This is one of the most popular procedures performed in the spring as many women desire more breast volume to fill out their bikini tops.
In 2006 the FDA approved the new silicone cohesive gel implants after extensive testing and study.
As a result, over the last few years, many women have had breast augmentation with these new silicone gel implants or removed their old saline implants and replaced them.
Do implants need to be changed every ten years?
Implants do not need to be routinely exchanged every ten years, they only need to be exchanged if there is a problem or if the patient wants to change size.
Problems would be something like malposition, scar tissue formation, or implant leak.
I think the confusion arises from the fact that the implant manufacture warranty is ten years so many women think this means they have to change them every ten years.
What causes the hardness around implants that can happen?
The hardness, or capsular contracture, is scar tissue that forms around implants.
Although it can occur in any patient regardless of surgical technique, recent studies have shown that capsular contracture is associated with bacterial contamination of the implant.
This is why I use a triple antibiotic solution that targets bacteria found in breast tissue as well as a special sterile funnel called a Keller funnel that allows placement of the implant with minimal contact.
The surgical site and all instruments also re-prepped with anti-bacterial solution, and I change my cloves to new sterile gloves just before placing the implant.
All these steps help minimize bacterial contamination that can contribute to the formation of capsular contracture.
What is the recovery like?
Every patient is different when it comes to pain and healing, however most patients feel soreness for a few days to a week after surgery but can return to every day activities within 1-2 weeks.
However, they should still minimize activities like heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for 4-6 weeks after their surgery.
Although it takes a few months for all the swelling to completely resolve, patients who get breast augmentation in the spring should be healed in time for summer.