Breast Implants Are Not Lifetime Devices

Although there is no expiration date on breast implants, they are not lifetime devices. However, there is a common misconception that implants, whether saline or silicone, only need to be replaced if there is a problem with them. Even though a problematic issue with any implant should be addressed immediately, it is just as crucial for women with breast implants to have regular check-ups to monitor their breast health.

As part of a routine physical check-up, it is important for a health professional to do breast exams regularly. Breast exams should be scheduled every three years for women over the age of 20 and yearly for women over the age of 40. The examination will focus on any changes in shape, size, or symmetry of the breasts, along with any skin changes such as rashes, redness, or dimpling. With or without implants, regular check-ups are crucial for early detection of breast cancer and other abnormalities.

Unfortunately, there are a number of complications that can arise with having breast implants, requiring the patient to undergo a second breast augmentation. Among these complications are implant rupture and capsular contracture.

A rupture is a tear or a hole in the outer shell of the breast implant that causes it to leak. As time goes on, the risk of implant rupture increases. With saline implants, the body typically absorbs the saltwater solution, which leaves the saline implant deflated and causes an obvious change in size and firmness of the breast. Silicone ruptures vary in that the gel is thicker and may remain in the shell or the scar tissue that forms around the implant. Silicone implant ruptures may be undetectable to the human eye, which is why periodic MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) are important. In both cases, the ruptured implant should be replaced.

Capsular contracture is another complication that will lead to implant replacement. This occurs when there is a hardening in the tissue surrounding the implant in one or both of the breasts. Sometimes, this hardening can be painful. Although the cause of capsular contracture is unknown, it may happen at any time after the primary procedure.

Therefore, given there are no complications, breast implants typically last between 10-15 years and replacement should be considered. Aside from the natural gravitational pull that will cause breast implants to sag, other operations may also be considered as time lapses. This may include changing the size of implant or a lift in the breasts. Considering the individual needs of each patient, a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon will determine when replacement is best.

If your desire is to achieve beautiful breasts through augmentation or if you are considering breast implant replacement, Dr. Samuel J. Beran offers many different types of cosmetic surgery procedures to provide you with healthy, natural looking results. To schedule your consultation with Dr. Beran, please call us at (212) 792-7938 or fill out our contact form.

Saline vs. Silicone Breast Implants

When considering breast augmentation surgery, one of the most common questions is: Which breast implant is best? The two options available are saline and silicone gel filled breast implants. Each carries its own set of pros and cons, which are thoroughly discussed during your initial consultation. While they are both made of a thin, silicone shell, they have very different fillings.

Saline implants are placed in the breasts through one of various incision sites – under the breast, around the nipple, or through the armpit. The empty shell is placed either beneath or above the chest muscle and then filled with the desired amount of saline. Silicone gel breast implants can also be placed through any of theses incisions. These come pre-filled; therefore, the volume is changed by choosing a specific implant size. In regards to natural look and feel, silicone implants are ideal. However, should a silicone gel filled implant rupture, it will not be as noticeable as when a saline breast implant leaks. One important factor that patients must take into account is the age restriction of each implant type: 18 years old for saline and 22 years old for silicone gel.

You may gain further information regarding saline and silicone gel breast implants and learn of the most appropriate options for your body shape and size by contacting our office. After a thorough examination a personalized treatment plan can be created to meet your goals.

Breast Surgery – What procedure is right for me?

Women who visit my New York plastic surgery practice to learn about their options in breast surgery often have the same question: Do I need a lift or augmentation? The answer to this depends on various factors – breast shape, size, nipple alignment, and overall body shape and size. If a patient has small breasts with minimal or no sagging, breast augmentation may be the best option for her. When there is excess sagging and loss of volume, a breast lift may be a better choice. However, there are some circumstances that would be ideal for a lift with augmentation.

In addition to breast enlargement and lift, patients may inquire about reduction, reconstruction, and implant revision. If you have large, pendulous breasts that causes neck, shoulder, and/or back pain, a breast reduction may alleviate these symptoms and provide a more balanced contour. Breast cancer patients who have undergone a mastectomy (breast removal) may be interested in a reconstructive procedure. Also, if you have had a primary breast enhancement procedure and were left with unsatisfactory results or experienced complications, revision surgery may be of great benefit.

In order to determine which of these procedures is right for you, it is best to schedule an appointment at my practice. We can discuss your options, ideal outcome, and most appropriate procedure to meet your needs.