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    When Should Breast Implants Be Replaced?

    With breast augmentation as the number one spot after procedure in the United States most of the media attention is focused on new breast implants rather than existing breast implants. Every FDA approved manufacturer of breast implants states in their literature the breast implants are not intended to last forever. Like any medical device over time the likelihood increases that they will fail. Patients who have breast augmentation are advised to have their breast implants checked once a year. The reality is that most women never do this. Breast implant exchange is likely to happen over the course of a lifetime of the patient who is had breast augmentation. For patients who have saline implants the majority of breast implant exchange procedures are performed due to a deflation. A deflation is when the outer shell of the implant has been compromised and the saline solution inside has leaked. The saline solution is harmless and is absorbed by the body. The appearance is noticeably smaller after deflation and most women are upset more because of the appearance rather than the actual pain and discomfort. The deflated implant in most cases provided the implant is an FDA approved medical device is covered under warranty and replaced at no charge to the patient. Depending on the details of the warranty some financial payment may be due to the plastic surgeon based on surgical services rendered. Dr. Kim explains to his breast augmentation patients whether they elect for saline or silicone implants that maintaining a regular annual schedule for implant checkup is the best way to assure that the implant has not been compromised. In a small percentage of the cases some patients may develop excessive scar tissue around the implant which is known as capsular contracture. Dr. Kim can perform breast implant exchange as well as correct the capsular contracture together in the same surgery. Patient should be prepared to replace their implants at some point within their lifetime.

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