Can implants be replaced years after the initial reconstruction with DIEP flaps under the spared skin? Can nipple reconstruction be preserved in this case?
Yes. It is quite common for women to have implants replaced with their own tissue. They may desire this for a number of reasons, including capsular contracture, in which the tissue around the implant becomes tight and uncomfortable. They may not like the feel, the size, the position, or the shape of the implant. In these cases, the implants and any associated capsular contracture can be removed and replaced with their own healthy natural fatty tissue all while sparing the abdominal muscles in the case of the DIEP flap. If a successful nipple reconstruction has already been performed, it can often be preserved.
— Craig Blum, M.D., F.A.C.S.