When patients come in for a breast augmentation consultation, a common question is how long breast implants last. While they can last 15 to 20 years with no complications, breast implants are not intended as lifetime devices, and they will ultimately need to be replaced at some point. At Del Mar Plastic Surgery, our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Larry H. Pollack, specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.
Common Reasons for Breast Implant Replacement
Capsular contracture is one of the most common reasons for needing breast implant replacement. Sometimes the body creates a capsule of scar tissue around the breast implant, causing the surrounding tissue to become thick, tight, and hard. It may look like one implant is higher than the other, or there may be signs of rippling or deformity. It may also cause some discomfort or pain, but with revision surgery, Dr. Pollack can correct this complication.
Another reason for breast implant replacement is if the implant ruptures or deflates, which is fairly uncommon. When saline implants leak or deflate, it is usually obvious; the body absorbs the saline, and the breast becomes noticeably smaller. However, the rupture of a silicone implant may only be detected by MRI. Older silicone implants that rupture are at risk of capsular contracture and developing scar tissue. Newer silicone implants use a more cohesive gel that will not leak if they rupture, but they should still be replaced. If a patient has a ruptured implant, Dr. Pollack can replace one side only or both, depending on the patient’s needs and desires.
Wanting to Change Implant Size
Many may be surprised to learn that the most common reason for breast revision is to change the size or placement of the implants. Once your breasts have healed from your initial breast augmentation, they will settle into their proper place, and you will be able to enjoy the new appearance of your breasts. However, over time, pregnancy or weight fluctuations may alter the size of your breasts beyond what you were expecting. If, for any reason, you become dissatisfied with the size of your implants, Dr. Pollack can perform breast implant replacement surgery to better fit your needs.
Wanting to Change Implant Style, Shape, or Material
Dr. Pollack can also replace breast implants if you want to change the style, shape, or material of the implant. Many patients who come in for this reason have outdated implants and want newer ones that feel and look more natural. With breast implant replacement, you can enhance the results of your previous breast augmentation.
There are other reasons for needing breast implant replacement. Some women experience anxiety with their implants. Some may experience healing complications after surgery. Others may need their implants repositioned after they have shifted, they may need ptosis or sagging to be corrected, or they may need to have the implants corrected after a previous failed breast augmentation procedure. If these or any other reasons lead you to be dissatisfied with your current breast implants, Dr. Pollack can help you.
As you meet with Dr. Pollack for your consultation, the two of you will discuss your unique situation. He will then plan a customized procedure to replace your implants as you desire. His goal is to ensure that your new implants last as long as possible so that you can experience long-term satisfaction. During your consultation, Dr. Pollack will take the time to understand your unique needs and to create an ideal plan for you.
Your breast implant replacement may be covered under warranty. Manufacturers typically cover a free implant replacement (implant only) if the implant ruptures or leaks. These warranties sometimes also cover a portion of the cost of the operation if the rupture or leak takes place within ten years after the initial surgery. For non-covered implant replacement, the cost can vary significantly and depends mostly on the correction needed. While an initial breast augmentation procedure may cost from $4,900 to $7,200, implant replacement could be lower or higher depending on your individual case.
Bear in mind that your situation is unique and should be discussed with us in detail. There are plenty of options for breast implant replacement, and with Dr. Larry H. Pollack’s 25+ years in this field, he is well experienced with all of them. If you need breast implant replacement, we encourage you to contact us to schedule your private consultation. Call us today at (858) 215-6143 or fill out our online contact form. Dr. Pollack looks forward to helping you.