The Truth About Breast Implant Replacement

Every year in our North Carolina offices, we hear hundreds of women asking the same questions: How much does breast enhancement cost? How natural are my breasts going to look after surgery? How big will they be? What do I wear?!

However, when preparing for your breast augmentation, there’s another important question you should consider: will this be the only surgery I’ll ever have on my breasts?

For most women, the answer is no. Over the course of a lifetime, many breast augmentation patients undergo a secondary procedure. Implants may experience issues over time, the skin around the breasts continue to age, and many women find themselves wanting to maintain their youthful appearance even years after their initial breast enhancement.

Implants don’t last forever. 

There is no forever-implant. Both the silicone and saline versions will eventually break down. Common implant concerns include rupture, rippling, and capsular contracture (a hardening of tissue around the implant). They can also become misshapen and asymmetrical. According to the FDA, as many as one in five women who receive breast implants for augmentation will need to have them removed or replaced within 8 to 10 years.

The most used implants are made from silicone. They are thought to look and feel more natural and realistic. However, a silicone implant can break and you might not notice. The gel-like consistency on the inside can make ruptures more difficult to detect. Sometimes the loose gel can cause localized problems like scarring and inflamed tissue. Still, with the new cohesive gel technology, these implants are increasingly resistant to these now rare implant defects.

If a saline implant ruptures, you’ll know soon after—if not right away.  The deflated implant will cause the size and shape of your breast to change. The saline solution will be absorbed by the body, leaving a silicone shell.

Some possible causes of rupture include:

  • Capsular contracture
  • Compression during a mammogram
  • Damage from other surgical procedures
  • Aging of the implant
  • Trauma or intense physical pressure

Enhance as you age.

Sometimes it’s not necessarily the implant that catches up to you, but the aging process. Nobody is immune to it no matter how much butt you kick in crossfit. The body changes as you get older and gravity affects implants just like it does natural breasts. Sagging could start to set in or an asymmetry may develop. The rest of your body may even change shape and you’ll want your breasts to match.

Perhaps you just want a more natural feel to your implants. Advancements in the last ten years have led to one of the most realistic-looking silicone implants yet—the gummy bear. They have the look and feel of real breast tissue, making them an attractive option. They’re also effective for those needing implant revisions after breast reconstruction.

UNC Aesthetic & Laser is committed to helping you find the implant that’s right for your breast implant replacement surgery. If you or someone you know would like to find out more about this procedure, schedule a consultation with our knowledgeable team today.