Will Your Implants Need To Be Replaced Within Ten Years?


Whether women elect to have breast implant surgery for aesthetic reasons, or for reconstructive purposes following a mastectomy, many have concerns about needing implant replacements within a decade of the initial procedure.

The concern stems from a Food and Drug Administration 2011 report on the safety of silicone implants. The report stated that one out of five women needed revision or replacement surgery after ten years.

However, as Tenley Lawton, M.D. points out, though one in five implant patients may need a corrective procedure at the ten-year mark, four out of five do not. She also notes that additional surgeries are not always owed to implant ruptures or deflation. Some revisions are elective, to further refine the initial work, or change the implant size.

When deciding whether to have breast implant surgery, it may help to know the primary reasons why follow-up procedures are undertaken.

One reason is that ruptures and deflations can occur, but they affect only about three percent of implant cases. This is true for both saline and silicone implants. A second reason is the formation of scar tissue around the breast that may harden, altering the implant's shape and/or position. A replacement procedure may remedy this problem.

A third reason for having replacement surgery is dissatisfaction with the initial results or, as mentioned before, a desire for change in breast size. Though choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon generally results in successful initial procedures, some women may find dissatisfaction with their previous surgeon’s work.

Dr. Lawton recommends women do considerable research on the procedure they are considering and choose a plastic surgeon they are comfortable with, and trust.

Source: American Society of Plastic Surgeons
Photo credit: RenaudPhoto


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