Nearly all implants used in the United States have a warranty of 10 years or more. While some implants can last for long periods of time, some other breast implants will need to be replaced after a few years of use. Do not expect the implants to last forever.
Data collected by the implant manufacturers indicates that approximately half of the implants have to be replaced within seven years. Rupture of the breast implant, infection, and capsular contracture are some of the most common problems that affect the longevity of implants.
Virginia Institute of Plastic Surgery, led by board certified plastic surgeons Dr. Burton M. Sundin and Dr. Reps B. Sundin, provides breast implant removal to patients in Richmond, Fredericksburg, Northern Virginia, and surrounding communities.
Capsular contracture refers to the scarring that happens around the implant. All breast implants -textured, smooth, round, shaped, below or above muscle – will form a capsule. The implants are a foreign body, so the body of the patient tries to form a wall by developing a capsule around it. This wall acts as a barrier from the implant.
The capsule can be either flimsy or soft – nearly like an unnoticeable film or it can become painful and firm– like a hard shell that you feel contracts and shrinks over a period of time. When the implant forms a capsular contracture that is hard and painful, it is not a complication in itself. However, some women may want to remove both the implant and the capsule if the capsular contracture is severe and causes pain or discomfort.
En Bloc Capsulectomy
An en bloc capsulectomy plastic surgery is performed to take out the capsule and implant in a single piece. A complete en bloc capsulectomy is a thorough and painstaking surgical process that takes out every bit of the capsule, along with the section that may be very close to the ribs and the chest wall. In a partial capsulectomy pieces of the capsule are left inside the breast pocket.
The surgical separation from an en bloc capsulectomy causes irritation to the remaining tissue of the breast, and leads to production of fluid from the body. Therefore, after an en bloc capsulectomy, the surgeon needs to place drains to make sure the fluid from the breast pocket can exit the body.
In case a fresh breast implant is to be placed, it should be positioned in a new space. If the original breast implant was in the subpectoral position, the new implant may have to be placed prepectorally.
On the other hand, if the original implant was placed prepectorally, the fresh implant might have to be positioned subpectorally. At times, when the pectoralis muscle has been damaged or