Breast Surgery

Breast Implant Removal & Replacement

at Cadogan Clinic, London’s Leading Cosmetic Surgery Specialists. 

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We've won 12 top industry awards since 2010 and regularly feature in the national and international press.

Industry Leading Consultants

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All of our surgeons are registered with the General Medical Council.

Medically Reviewed April 2023, by Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396) - founder of the Cadogan Clinic and one of the world's leading plastic surgeons

What is Breast Implant Replacement?

Breast implant Replacement surgery is breast surgery that involves removing old breast implants and replacing them with new implants.  This procedure may be done to correct complications or in combination with other procedures, most commonly a breast lift or mastopexy. Implants can also be replaced to change the size or shape of the breasts if your preferences change with time.

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Common reasons for Breast Implant Replacement include:

  • Cosmetic reasons, e.g. change size/shape, restore symmetry
  • Complications, e.g. capsular contracture, rupture
  • Replace old or aged implants
  • Replace PIP Implants
  • As part of combination surgery, e.g. breast lift 

Breast Implant Replacement
At a glance

Surgery Time

1 - 2 hours

Time off work

1 - 2 weeks

Hospital Stay

Day Case


Shower after 1 week

Reasonable Mobility

1 day


6 weeks

Bras & Garments

Sports bra worn for 8 weeks

Sexual Activity

Restricted activity after 4 weeks

Sleeping on back

Sleeping on back recommended for 1-2 weeks

Full Recovery

6 - 8 weeks


1 - 2 weeks

Before and after

What does it involve?

Breast implant replacement surgery typically takes place under general anaesthetic and lasts between 1 to 2 hours depending on the size and shape of the new breast implants, the technique your surgeon employs and whether combination surgery is undergone at the same time.

Your surgeon will start the procedure by removing the original implants via incisions made on the original scar site. If the new implant is similar in terms of size and shape, then the existing capsule will suffice and replacement surgery can be quick.

If the new implant is different from the original implant, then surgery is more complex as the capsule will need to be altered (either enlarged or reduced) in order to accommodate the new implant.

Once the new implant is in place, your surgeon will suture the breast along the your existing scarring line to leaving minimal scarring.

Who is suitable?

Cadogan Clinic considers individuals fit for the procedure, if all of the following are true of them:

  • You are unhappy with the size, shape or position of your implants
  • Your implants are `bottoming out` (lateral displacement)
  • Your implants have become hard to the touch and misshapen (capsular contracture)
  • Your implants have started to move or rotate creating an uneven appearance
  • Your implants have moved to creating a gap between your breasts
  • Your implants are made by PIP and you want them replaced 
  • You are having another procedure and want your implants updated at the same time

Words from our clients:

The cost of Breast Implant Replacement

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PIP Breast Implants

Regrettably, implant replacement has become increasingly popular in light of recent concerns raised around the quality of implants after the PIP controversy, when disreputable providers utilised poor-quality materials in a bid to cut costs.

The Cadogan Clinic is one of the very few facilities to have never used low-quality PIP products - sadly, other clinics have not made the same commitment to these high standards of healthcare practice in the past. As such, we are a trusted source for anyone needing implant replacement with a safe, high-quality alternative. We have built a world-leading reputation for the replacement of implants carried out by lower-end cosmetic clinics, and we strongly recommend that you contact us if you are experiencing any irritation or inflammation in your chest area and think you may have been exposed to PIP implants in the past.

If you have previously had breast implant surgery at the Cadogan Clinic, you can rest assured your implants are of the highest quality and are not PIP implants.

Breast Implant Replacement

We have invited a selection of the country's very best consultants to join us at the Cadogan Clinic so that you can be sure that whatever the nature of your treatment, you will be seeing one of the top practitioners in the country.

What to expect

Below you will find some key information to help you prepare for surgery and make necessary arrangements to ensure you have the support you need and that everything runs smoothly on the day.

The first step for all of our implant replacement patients is to meet with the surgeon we feel is best placed to perform your procedure for a consultation. At the consultation you will be able to discuss with your surgeon what your hope to achieve from the procedure, as well as discuss in detail what may or may not be possible given your existing anatomy.

Your surgeon will take you through the options available to you, and which is the most preferential for you given your stated ambitions. Having established this, several key measurements will be made and standard clinical photography will be taken.

Some questions you might like to ask include:

  • Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
  • What will be expected of me to get the best results?
  • What surgical technique is recommended for me?
  • How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
  • How can I expect my breast implant revision to look over time?
  • What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the outcome?
  • Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for this procedure?

