Breast Augmentation & Implant Information
There are a lot of facts and figures available regarding breast augmentation surgery and breast implants, enough to overwhelm patients and physicians alike. This is information we feel is most relevant to your personal decision regarding breast implant surgery.
Although breast implants are designed to last many years, like any medical device there is a chance of failure, which for implants means rupture. For saline filled implants, the rupture rate is quoted to be about 1 percent per year for primary breast augmentation, and is just under 1 percent for silicone implants. Rupture rates are higher in breast reconstruction patients, and in any patient undergoing revision (repeat) surgery.
Your body forms a layer of normal tissue around your implant, called a capsule. However, in certain patients the capsule behaves abnormally and tightens around the implant. This can cause mild firmness, firmness that distorts the shape of the breast, and can even occasionally be painful. Approximately 15 percent of patients may experience “problematic” capsular contracture and elect surgery to correct it. This rate is higher in cases of revision (repeat) breast surgery and is affected by implant type (saline vs. silicone) and location.
Although the results of your operation are designed to last a long time, breast implant surgery should not be viewed as a one-time deal. Between one in three and one in five patients will have additional surgery on their breasts at some point in time because of their implants. This includes all reasons, whether personal choice (change in size, breast lift, implant removal etc.) or medically indicated. Implants 400cc or larger are associated with a higher rate of additional surgery. A reasonable approach is to mentally commit to a second operation at some point in your life.
Placing an implant under the breast does have implications for cancer detection, specifically in how mammograms are performed to adequately evaluate breast tissue. The good news is that numerous large studies comparing cancer detection, tumor size, and stage at detection have shown no significant increased risk in those patients with breast implants.
The data presented here represent what is felt to be the most useful by your surgeons, and is based on large, scientifically sound studies. Other rates, both higher and lower, can certainly be found depending on the study reviewed, the patient population studied, the length of follow-up and many other factors. We are not affiliated in any way with the websites listed above. The information presented here is meant only as a guide to help you decide whether a breast implant is right for you.
breastimplantsafety.org - Site created by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons
implantinfo.com - Has many before and after photos from patients and physicians
aboutplasticsurgery.com - Has many before and after photos from patients and physicians
mentor.com - Mentor’s consumer website for breast augmentation surgery
natrelle.com - Allergan's consumer website for breast augmentation surgery
fda.gov/cdrh/breastimplants - The FDA’s website for consumers