Do All Implants Eventually Need To Be Replaced?

Dr. Anne Wallace answers the question: 'Do all implants need replacement?'

ByAnne Wallace, M.D., Director, Breast Care Unit, Moore's UCSD Cancer Center

— -- Question: Do all implants eventually need to be replaced?

Answer: All breast implants do not eventually need to be replaced. I think we were careless in the 80s when we told people that they would all last forever. Just like any foreign material nothing probably lasts forever, but as long as you're not having problems with your implant, and you're happy with the cosmetic result, then it doesn't necessarily need to be replaced.

Now if you have documentation that silicone gel has ruptured or leaked outside of its shell, then we usually eventually like to replace that. It's not an emergency, because there isn't any data that says that silicone sitting in the scar capsule is harmful, but eventually, because it is a defective implant now, we eventually want to replace it. But if there is no documentation or evidence that silicone is having any problem, then those can stay in as long as the patient is happy; and the same is true for the saline implants, as long as the patient is happy with the result they can stay in.

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