Finally a comprehensive discussion regarding risks and complications will take place, alongside a discussion regarding what to expect in the post procedure and recovery phase. Your previous medical history will also be recorded (including previous surgery, medications, allergies etc.) and an assessment of your fitness for surgery.

If your surgeon feels you are a good candidate for surgery, you are then invited to consider whether you would like to proceed for surgery or otherwise following a two week 'cooling off' period.

Within this period you are welcome to come in and discuss your potential surgery with your surgeon as many times as you like.

If you choose to proceed with surgery, the next time you come into the Clinic after your final consultation will be the day of your procedure. Before admission the following behavioural changes are recommended / required:

  • In the 6 weeks before your procedure we recommend smoking is discontinued as patients who smoke have a higher risk of healing more slowly and complications (see FAQs)
  • In the week before your procedure you must cease taking Aspirin or any medication that contains Aspirin
  • In the 6 hours prior to surgery you must not consume food or any drink, other than small sips of clear fluid (e.g. still water, black coffee, black tea) which are allowed up to 2 hours before admission

On the day of your procedure we ask that you arrive for your admission an hour before the agreed start time of surgery. At this point a nurse will come and record blood pressure and other relevant vitals, you will meet with your anaesthetist and your surgeon who will make the final mark-ups.

The procedure itself takes place under general anaesthetic over the course of one to two hours. Your surgeon will make an incision along your existing scar site, and remove and replace the implants via this aperture in the skin. Your surgeon may need to increase the size of the capsule and the incision site, if a larger or differently shaped implant is being used. Your surgeon will then re-suture along the same scar site once surgery is complete.

You should not feel much pain during the procedure, but you may have some for a few days or weeks afterwards. You'll be given painkillers if you need them.

Following the procedure, you will recover in our ambulatory recovery rooms for between two to three hours, dependent on the scale of the procedure. Once our specialist nursing team are happy that your initial recovery is complete and you are safe to return home, you will be allowed to leave the Clinic accompanied by a friend or member of your family.

Once home you will have access to our dedicated on-call nursing team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This team of specialists are dedicated to your comfort and pain control, and are there to field any questions you may have in the immediate post operative phase.

We ask that you come in and see our nursing team 1 week after surgery to ensure your incision sites have been properly reviewed. At this juncture we also recommend you meet with one of our on site aestheticians to discuss ongoing treatment to support the healing and scarring process.

We ask that you come in to see your surgeon after 6 - 8 weeks for a final check up.

The Patient Journey. A breakdown of what you can expect on your journey with us

We are deeply invested in ensuring that every step of your surgical journey with us is as informative and reassuring to you as it can be. This article outlines what you can expect at each stage of the journey

The Patient Journey

Frequently Asked Questions

Your consultation is designed to be perfect opportunity to ask all the pressing questions that you have to your consultant, ahead of making a decision on surgery. It is vital that you are fully informed before making your final decision, and the consultation is therefore a key part of the education and decision making process.

Some good examples of questions to ask, include:

  • Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
  • Do you think my goals are realistic given my existing anatomy?
  • Will I require a single surgery or multiple surgeries?
  • Can I see some before & after pictures of implant replacement procedures you have done previously?
  • How long will my recovery take?
  • Is it true that Cadogan offers 24/7 on call nursing service?
  • What can I expect in terms of bruising, swelling and scarring?
  • What are my options if I am unhappy with my results?

After your surgery, you will be asked to come in for a post-operative appointment to come back and see our nursing staff at the Clinic between 1 and 2 weeks after your surgery. At this point your incision sites will be reviewed, and your preliminary healing will be assessed.

After 6 weeks your surgeon will personally review your progress – again at the Clinic - and make sure you are recovering as expected. In addition, they will remove any stitches and advise you on the need for further dressings.

Throughout the recovery period you will have full access to our 24/7 on call nursing service, and full access to the Clinic and our post-operative facilities.

Our aim is to make you feel as comfortable as possible during the entirety of your recovery period.

As your anaesthetic or sedation wear off you will wake up in our recovery facilities at the Clinic. You may feel a little drowsy but this often wears off within a few hours. After several hours in recovery, you will eat and hydrate. At that point, you will be allowed to leave the Clinic by our nursing staff.

It is common to feel a little pain and discomfort in the immediate aftermath of surgery. This will wear off in due course. Our 24/7 on call service is open to all patients for any question or query they may have at this time.

You will not be able to drive yourself home after the surgery. You should arrange for someone to pick you up and take you home. In addition, you will need to ask someone to stay with you for the first 24 hours after your procedure.

One of the major benefits of day case surgery and the anaesthetic used at the Cadogan Clinic (TIVA) is that recovery is typically very swift and patients can be back at work and active very shortly after the procedure. Whilst the extent of such activity should be gradually phased in, you should be back at work within a week or two and exercising within four to six weeks.

