Is There a Lot of Swelling After a Breast Implant Exchange?

Doctor Answers 6

Swelling after implant exchange

Usually there is less than after the initial surgery as a pocket is already present. But if there is a lot of dissection necessary to make the pocket larger or the capsule is being removed, there can be significant swelling. Your doctor should be able to give you some idea of how much swelling you should expect.

Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
3.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Swelling after implant exchange

It all depends on how much surgery is done to complete the exchange. If the implants are simply removed and new implants placed into the same capsular pocket, there is little to no post operative swelling. If a portion or all of the capsule is removed or if a new pocket is created, there may be notable swelling that could persist for several months. 

Wm. Todd Stoeckel, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Swelling after implant exchange

This really depends on the extent of the surgery.  If is just an exchange, same size should be minimal to none.  If the pocket is manipulated to accommodate a larger implant than the issue is what took place in the pocket,  If a capsulotomy, just opening the pocket, should not be major swelling.  If a capsulectomy, removing the scar tissue surrounding the implant, than I would expect more swelling.  I dress my patients after surgery with ace bandages circumferentially as a tube top and this helps to minimize swelling,

Roger J. Friedman, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews


Yes, having swelling is very typical after a remove and replace of implants. It takes 6-9 months for that swelling to subside.

Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Swelling after Removal/Replacement of Breast Implants?

Thank you for the question.

Generally speaking, there is not a lot of swelling after removal/replacement of breast implants.  Most patients tolerate this procedure very well with less discomfort/recovery time than  was present  after the initial breast augmentation procedure. However, if additional work (capsular work)  is performed additional swelling can be expected.

 I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Degree Of Swelling After Implant Switching

In general, there is less swelling after implant switching.  This, however, is sometimes the problem.  Since all implants have a capsule around them and since this capsule is like the inside of a baggie, any fluid (blood or transudate) will sit in this baggie, and not necessarily get absorbed.  Therefore, I always put a drain in, bring it out through the axilla (armpit) and leave it in for a couple days.  

If there is a capsular contracture or the pocket has to be enlarged for one reason or another, then you can expect a greater degree of swelling.   

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.