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FAQ - Breast Implants

  • Are silicone breast implants safe?

    Concern over the association of breast implants with the development of autoimmune or connective tissue diseases, such as lupus, scleroderma, or rheumatoid arthritis, was raised because of cases of these diseases reported in some women with breast implants. A review of several large epidemiological studies of women with and without breast implants indicates that these diseases are no more common in women with breast implants than those women without breast implants. The Institute of Medicine concluded that: "There is no evidence that silicone implants are responsible for any major diseases of the whole body. Women are exposed to silicone constantly in their daily lives."

    More about breast implant safety

  • What breast implant style do you recommend, round or shaped?

    Round breast implants are used most often. At your consultation appointment, you will be able to see, feel and learn about the different types of implants available. We will thoroughly educate you on your various implant options, and will help you determine the optimal breast implant for your procedure.

    Learn more about round and teardrop breast implants

  • What breast implant shell surface do you recommend, smooth or textured?

    Smooth breast implants are used most often. At your consultation appointment, you will be able to see, feel and learn about the different types of implants available.

    Learn more about smooth and textured breast implants

  • Are breast implants permanent?

    Breast implants are not considered lifetime devices. Your breast implants will probably break at some point in your life. You will likely undergo implant removal with or without replacement over the course of your life. In addition to breast implant deflation, problems such as capsular contracture, poor implant position and infection can require removal or exchange of the implants.

  • How long do breast implants last?

    This is a difficult question to give a simple answer to and it is best to refer to the detailed information provided by each implant manufacturer, as the data varies depending on implant type and manufacturer. Generally, saline implants are likely have about a 10% failure rate at 10 years, and a 1-2% per year failure rate thereafter. Silicone gel implants have about an 8% failure rate at 12 years.

  • What happens if a saline implant ruptures?

    Occasionally, saline breast implants may break or leak. Rupture can occur as a result of the normal compression and movement of your breasts and implants, causing the shell to break. An implant certainly moves a lot during your lifetime, and any man-made device can fail if it is under prolonged stress and movement. Even while you are resting, your implants continue to move from your breathing and heart beating! As an example, consider the fate of a piece of metal if it is bent a lot, such as a paper clip that you bend many times-It will eventually break. If a saline-filled breast implant breaks, the implant will deflate in a few hours and the salt water will be absorbed by the body. The leaking salt water is not harmful.

  • What causes a breast implant to break?

    Breast implants are man-made devices that are subject to a lot of movement and stress simply from the ordinary activities of a woman's life. Breast implant failure occurs from fatigue and eventual breakage of part of the implant shell. Locations of failure include: a leak at the fill valve (for saline implants), a hole at the patch on the back of an implant, or a tear or hole in the implant shell itself. Although your implants may last a long time, they are not lifetime devices, and it is best to plan that you will need an implant exchange at some point in your life.

  • Can a silicone gel implant leak?

    Just like the shell of a saline implant, the shell of a silicone gel implant can also fail. The silicone in current silicone gel implants is very thick, similar to Jell-O. Therefore, when a silicone gel implant leaks, it will usually bulge at the location of the shell failure. If a large part of the shell has failed then a large part of the gel can extrude and the implant will lose its shape and a large part of the soft tissue capsule can become contaminated with silicone gel.

  • Why do breast implants need to be replaced?

    The only reason to replace implants is if there is a problem with them. Breast implant leakage, capsular contracture, changes in breast shape or asymmetry, or unsatisfactory size, are all reasons for implant replacement. Breast implants are not replaced for routine maintenance.

  • What happens if I have my implants removed?

    The appearance of the breasts after implant removal varies among women depending on the size of the implants and the quality of the soft tissues and skin. Some women's breasts look good after implant removal. However, some can experience unacceptable deflation, sagging, dimpling, puckering, wrinkling, or other cosmetic changes of the breasts after implant removal.

  • Do breast implants have a warranty?

    Yes. Your breast implants will come with a limited lifetime warranty, and an extended warranty may be purchased through the implant manufacturer. Your limited lifetime warranty includes a lifetime replacement of a defective implant and financial assistance with the implant replacement costs for the first 10 years.

    Learn more about the breast implant warranty

  • Will the breast implant manufacturers have information on my implants?

    For saline implants the manufacturers do not maintain records identifying which implants are implanted in which patients. However, for silicone gel breast implants the companies do maintain records on patients and the type and serial numbers of their implants. Connall Cosmetic Surgery does keep a record of your implant information. In addition, on the day of surgery you will receive a card that lists your implant information. This card should be saved with your other key medical and personal information.

  • What are adjustable breast implants?

    Expandable, or "adjustable", breast implants have a small removable port which is implanted under the skin at the time of the surgery. By accessing this port through the skin with a small needle, saline can be added to or removed from the implant. After the desired size is achieved the port is later removed surgically, as a small office procedure.

  • What are "gummy bear" breast implants?

    Gummy bear implants, technically known as cohesive gel implants, are a fairly new type of shaped implant with an inner substance similar in quality to a gummy bear candy. They were designed to decrease rippling and to maintain their shape and integrity if leakage or rupture occurs. These form-stable cohesive silicone gel implants are not available in the U.S., except at a few special study locations.

    Learn more about "gummy bear" implants

  • Do you ever over-inflate the implants?

    No. Saline implants have a fill volume range of approximately 25cc-50cc, and are generally filled to the maximum recommended fill volume. Overfilling of implants relates to filling saline implants beyond the recommended fill volume range. Overfilling can make the implants firmer thereby affecting the look and feel of the breasts. Also, excessive overfilling of breast implants can even lead to increased implant rippling.