Implant Exchange

Leading Up To Surgery

Medication & Supplements

Stop taking Aspirin, products that contain Aspirin, and all other supplements two weeks before surgery. This includes:

  • Alka-Seltzer
  • Anacin
  • Bufferin
  • BC or Goodies powders
  • Excedrin
  • Fish oil
  • CoQ10
  • Weight loss medication
  • Vitamin E
  • Herbal supplements
  • Meal replacements or protein shakes

Prescriptions

Please make sure to get your prescriptions filled prior to your surgery date. You will be expected to bring your prescriptions with you the day of surgery. 

The pain medication that is prescribed can cause constipation. You can start prevention as early as two days before your surgery by taking Colace, or Activia yogurt. After your surgery, you can have things like MiraLAX or Milk of Magnesia, but these should not be taken before.

If you become ill or have to postpone your surgery for any reason, please notify us as soon as possible.


Day Before Surgery

You will receive a call and email the day before your surgery with instructions regarding where and when to arrive.

This will include instructions regarding medications. 


Day Of Surgery Instructions

Food and Drink

If you are having your procedure performed under local anesthesia, it is fine to eat and drink a you normally would on the day of surgery.

If you are having your procedure performed under general anesthesia, please follow these instructions: 

  • You can brush your teeth, but do not swallow any toothpaste or liquid.
  • Do not consume candy or gum.
  • You may drink water or Gatorade (any flavor except red) up to four hours before your surgery.
  • Do not drink coffee or tea day of surgery.

Clothing

Do not wear jewelry or make-up to your surgery appointment. Wear loose, comfortable, and warm clothing. A top that zips or buttons up is preferred. You will be asked to undress from the waist up for your surgery. 

Please wear glasses instead of contacts if applicable. 

Sweat or Pajama pants are preferred. No yoga pants/leggings.

Fingernails must be short. If polished, it must be clear.

A responsible adult must take you home. You will need someone to stay with you for the first night after surgery.

Note: If you are a minor, a parent or legal guardian must accompany you.

No Taxi Cabs, Lyfts, or Ubers as your transportation home.

If you need transportation/help after surgery, the team at Metro’s Other Woman, https://www.metrosotherwoman.com/raleigh-nc, have helped our patients with care, housekeeping, dog walking, taking children to soccer practice, and everything in between.

What to expect

Once you arrive in our surgery suite, the clinical staff will discuss the details of your procedure and ask you to sign an informed consent. If applicable, you will take a pregnancy test prior to surgery.

If you are having surgery under general anesthesia, you will speak with your anesthesia provider prior to your surgery. They will go over your history with you one last time before we get started and tell you what to expect when you are in the operating room. 

From there, your surgeon will come in, discuss the procedure, and create his markings before we get started. 


After Your Surgery

What to Expect Physically

Most people have less pain with an exchange than with a breast augmentation, unless you have extra work performed to your pocket (where the implant is placed in your body) during surgery. You may feel temporary heaviness in your chest and areas of numbness (especially at your incision line). You may also feel or hear crackles in your breasts. These are air bubbles, which will gradually go away. This is all something that your surgeon will discuss with you in more detail. 

What to Expect Visually

Unless the change of implant size is significant, you likely should not have a large amount of swelling with your surgery. If you are decreasing your size by a dramatic amount, you will likely have pain from creating a smaller pocket for your implant. You may see a small amount of bloody drainage at your incision site. You will have steri-strips applied over your incision site. Please leave these in place.

Care Instructions

Sit in an upright position for the first two to three days to help with swelling.

We will provide a bra for you to wear after surgery. If it feels better without it, you can leave it off.

Do not wear an underwire or push-up bra for six weeks after your surgery. If you are given an upper band, wear it at all times, except when showering. You can wear this with or without the bra or over a t-shirt.

Wait six hours after surgery before showering. The incision area can get wet, but do not wash it directly. After your shower, gently pat the incision site dry.

If your implants are placed under the muscle, do not engage in chest exercises for six weeks after your surgery. Do not run or do any type of exercise that would cause your breast to excessively bounce for two weeks after your surgery. 

Exercise Restrictions:

  • Please ask your surgeon or nurse directly regarding your restrictions due to the differences between under and over the muscle implant placement. 

Pain Management

You can place ice packs to the upper part of your breasts to help with swelling and pain. Use for 30 minutes on then 30 minutes off to prevent frostbite. 

Do not use heating pads to help with pain. This could cause a burn. 

Resume your normal activities as you feel comfortable. If it hurts, don't do it. If it doesn't, it is ok to do. 

Medications

Stop taking aspirin, products that contain aspirin, and all other supplements two weeks before surgery.

Do not use alcoholic beverages while taking pain medication.

Note: If procedure is done under local, only Norco will be given. 

You will be prescribed three different medications.

  • Pain medication: Norco or Hydrocodone and Tylenol
    • Take one to two tablets every six hours, as needed for pain.
    • This medication contains Tylenol. Do not take additional Tylenol.
    • Do not take more than 11 in one day.
  • Anti-nausea medication to be taken prior to surgery: Zofran or Ondansetron
    • Take four tablets one hour prior to surgery.
    • After surgery, take one tablet every six hours, as needed for nausea.
  • Anti-nausea medication for extreme nausea: Phenergan or Promethazine
    • Take one tablet every four to six hours, as needed for extreme nausea.
    • Note: This may cause drowsiness. 
      Note: If procedure is done under local, only Norco will be given. 

When To Call The Office

Call the office if you have a fever over 101 degrees, experience any sudden increase in swelling (especially on one side), or notice redness around your incision sites (especially if it’s warm to the touch).


Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have to take off work?
Three to five days on average. Some women may be able to return to work the following day after simple implants, while other may require more time off if the procedure is more involved. 

How long does the procedure last?
About 45 minutes to 90 minutes depending on the type of implant exchange.

How long will I have to be in recovery?
At least 45 minutes

When can I drive again?
You can drive when you are no longer taking pain medication and feel comfortable driving again. Always consider that you would need to be able to react in case of an emergency. 

Can I sleep on my stomach after surgery?
You can sleep on your stomach as long as it doesn't cause you discomfort. Generally this will happen five to seven days after surgery. 

When can I get in a pool/beach/lake?
You can get in a pool, beach, or lake six weeks after surgery.

When can I wear a normal bra again or go shopping for a new bra? 
Wait until six weeks after surgery. We would not recommend doing this earlier due to restrictions and healing. 

What size bra will I wear after surgery?
Unfortunately, there is no black and white answer for this. Generally speaking, implant sizes that range in the mid to high 300s will increase your bra size by two. 

Do I need to buy a bra for after surgery?
After surgery, you will be given a loose-fitting bra, called a Coobie bra. If you would like multiple options, you can buy more bras like this. Do not wear bras with underwire or push-ups until six weeks after surgery. 

Can I go to a tanning bed or get spray tanned after surgery?
You can get a spray tan two weeks after surgery, but make sure your incision line is protected or covered. We do not advise patients to go to the tanning bed until six weeks after surgery. 

What can I do for scar care after surgery?
You will be given a scar gel from Skin Medica at your 6-week post-operative appointment.

What happens if I get a capsular contracture?
We do everything we know to do to prevent this from happening. In the case that it does, we typically treat it medically, and if necessary may do surgery to correct it.

Will I need to replace my implants after I have children?Most women's bodies change during pregnancy and breastfeeding. There is a possibility you would need a revision after this, but it is not guaranteed and is up to the individual.