We always advise that you return to low impact activities first like walking and cycling before you are able to reintroduce more strenuous activity such as lifting heavy weights and doing intense aerobic activities.

Final results are typically first seen six or so weeks after your procedure, with ongoing improvements beyond this point likely as the healing process fully completes over the next 3 months or so.

Your surgeon will be able to give you specific guidance at your consultation.

Certain lifestyle factors can increase the risk of complications during and after your surgery. These include smoking, drinking alcohol, being overweight and taking drugs (for medical or recreational use.)

The most common impact of smoking before your surgery is that it increases your chances of developing an infection and inhibits your body's natural healing processes. We insist that all patients stop smoking and using nicotine products at least six weeks before surgery. Reducing alcohol intake is also strongly advised.

Your doctor will discuss your current BMI and drug use at your consultation and advise you further on this.

A breast implant introduces foreign material to the human body, which our body recognises and organically forms a fibrous tissue capsule around. This occurs with every breast implant surgery and is completely normal and expected.

The capsule formation process will be slightly different from person to person, however. In those who form more scar tissue (who 'scar easily'), the breasts develop an excessively hard or high volume of tissue around the breast, which may form with the muscular tissue and cause it to contract.

This is called capsular contracture, and can cause problems with the appearance of the breast implant, deforming the size, shape and proportions of the breast. The contractions themselves can also be uncomfortable for the individual. Breast implant replacement can remove the capsule (a capsulectomy) and a new implant inserted, which encourages a new, healthy capsule to be formed and the aesthetic appearance restored.

PIP implants were cheap silicone breast implants that were found to contain an unapproved silicone gel with potential health risks. They were also revealed as prone to splitting and up to six times as likely to rupture as high quality, approved implants.

PIP implants were largely used by low-cost, chain cosmetic providers due to the fact that they were the cheapest on the market. Almost 50,000 women in the UK received these implants.

Understandably, once this was found out by regulators, many women who had received the PIP implants wanted them removed or replaced, even though no link was ever directly proven to serious health complications.

During this crisis, the Cadogan Clinic became one of the most prominent corrective implant Clinics in the country, since we never used PIP products and enjoy a reputation as one of the leading specialist plastic and cosmetic clinics in the country. We continue to see PIP patients today

Signs of a ruptured implant include:

  • swelling or a lump around the breast
  • a change in the shape of the breast
  • redness, pain or a burning sensation
  • If you have any of these symptoms of a ruptured implant you should seek immediate medical advice. Typically you will require a scan to confirm you have ruptured implants.

Ruptured implants need to be removed or replaced as soon as they have been diagnosed.

Breast Implant Replacement surgery is relatively straightforward surgery.

Most implants can be removed quite easily, even under local anaesthesia. Polyurethane covered implants (Polytech) can be more difficult to extract, if one wants to remove all the foam covering.

Surgery time is commonly no more than an hour or two.

The breast will typically resume a normal shape and volume in the few weeks following surgery.

In some instances, particularly in older patients, there may be some excess skin or tissue caused by the effects of ageing or by stretching during pregnancy or weight gain.

Some patients elect to have a combination mastopexy (breast lift) at the same time to ensure to this loose skin is pre-emptively tightened around the new breast mould or even excised completely. This procedure can also ensure an optimal breast and nipple position is delivered, and that the breasts feel firmer following surgery.

Breast implants do not have an expiration date so you may not need to replace them at any stage following surgery.

Breast implant replacement surgery, or a change of implants, is typically only necessary when the breast implants no longer looks or feels good.

Sometimes a change of implants is necessary after childbirth, or due to the natural effects of ageing or following weight loss. In each instance, saggy breasts or asymmetric breasts can easily be corrected by a change of implants.

Breast Implant Removal differs from Breast Implant Replacement in so far as the implant is removed and not replaced during such surgery.

After Breast Implant Removal the skin and tissue will retract to how they were before your initial breast implant surgery, meaning that in all likelihood no additional procedure will be required to restore your previous look.

In some instances, however, natural fat transfer breast augmentation alternatives might be necessary to counteract any appearance of breast deflation or emptiness.

Breast implant removal surgery is not usually required following breast implant surgery, and is only necessary in the rare instances where there is a complication following surgery. This could be capsular contracture or a ruptured breast implant.

We would typically ask you to get a scan to confirm what has happened, before coming in for a breast implant removal consultation with your surgeon.

Breast implants do not have an expiration date. It is not the case that implants should be replaced every 10 years. Breast implants only need to be replaced if they break or rupture. If implants are looking good and feeling good there is no reason to change them.

