Timing and Evaluation For Breast Implant Replacement
With the recent studies from the FDA in June 2011, findings indicated that women need to replace their saline and silicone implants on the average between 8 and 10 years. Also, there are risks associated with rupture and scar tissue contracture over time. These are specific concepts that we describe to the patients during the consultation and during the preoperative visits. It is important to remember that saline and silicone implants are not lifetime devices, that they will require implant replacement, most notably for rupture of the silicone shell or deflation of a saline implant or hardening associated with scar tissue, referred to as a “capsular contracture.” Saline implants can be diagnosed to rupture clinically as the implant will deflate and the breast will become smaller in size over a relatively short period of time (sometimes 4 to 6 weeks or shorter). Silicone implants on the other hand may undergo a silent rupture in which the shell of the implant may be ruptured or torn with a slow leak of the gel from the shell from within the implant, but this is undetectable until performing an MRI or within the operating room during specific observation of the implant removal.
Patients should be instructed to have MRIs at least every two to three years in order to evaluate the rupture integrity of the silicone gel shell, as well as see their Board Certified Plastic Surgeon annually for an evaluation for scar tissue contracture.