For women undergoing breast implant revision, whether you can reuse your implants depends on the state of the implant and your reason for undergoing revision surgery. While implants can sometimes be reused in your breast implant revision, at other times, the implants should be replaced entirely.
The most important aspect of reusing implants is proper sterilization. Beyond routine sterilization, whether an implant can be reused typically depends on the issues being addressed by your revision surgery.
In the case of malposition, such as bottoming out (when implants have dropped too low), lateral displacement (when implants have moved to the outer edges of the chest) or synmastia (when implants are too close together), implants can generally be safely reused because the issue concerns implant placement, not a problem with the implant itself. A skilled breast revision specialist will be able to adjust the pocket accordingly, maintain implant sterility, and reinsert it.
On the other hand, when revision surgery is needed because of an issue with the implant itself, reuse is not recommended. Implants that have leaked or ruptured should be discarded and replaced by new implants. Implants should also be replaced in the case of capsular contracture, the hardening of scar tissue surrounding the implant. In such cases, the implant may have developed a layer of bacteria on its surface that cannot be fully removed. Reusing the implant could increase risk of recurring capsular contracture.
Reusing implants can be perfectly safe if handled correctly, and there are no ruptures or questions of contamination issues. It’s best to heed the advice of your plastic surgeon when it comes to reusing or replacing your implants during breast revision surgery.
With over 25 years of active practice, Dr. Michael Halls is recognized as a leader in breast surgery procedures in Southern California. Dr. Halls graduated Alpha Omega Alpha and Cum Laude from Medical School in Canada and completed seven further years of training in Plastic Surgery Residencies and Fellowships including two years in Boston at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital.
He is Board Certified in Plastic Surgery in the United States (FACS) and Canada (FRCS(C)) and is an active member in international, national, and local societies for breast and plastic surgery. Dr. Halls has published multiple papers in journals and texts over the past four decades and has appeared on many local and national TV programs.