perform.

Breast implant exchange under local

Thank you for your question. Both types of anesthesia can provide a safe and comfortable platform for breast implant exchange surgery, particularly if very little is being done to change the pocket. It is more important that you feel comfortable with your surgeon and the surgical plan as this is ultimately what you will be remembering after the procedure.

Breast Implant Exchange Under Local Anesthesia

If changing breast implants were done without any pocket modification, then it could easily be done under local anesthesia particularly through an inframammary fold incision. It becomes a bit more challenging (uncomfortable) to do that through a transaxillary approach so I would think that through very carefully. You want to have a successful and comfortable breast implant exchange procedure...not see how far you can push it with local anesthesia.

Implant swapping under local anesthesia is not ideal

I would offer sedation to any revisionary breast implant patient - its more comfortable for the patient and I can certainly do a better job for a sedated patient. Doing an implant swap under local anesthesia from the axillary approach seems very challenging. I would discuss this with your plastic surgeon.

Implant Size Change Under Local

I choose not to perform transaxillary augmentations, so I cannot definitely answer your question.  However, there would be no problem doing this exchange via an infra-areolar or inframammary incision, so I think that should be the case with a transaxillary approach.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Breast implant change (axillary) under local? Probably not.

Our office prefers to have patients under general anesthesia for these types of procedures.  The transaxillary approach will also increase the difficulty.  Best to see a few board certified plastic surgeons before committing to surgery.  Please do not let cost be the deciding factor.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Breast implant exchange under local not a good idea

I do not think it is a good idea to have a breast implant exchange procedure done under local anesthesia only.  This could create a significant amount of discomfort for you as a patient.  Please visit with a board certified PS to learn more about your options.  

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

FAlce hope

Exchanging implants under local via a transaxillary incision is not a good idea.

The implant pocket probable will need to be enlarged by cutting the capsule, seeing this adequately through the axilla or with an endoscope and to do it under local would not work.  

Walter D. Gracia, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.