Over time, even the most successfully placed implants may rupture or leak, and should be replaced. Typically, both silicone and saline breast implants last between ten and fifteen years. After the estimated implants’ useful time has expired, breast revision surgery will typically become necessary in order to maintain volume and shape. Also, many breast implants have a lifetime warranty on the actual implant device, but after ten years the costs associated with having surgery to replace the implants are no longer covered. Because of this, many women benefit from choosing to replace or update their breast implants at or around the 10-year time frame (1).
Moreover, some women, for instance, had breast implants before they have started conceiving and now, after having children, their breast might be saggy, or smaller or they have gain some weight and they don’t want the implants anymore. As I usually tell my patients, as time goes by women’s bodies change around the implants and breast revision surgery is the best option to recover a youthful breast contour. Your self-confidence, as well as your breast’s wellbeing and appearance will profit from having an opportune breast implant and replacement surgery.
Breast implant revision surgery should be performed by an aesthetic plastic surgeon who is well-trained and experienced in all different kinds of breast surgery and who will listen to the patient’s desires and expectations, since this surgery is not a standard procedure and requires to be customized to fit patient’s cosmetic goals and particular needs. Among the most common reasons why my patients opt for breast implant revision surgery are the following: 1) Saline breast implants have deflated or an X-ray or MRI suggests that silicone implant has a shell leak; 2) desire to change the implant/breast size; 3) pain from capsular contracture (tightening of the scar tissue around the implant) or concern about rupture or migration of implant; 4) breast tissue has changed as a result of skin stretching, or weight loss or gain; 5) change from saline to silicone implants, or different style of implant. The exact surgical procedure for breast implant and replacement varies depending on the particular reason for breast revision (2).
Usually, the procedure to either replace or remove implants is more comfortable than the initial breast augmentation surgery, and the downtime is relatively short. Nonetheless, the amount of post-operative discomfort depends mostly on whether the scar tissue is removed along with the implant (3). My patients typically return to work and their normal daily activities within a week after revisionary breast surgery. Healing will continue for several weeks as swelling decreases. For a successful recovery, patients should follow their plastic surgeon’s post-operative instructions to the letter and attend follow-up visits as scheduled.
(1) “Breast Implant Revision”. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. www.plasticsurgery.org
(2) “Breast Revision”. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. www.smartbeautyguide.com
(3) “Breast Revision FAQs”. Einstein Medical. www.docshop.com