Breast implants don’t come with a lifetime guarantee. At some point, there’s a chance you’ll need to replace your implants due to a variety of causes. The longer you have the same implants, the greater the risk of rupture or other complications.
Some lucky women have implants that last a lifetime, but most need to have them replaced every eight to 10 years. Here are some reasons why implants should be replaced sooner than later.
Gravity eventually takes its toll on the appearance of the breasts regardless of whether you’ve undergone breast augmentation in the past. Your current implants won’t always hinder age-related sagging. Significant weight gain or loss can also cause breasts to stretch and sag. One breast may even hang lower than the other. Your nipples may also start pointing in different directions. Implant replacement can help resolve these issues.
A saline implant is a silicone shell filled with sterile salt water. If this type of implant ruptures, it will obviously and rapidly deflate like a balloon. A rupture will also cause pronounced asymmetry. In this case, the implants need to be removed and replaced so that the breasts’ shapes can be restored.
A silicone implant is one that is filled with synthetic polymers. If the implant ruptures, its thick gel leaks at a slower rate than saline. This is sometimes called a “silent rupture,” because most people don’t notice it or have any symptoms, and it can only be detected by MRI. If there are symptoms, however, they include:
• Decreased breast size
• Pain or tenderness
Capsular contracture occurs when the capsule, or scar tissue which forms around the implant, hardens and painfully squeezes it. Capsular contracture can trigger burning, tingling, numbing, and swelling. As the condition intensifies, the breast may look distorted or even change shapes. This is true for both saline and silicone implants, and it can affect one or both breasts.
Capsular contracture can occur shortly after surgery, or it can happen years afterward.
According to the FDA, capsular contracture has four stages. In the first and second stages, the breast looks and feels unchanged. In stages three and four, the breast feels hard, looks odd, and is painful.
If you’re experiencing capsular contracture, it’s time to have your implants removed and replaced.
Has your implant traveled from your chest to your armpit? This is called migrating. It may affect only one breast or both, causing an asymmetrical appearance. Luckily, this problem can be rectified with an implant replacement.
Sometimes, saline implants can wrinkle, ripple or even fold. Wrinkles may also appear on the sides of your breasts when you bend over. If this is happening, you may want to consider replacing your implants.
If the time has come to replace your breast implants, you can entrust the procedure to Dr. Lorraine Golosow of Associates in Cosmetic Surgery in Southwest Florida, regardless of where you had your initial breast augmentation. Dr. Golosow is a renowned plastic surgeon who is experienced, highly educated and exceptionally attuned to her patients needs. Contact us to learn more about how Dr. Golosow can help you get the results you want from implant replacement.