By Sandra Downs Breast implant reduction is a medical procedure in which previously-inserted breast implants are replaced by smaller ones in order to revise and adjust the final result. While breast implant surgery is a fairly major surgery, it’s also considered a reversible and adjustable procedure through an implant reduction. When to Consider Breast Implant Reduction It may seem difficult to understand why a woman who chose to get breast implants would want to make them smaller. Looking at it this way ignores several angles of the procedure, not the least of which is the fact that not every implant is done to increase breast size. Some women get implants after illness has forced the removal of their natural breasts; others use implants to correct uneven breasts. Sometimes the woman’s body changes and the implants she originally chose no longer suit her. Other times her taste merely changes, and she wants a different size. In still other situations, the surgery may not have gone quite as planned and the patient received results that didn’t please her, so she wants to change them. Finally, some women experience pain or unexpected side effects and need their implants reduced to a size closer to their natural one. There are any number of reasons, obviously, for breast implant reduction surgery. Whatever the reasoning behind it, breast implant adjustments are not unusual and are typically a less expensive and less painful surgery than the original insertion of the implants. In fact, in some cases, the surgery to reduce your breast implants can even be done under local anesthesia. How it Works? The process of breast implant reduction, while it tends to be much simpler than the initial implant surgery, should, of course, be discussed with your doctor and performed by a skilled plastic surgeon who will be able to make the necessary adjustments to the implants and reconstruct the breast with a minimum of scarring and intrusion. A breast implant reduction is done by replacing the current implants with a smaller size. There is, in most cases, no new scarring necessary because the plastic surgeon will make the incision over the same site as the one from the original surgery. A breast implant, while in place in your body, will create a pocket of space around it; thus, the removal of the implant leaves the space behind, and insertion of a new implant into that same space is a bit less invasive on your body. This leads to less pain and a shorter recovery time, but will require some adjustment. In the case of breast implant adjustments that involve increasing the size, for example, the pocket will have to be naturally stretched to accommodate the new implant. With an implant reduction, however, the empty space needs to be closed up. This is why breast implant reduction in particular can require some detailed work by your plastic surgeon, since the excess space of that pocket should be carefully tightened and reshaped to fit the new implant and still look natural. In some cases, particularly those where the patient is choosing to have an implant reduction due to pain or some other physical reason, the process of removing one implant and replacing it with another may be a bit stressful on the body. In such a situation, your plastic surgeon may recommend that you go through a single procedure to remove the old implants, and then allow some healing time before inserting the new implants. This can also be an excellent choice in situations where the patient is insecure about her choice of implant size and needs more time to think, but wants the current implants removed immediately. Making the Choice That’s Right For You The good news about breast implant surgery is that it is, in fact, adjustable and reversible, in most cases with a minimum of discomfort or side effects. Breast implant surgery is a fairly major decision, with drastic effects on the body, and you may be concerned about whether the choice you make now will still be the right choice ten years from now – or whether it’ll be the right choice once the implants are actually in your body. While you should obviously make every attempt to make the right choice the first time, the ability to adjust your implants, replace them, or remove them altogether should give you some peace of mind.