Breast implants are not meant to last forever. Even though they usually last longer, the average pair of implants is designed to last for at least 10 years.
Regardless of when you underwent breast augmentation, there are a few signs you should look out for that could indicate your implants need to be replaced.
5 Signs You Should Have Your Breast Implants Checked
As mentioned above, breast implants have a 10-year warranty but with the help of the right surgeon, they can last a lot longer. However, even the best surgeon doesn’t have any control over whether or not certain complications will occur. There are certain scenarios that will require you to have your implants checked and possibly, replaced.
1. Capsular contracture has occurred. Following breast augmentation, it is possible for the soft capsule that holds the implant to harden, thicken and contract. Not only does this alter the appearance and feel of the breast but it causes pain too. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict whether this complication will occur. However, if it does, the hardened capsule will need to be removed and the implant removed or replaced by a qualified surgeon.
2. You’ve changed your mind about the implant size. According to top Australian breast revision surgeon, A/Prof Magnusson, size is the reason why many women decide to replace their implants. Some patients decide to go smaller, while others would prefer to see a more dramatic change and choose larger implants. It’s perfectly normal to want to change the size of your implants. However, patients should make sure their current implants have settled before they make a final decision.
3. One or both implants have migrated. Another problem that some patients might experience is implant migration. Breast implants can move over time. The movement isn’t always significant but it does make a difference to the appearance of the breasts. Implants tend to move when the breast pocket gets larger due to natural movement. If this occurs, the breast implants may need to be replaced and a portion of the capsule removed.
4. One or both implants have ruptured. Breast implants are designed to be very durable but it’s not impossible for them to rupture. If a saline implant ruptures, it will start to deflate and the breast will change shape. To get your breasts back to the original shape, a revision surgery will be required. Silicone or gummy implants change shape at a much slower pace if they rupture. However, the affected implant will still need to be replaced.
5. Implant rotation has occurred. Implants that are anatomically shaped, meaning they look like a teardrop, can rotate in the breast pocket. When an implant rotates, it creates an uneven appearance. To correct this, revision surgery and possible implant replacement will need to be undertaken.
Timing Your Breast Revision Surgery
There’s no real way to tell when revision surgery will take place or if it will take place at all. Surgeons generally recommend waiting several months after your primary surgery before you consider revision. Naturally, if the complication is threatening your health, the surgery will need to take place a lot sooner. Realistic expectations are a must for all breast augmentation patients. The way your breasts look 3 months after your surgery is not what they will look like 6 months after your surgery. Have patience and know that any minor distortions and swelling will usually rectify naturally.
Finding a Surgeon for Revision Procedures
Not all plastic surgeons have the necessary experience to successfully perform a breast revision procedure. If you do want to replace your breast implants, it’s important to take the time to choose the right doctor for the job. Revision surgery tends to be more complex and presents different challenges.
You may want to speak to people you’ve undergone revision breast surgery before so that you can get a few recommendations. Along with checking a surgeon’s qualifications, be sure to look through before and after photos of revision procedures too. You can even ask them for references from past patients.
Once you’ve narrowed down your search, schedule a one-on-one consultation so that you can decide whether you feel confident and comfortable with your choice.
Travelling for revision breast surgery is hardly ever a good idea. Some countries may offer lower prices but they don’t abide by the same standards that Australian surgeons do. If postponing your surgery for a few extra months means you can choose an experienced local surgeon, rather do that. Taking the time to choose the right surgeon increases the success rate of your procedure.