Lifelong breast implants have not yet been designed.
The duration of safe keeping of implants in a woman’s body is 10 years. In a woman’s body, implants wear out because they are exposed to both internal and external pressures while lying, walking, running, etc.
Many implant manufacturers offer a 10-year warranty against spontaneous implant rupture. Generally, the risk of implant rupture accounts for 1% to 1.5%, but after 10 years this risk increases 3 to 4 times.
Another important reason for advising implant replacement is breast contracture.
Oil in the silicone filling of the implants may start penetrating the tissues of a woman’s body through the sheath of the breast implants. When a woman’s tissues react to a foreign body and the body tries to protect itself, a thick capsule of connective tissue is formed, which presses and deforms the breast implant.
In such clinical cases, a woman’s breast becomes deformed and hard. This condition is referred to as breast contracture.
Generally, 2% to 3% cases of breast contracture are detected in women wearing implants up to 10 years. After 10 years, this number triples. Therefore, timely replacement of breast implants is the prevention of breast contracture.
Implant replacement is performed under general anaesthesia in an attempt to replicate the implant replacement incision at the place of the incision made during the previous surgery.
In the event of implant contracture or implant deformity, the plastic surgeon chooses the incision place at his or her discretion.
There are three ways to replace breast implants:
- Without implant capsule removal.
Breast implants are replaced without removing the capsule of the previous implant and given that the breasts are soft, free of deformity, the ultrasound examination of the breast does not show the rupture of the implant and in the event of a thin implant capsule.
- Partial removal of the capsule or individual segments.
The breast implant capsule is removed in part or in full, but in separate segments. This method is used when one type of implant is replaced by another.
For example, macro-textured silicone implants (self-adhesive) are replaced by micro-textured or smooth implants. In other cases when replacing any type of implant is with a polyurethane implant (self-adhesive). A clean new space is prepared for polyurethane implants, needed for them to adhere evenly.
- “En Bloc”. Removal of breast implants together with the entire capsule.
This method is used in the event of breast implant contracture Grade 3 or 4, implant rupture or breast capsule lymphoma.
The postoperative period depends on the chosen method of implant replacement.
In the first case, the patient spends 1 night in the clinic; after the surgery, she feels well and has a minimal pain. The patient regains working capacity after 4 to 7 days.
In the event of the other two methods of implant replacement, the patient is recommended to spend 2 nights in the clinic, severe pain is possible, and working capacity returns after 10 to 12 days.
Surgical sutures are removed after 7 to 10 days. The patient should wear a special compression bra for 4 weeks.