Breast Augmentation: Is It Time for a Do-Over?
Posted June 28, 2016 in Practice News
Many women who have already undergone breast augmentation still schedule consultations because they have important questions or concerns about their breasts. Hopefully I can answer some of these questions in this blog post. If you’ve undergone breast augmentation and aren’t perfectly happy with the results, it’s normal to want to talk to a new plastic surgeon about your concerns. Similarly, if you’re having trouble with your breast implants or they’re causing you pain, it’s very important to talk to a healthcare professional.
98% of women undergoing breast augmentation surgery say the results met or exceeded their expectations, according to a study published in the May 2013 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®. This is great news for people who are considering this procedure! However, today I want to talk about the 2% of women who aren’t satisfied with their results. I also want to speak to the concerns of women who had a breast augmentation more than 10 years ago, and are wondering if they need to have the surgery re-done.
How Long Do Breast Implants Last?
Many women have heard the rumor that breast implants must be replaced every ten years. While there is some precedent for this advice, there’s no reason to undergo breast augmentation again if you are happy with your results and your breasts are not causing you any trouble. Breast implants have been known to last throughout a patient’s lifetime. That being said, if you’ve had a breast augmentation and your breasts are causing you pain or discomfort, it’s time to seek out the help of a healthcare professional. Breast implants are medical devices designed to survive within the tough conditions of the human body. But like any man-made device, they have the potential to fail.
Every year, there is a 1% chance that your breast implants will fail. Rupture is the most common form of failure, and it can happen to both saline and gel implants. It’s usually obvious when a saline implant has ruptured because deflation of the breast will typically occur. If you have saline implants and notice that one breast is suddenly smaller than the other, contact your doctor immediately.
It is more difficult to tell when a gel implant has ruptured. The material is inert, so it can’t be absorbed into the body like saline can. That’s why the FDA has recommends that women receiving cohesive gel implants obtain MRI scans at intervals following breast augmentation. Some patients experience pain when their gel implant ruptures. However, other patients experience a “silent rupture,” which means that there is no pain or change in the shape or appearance of the breast. That’s why it’s important to get an MRI at least once every three years if you have gel implants.
What If I’m Not Happy With My Breast Augmentation?
Statistically speaking, 2% of patients are dissatisfied with their breast augmentation. This may be due to surgical complications like infection, discontinuity between breasts, or breasts that are larger or smaller than the patient expected. If you’ve recently undergone breast augmentation surgery and aren’t satisfied with your results, talk to your surgeon to express your concerns. Most surgeons will be willing to work with you and take steps to ensure that you’re ultimately happy with the results.
If your surgeon isn’t willing to take action on your concerns, or if it’s been years since your breast augmentation and you’re not fully satisfied with how they look, you may want to consult with a new plastic surgeon. It’s not uncommon for women who have had a poor experience with their first breast augmentation to undergo the surgery again with a new plastic surgeon. If you’ve fully recovered and your breasts are uneven, too large, or too small, a second breast augmentation procedure with a more qualified plastic surgeon can help you achieve the results you deserve.
Whether you’re dissatisfied with your first breast augmentation and want to improve your results, or you’re concerned about implant rupture, the Talbott Plastic Surgery Center can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. We’ll discuss your concerns and goals and create an action plan that you can get onboard with.