Every year, around 400,000 women in the U.S. choose to undergo breast implant surgery. The predominant choice is silicone implants, as reported by UCLA. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, most women retain their implants for several decades, with only one in five needing a replacement within the first ten years. It’s important to recognize that the need for breast implant replacement is not just about aesthetics but significantly impacts your health, well-being, and the sustainability of your results. Most individuals have a good understanding of their bodies and can usually tell when something doesn’t feel right. However, there are instances where the signs may not be as evident.
Here are five signs to watch for if your breast implants need to be replaced.
1. Changes in Breast Appearance and Shape
Over time, it’s natural for your breasts to change due to events like aging, weight changes, and pregnancy. However, if you notice significant changes in the appearance and shape of your breasts, your breast implants may need to be examined. Watch for signs like uneven breasts or a noticeable shift in breast implant position that could affect the overall aesthetic outcome.
2. Capsular Contracture
Capsular contracture is caused by thickened scar tissue surrounding the breast implant, resulting in tightening around the breast implant(s). If you experience unusual firmness, pain, or changes in breast shape accompanied by discomfort, schedule a consultation with Dr. Sanders for an examination.
3. Breast Implant Rupture or Leakage
Breast implants are designed to be durable and last for decades. However, if you begin to experience signs of rupture, such as changes in breast shape, tenderness, or the presence of lumps that increase over a few weeks, you should schedule a consultation with your plastic surgeon immediately.
4. Visible Rippling or Wrinkling
Breast implant rippling is often normal to some degree, but excessive, clearly visible rippling may be a sign your breast implants need to be replaced. Dr. Sanders can examine your breasts and recommend an MRI or ultrasound for evaluation of your implants to determine if they need to be replaced and a breast revision surgery performed.
5. Anaplastic Large-Cell Lymphoma
While rare, patients may develop Anaplastic Large-Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) that is associated with textured implants. If this seems a likely possibility, Dr. Sanders will make appropriate treatment recommendations.
Combined Breast Surgeries for Implant Removal
Dr. Sanders may suggest that you consider additional procedures to address the altered shape and size of your breasts if you choose to undergo a breast implant removal procedure. These may include:
Breast implant removal will alter the shape and size of your breasts. These changes are expected and can be addressed with a breast lift. A breast lift can elevate the breast profile, reduce sagging, and eliminate excess skin. Dr. Sanders will also reposition the nipples for a more natural appearance.
Fat transfer offers a natural alternative to enhance the volume and shape of your breasts by using your body’s own fat cells. The fat is harvested from your body, purified, and replaced in the breasts for a fuller and rounder appearance.
Do You Need Breast Implant Replacement?
If you are experiencing any unusual or excessive pain, lumps, noticeable movement, or general discomfort, don’t wait to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sanders to evaluate your unique situation and determine your best options.