The Surgeon Minute

Why You May Want, not Need, To Replace Implants

Why You May Want, not Need, To Replace Implants
Breast augmentation is the most popular plastic surgery with thousands of procedures performed every year in the United States. The surgical procedure improves the appearance, size and shape of the breasts using saline or silicone implants. The new look may not be forever, but as veteran plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Pinsky explains, it’s not because the implants won’t hold up. The debate as to when a patient should replace implants isn’t to do with the implants themselves, but the changes a patient may undergo over her life.

How Long Do Implants Last?

It seems to be what one of the most asked questions surrounding breast surgery – “How long do breast implants really last?” The answer can vary depending on who you talk to, and the surgical patient. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Pinsky says this issue is top of the agenda for most of his patients who are seeking breast implants.

“It’s interesting to me that one of the most common questions that I get from patients who come in for revision breast surgery – even some patients who come in for their first time breast augmentation – is about the life of the breast implant,” Pinsky shares.

Reasons to replace implants.

Forget the Ten Year Rule

Pinsky says that most women who are considering breast augmentation, or a revision surgery, have been influenced by what he says is misinformation stemming from events of the past. “People have this misconception that their implants only last 10 years,” says Pinsky. He says that thought has grown out of concerns from decades ago when implants were produced differently and didn’t last as long.

“In the late 70’s and early 80’s, Dow Corning and other companies produced a breast implant that had a thinner silicone shell with a certain type of gel inside and the studies showed that by 10 years, 100 percent of those implants ruptured.” Pinsky says its much different now and that old rule is gone. “That’s where the 10 year rule came from, that 10 year rule doesn’t exist.”

New Implants, New Era

There have been vast improvements in breast implants through the years, producing what Pinsky says is a new generation of strong implants. “They can withstand 1,000 pounds of force before they rupture or the force of a mammogram on a repetitive basis 6.5 million times.” He says most women who replace implants now want to because their body shape and personal style has changed, not because the implant has grown defective.

Breast augmentation before and after - Dr. Pinsky.

“So it’s not that the breast implant needs to change because of the inherent mechanical characteristics of the implant, its because a woman’s body changes and her figure changes through the years.” Pinsky says he feels proud to be part of a panel of select voices helping to provide wider choices in the world of implants.

Dr. Pinsky is among those trailblazers out front as part of the Allergan Executive Council of Breast Aesthetics, helping to pave a pathway for future development in breast implants. “With the new implants that have come out that have a great degree of upper pole fullness to them – including the Inspira line of implants and the different types of silicone gels – we can offer better implants and choices than what we did 10-15 years ago.”

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