Breast Implants only need to be replaced in the very rare case whereby they break or rupture. When a saline breast implant ruptures, it can result in a dramatic change in the appearance of the breast, which will effectively deflate, changing its size and shape. In the rare event of a silicone implant rupture, any leaks tend to stay inside the implant, so a silicone breast implant rupture is not always obvious. However a leaking silicone implant may cause pain, tenderness, numbness, swelling, burning or changes in sensation. 

Implants can also be replaced for personal reasons, including wanting to change the shape or size of the implants, breasts change due to weight loss or gain, age or having children.

If you think you require breast implant removal then we recommend you get in touch with your surgeon to discuss this immediately.

Implants that require removal or replacing must be removed addressed swiftly, particularly in the case of ruptured implants or capsular contracture.

All of our breast surgeons perform breast implant removal surgery at the Cadogan Clinic. Breast implant removal is straightforward surgery and takes no longer than one hour to complete. If you have any concerns and would like your breast implants checked for potential ruptures, please get in touch with our surgeons who can arrange an ultrasound or MRI scan for you.

The Cadogan Clinic has become a well-known provider of implant replacement services as our reputation as a trusted cosmetics provider was enhanced following the PIP scandal that implicated so many of our competitors.

As one of the few Clinics in the country not to use PIP products and insist on higher quality products, we were at the forefront of the replacement drive. It remains one of our most commonly performed surgical procedures at the Clinic to this day.

When breast implants are removed and not replaced, the skin and tissue should retract to how they were before your initial breast implant surgery, meaning that in all likelihood no additional procedure will be required to restore your previous look. However sometimes breasts can appear saggy, droopy or misshapen after breast implant removal. If this is the case, then you may want to consider a breast lift (mastopexy), which can be performed at the same time as implant removal.

Yes, you can have breast implants removed and replaced at the same time. However if you have an infection your surgeon will ask you to wait for this to clear up before putting in any new implants. This may take in the region of three months.

If you are suffering pain associated with capsular contracture, removing implants can provide almost instant pain relief. If large or over-sized implants are causing you neck or back pain, then removing these will help to alleviate this pain. If you are experiencing any symptoms of a silicone implant leak, removal will help to resolve this.

There are two types of implants, silicone and saline. Saline implants are silicone shells filled with sterile salt water (saline). Silicone implants are silicone shells filled with a plastic gel (silicone).

Silicone implants are the most popular as they look and feel more natural and are less likely to wrinkle, ripple or rupture.

Yes, implants can be removed and not replaced. A person may decide to have their implants removed and not replaced due to natural body changes or personal preference. Occasionally implants may be removed for health reasons, such as capsular contracture.

Yes it is possible to replace just one breast implant, for example in the case of implant rupture. Great care will be taken when inserting the new implant that symmetry is maintained with the other breast.

Breast implant replacement surgery takes one to two hours from start to finish. The total time depends on a number of factors, including the type of implant used and whether one or both implants are being replaced. The procedure is carried out under a general anaesthetic.

A state of the art, award winning clinic.

Founded in 2004 by world renowned plastic surgeon Mr Bryan Mayou, we now work with over 100 leading consultants and successfully treat over 20,000 patients each year. We have been winning industry awards since inception.

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All of our treatments take place at our beautiful boutique premises in Chelsea. We have six consulting rooms and five operating rooms, as well as a dedicated pre and post-operative suite, and a full team of specialist nursing staff.

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We were founded in 2004 by world renown plastic surgeon Mr Bryan Mayou, best known for his pioneering work in the area of liposuction, lasers and microvascular surgery. We continue to collaborate with pioneers in our field.

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What are the risks?

Breast Implant Replacement surgery is a safe procedure, but it is common after surgery to experience:

  • bruising and swelling
  • temporary numbness
  • a small amount of scarring

As with all surgical procedures, Breast Implant Replacement surgery carries some risk and it is possible that you might experience:

  • Nausea
  • Bleeding or Infection
  • Poor healing of incisions and scarring
  • a collection of blood underneath the skin (haematoma)
  • death of fat tissue (fat necrosis) or embolism
  • Capsular contracture
  • Implant rupture
  • ALCL

Your surgeon will discuss these risks comprehensively at your consultation and explain how likely these risks and complications are, and how they would be treated.


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My Face My Body

Best Clinic Winner

Laurel Wreath for Awards
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My Face My Body

Best Clinic Winner

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards


My Face My Body


Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards


My Face My Body

Highly Commended

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards


Aesthetics Awards

Highly Commended

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards


Aesthetics Awards


Laurel Wreath for Awards

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