What to Know about Breast Implants
- Silicone breast implants are approved for cosmetic implantation in people 22 years and older.
- Breast implants are generally not life time devices and you should expect to have to have another operation on your breasts at some point in your life.
- The FDA recommendation is screening MRIs 3 years after the original augmentation and every 2 years after that for silicone implants. The reason for this is because when silicone implants rupture it is often “silent.” The newer generation silicone gels generally do not travel outside the capsule (scar tissue) and therefore are contained within the scar shell. Because of this, it is very difficult for a surgeon or a patient to know if a silicone implant is ruptured.
- Most implant manufacturers recommend exchanging the implants every 10 years. This is based on rupture rates and because silicone implant ruptures are generally hard to detect.
- Breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma is a rare lymphoma associated with breast implants (mostly textured surface implants). Several textured implants are currently banned from sale in Europe. The FDA is researching this issue currently.
- When an implant is placed under the muscle generally the muscle is not repaired, and the pectoralis muscle begins to shorten over time (window shade). At the time of removal only the top half of the implant is still under the muscle. The muscle itself usually has thinned out and become fibrotic from the pressure of the implant.
- Capsular contracture is when the scar tissue around the implant becomes so tight it starts to deform the implant and the breast. It can be associated with breast pain in addition to the cosmetic deformities. It can occur any time after a breast augmentation.