Many women in the US have a misconception that they will need to replace their breast implants after every 10 years or so. This misconception might be attributed in some part to an FDA report of 2011, which noted that about 20 percent of patients who received breast augmentation cosmetic surgery would require implant replacement in about 10 years.
However, the reality is that breast implant technology and surgical techniques have vastly improved over the last one decade. And even if you presume that the figures estimated by FDA in 2011 still remain valid, four in five women would still continue to enjoy the benefits of their breast implants beyond 10 years.
Why Implant Replacement may be Needed?
At some point during their lifetime, almost every breast augmentation patient may have to undergo breast implant removal or replacement plastic surgery. These procedures may be necessitated not always because of medical reasons, but in large part because women choose to have their implants changed or removed for cosmetic considerations.
Longevity of your original breast implant surgery would usually be higher if you have chosen good quality implants and the procedure has been performed by an experienced and highly trained breast surgeon.
Here are some of the medical reasons why implant removal or replacement may be required:
Implant Deflation or Rupture
While this is a rare occurrence, particularly in the first few years after implantation, an implant revision will be required if it does happen. A puncture in the saline implant may cause the saline to get released into the body, resulting in implant deflation. Rupture or implant damage may occur in silicone implants, but it will rarely cause silicone gel leakage outside the implant shell because of the high viscosity of the gel. Implants would have to be removed or replaced anyway, even if the deflated or ruptured.
When the implants are placed into the breasts at the time of original breast augmentation, the natural healing mechanism of the body will trigger the formation of scar tissue around the implant. This will create a breast capsule that envelopes the implant. In some cases, the scar tissue may harden, causing tightness or discomfort in the breast.
In some cases, the implant may also get damaged, lose its shape, or move from its position. If capsular contracture occurs, you will have to get the implants removed or replaced.
Removal or Replacement
Breast implant replacement is usually a better option than implant removal because the procedure may be less invasive and additional surgeries may not be required. But in case of breast implant removal, an additional breast lift procedure is often required to tighten and firm up the breast tissue and restore the natural looking breast appearance.
Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Gary Motykie receives patients from Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, and nearby areas for breast implant removal and replacement surgery.