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I am ccnsidering having breast augmentation. Is this a one-time lifetime thing or...

Q:

I am ccnsidering having breast augmentation. Is this a one-time lifetime thing or will I need further surgery at some point down the road?

A:

Breast implants require maintenance.  Once you get a breast implant you will need more surgery sometime in the future.  The reasons are many:

1) Natural breast changes, aging, loss of breast tissue, weight changes, etc.

2) Capsular contracture

3) Failure of implants

4) Implant displacement

These are but some of the reasons that would require future surgery after breast implants.

On the avarage, count on some surgery every eight years.  If this does not appeal to you and your life style then  Do Not Do The Surgery!

A:

Although the design and manufacturing standards for breast implants have continued to improve along with better surgical techniques, we are expected to inform our patients that breast implants are not lifetime devices and that replacement of one or both may be required at some point.  However, in the U.S. both of the FDA cleared brands have a lifetime replacement policy, which means a new one free if it ever leaks or develops an opening in the implant shell (since silicone gel is a cohesive semi-solid, silicone implants don't "leak" in the usual sense of the word; likewise the term "rupture" is inaccurate.) It would seem then that the manufacturers have confidence that most of their implants will last.

Richard A. Baxter, M.D. - View Other Answers by this Doctor
Mountlake Terrace, WA

A:

The re-operation rate for breast augmentation is 13 - 21% at three years and almost 26% after 5 years.  There are several reasons for additional surgery; capsular contracture, size change, implant failure, and malposition. There are women who have implants for over 30 years without any issues, and some that require procedures within the first year. The probability for additional surgery is in your favor (almost 75% chance of no additional surgery after 5 years); however, you must be fully aware that you may require one or more procedures if you choose to have an augmentation.  

A:

You should plan on having to have a revision at some point in your life due to either a deflation (or rupture) or a capsular contracture.  There are some women who are lucky and may be able to keep their original implants for their lifetime, but most will not.  At the time of scheduling surgery you should talk to your surgeon about getting an enhanced warranty from the manufacturer.  This is offered for a 10 year period after the original surgery and can help cover the costs of an additional surgery.

A:

The FDA reports that 23-25% of women who have breast augmentation will have a second procedure in the first 10 years.  This number includes patients who simply chose to have larger implants and did not necessarily have a problem with her implants.

However the majority of patients did not require a second surgery during the first 10 years.  Many patients who have breast augmentation do not require a second procedure.

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