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Dr. Walt Recap

On-Call with Dr. Walt Recap: Breast Augmentation Maintenance

Breast augmentation is an ever-growing procedure. It’s important to keep in mind that it is a serious procedure that requires planning both before and after. It’s also important to make sure you do your research and due diligence when seeking out a plastic surgeon for breast augmentation. Dr. Bernacki recommends going to a board certified plastic surgeon that has vast experience in breast augmentation and reconstruction to be sure you get the results you’re looking for.

Q: What’s the difference between saline and silicone implants?

A: The silicone implant is the most common implant today. Dr. Bernacki describes the silicone implant as a gel or gummy bear consistency that is very durable and natural. Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water. They are inserted empty and then filled once they are in place.

Q: What size implant should I get?

A: Dr. Bernacki takes careful measurements of a woman’s chest and gives her a range of sizes that he feels will be tasteful and symmetrical to her body, and the patient ultimately picks the size of her implant.

Q: How long do breast implants last?

A: There has been some research that shows implants need to be replaced every 7 to 10 years. This is the result of a study that was published in 2011. The study showed patients that have had implants for 10 years, nearly 20% of these women had some sort of revision surgery in the first 10 years. This could be caused by a rupture, scar tissue forming, unhappy about shape or size. Dr. Bernacki recommends that if the implant is symmetrical, not painful, or nothing else warrants, the implant does not need to be replaced. It’s important to note, more than likely you will have to have more than one surgery to pay for out of pocket.

Q: What is the difference between a silicone or saline implant rupturing?

A: If a saline implant ruptures, it will deflate. The saline in the implant will be absorbed into the body. A woman will know right away because she will have one normal appearing breast on one side and a deflated breast on the other. It’s a bit more complicated if a silicone implant ruptures. Silicone implants are filled with a gel-like substance. It’s a cohesive gel so even if the implant is punctured, the gel will stick together and not leak into the body. However, it is a lot harder to detect if the implant ruptures. This is because often times it will still maintain its shape. The FDA recommends that 3 years after a breast augmentation with silicone implants, to get an MRI to determine if the implant has ruptured and every 2 years after that.

Q: How does an implant rupture feel? Is this an emergency?

A: If you know the implant has ruptured, it needs to be replaced. This is not a life and death moment and you don’t need to be rushed into the operating room. But, it is important to meet with a board-certified surgeon to get the implant replaced or removed.

For more information about breast augmentation maintenance and procedures, listen to On-Call with Dr. Walt or schedule a consultation.