A common concern for women scheduling breast implant surgery is how long their implants will last. A common misconception is that implants are only designed to last 10 years; at that time, women must make a choice to exchange or remove their current implant. However, many implants last much longer than the 10-year mark. In fact, some implants have been known to last a lifetime. So how do you know when or if you need to change your implants and get a Breast Revision?
In some cases, a future complication with the implant might necessitate a revision surgery. These complications might include:
Implant Rupture – In some cases, one of your implants could tear or rupture, which would require removal and replacement of the damaged implant. Saline implant ruptures are generally easy to detect, since the implant actually deflates as the silicone solution is absorbed by the body. Silicone implant ruptures are often undetectable without an MRI. However, damaged silicone implants should also be removed, to prevent migration of the implant or additional scar formation.
Capsular Contracture – This complication occurs when scar tissue around the implant thickens, leading to changes in both the look and feel of the breast. If capsular contracture is detected early, medication may be used to stop the formation of scar tissue. However, if the complication has progressed, surgery will likely be the only treatment option. Surgery is used to remove the scar tissue from inside the breast and replace the implant.
Other patients may decide to change their breast implants out of personal choice. In some cases, they may want to switch the size or move from saline to silicone implants. Some women may even choose to remove their implants completely. In these cases, a breast lift may be advised at the time of revision surgery to preserve an attractive appearance to a breast that is beginning to droop or sag.
About Revision Surgery
Revision surgery is generally performed through the same incisions used for the original procedure, to avoid additional post-operative scarring. Like the original procedure, this surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis, using general anesthesia. Recovery is often similar to the first surgery as well.
While your implants may not need to be replaced unless there is a problem, it is important to note that the manufacturers of these devices do not advertise their products as permanent devices. Regular visits to your surgeon will ensure your implants are properly monitored, so that revision surgery can be performed if a problem arises. You should also visit your surgeon if you experience any pain or visible changes to your breast that concern you.