Dr. Ravi Explains When and Why Breast Implants Should Be Changed
Breast augmentation is an ever-growing cosmetic surgery in Houston, Texas, as well as around the United States and the world. In my Houston based practice, I have operated on women from Memorial, Katy and the Galleria who require an implant exchange. It is important for those who currently have breast implants in place or those looking to have breast augmentation understand that this is likely not a one-and-done type surgery. There are circumstances where implants need to be removed entirely or replaced. Plus, there are situations where a follow up breast lift (mastopexy) will need to be performed.
Many women initially had their breast implants placed many years ago. A clear majority of these women had their initial breast augmentation when they were much younger, as well as prior to having children. Now, these same women have gone through the natural aging process, pregnancies and breastfeeding. The shape of their breasts no longer remains the same. The skin and breast tissue change naturally around their implants and breasts look much different over the years. Due to this, many women may need different size implant, different style, or will need a mastopexy (breast lift) to improve the shape of the surround tissue and skin.
For woman who had breast implants placed between 1996- 2006 there is a good change that saline implants were used instead of silicone implants. During those years that was likely the only option as extensive studies were undertaken to learn the safety of silicone implants. The good news is that silicone implants since then have been FDA approved for women over the age of 20. Unfortunately, those with saline implants may develop issues with capsular contraction or deflation of the implants. Rippling can also be seen more often with saline implants. As mentioned above, the native breast tissue and skin also undergoes changes with aging. This includes loss of breast tissue and deflation after pregnancy, breastfeeding and simply with time. The combination of changes related to having older implants, as well as age related changes to the breast, result in my recommendation to have the saline implants changed to newer, more sturdier silicone implants. Depending on the look and your goals, a breast lift will need to be considered to improve the shape as well.
Breast implants are like car tires. There is normal wear and tear and one set of tires will not last a lifetime. It’s important to understand that both saline and silicone breast implants are not meant to last a lifetime, regardless of the surgeon. After 10 years, saline implants have an increasingly higher chance of deflation with time. Therefore, consideration should be given for implant exchange of saline implants to silicone implants once they have been in place for 10 years. There are obviously many benefits of replacing these implants prior to rippling, deflation or any other common issues. Today’s silicone implants have a softer feel compared to saline implants. Also, saline implants may have a “swish” and “slosh” sound from the saline in the implant shell moving around. This is eliminated with silicone implants. Natrelle Inspira implants are excellent options as they maintain their shape given their highly cohesive nature.
Ten to twenty years ago there were only a few choices when it came to breast implants. Therefore, there were only limited options available for women with vastly different breast sizes, variations in soft tissue coverage, and breast shapes. Today, with more choices of implants including highly cohesive gels with different fill ratios and anatomic shapes, there are many more options for me as a board certified plastic surgeon to offer a better implant option depending upon the anatomy, and goals of a particular patient. By having more options, breast augmentations can be customized to allows me to deliver the best, most beautiful, longest lasting results.
The art and science of breast augmentation continues to evolve yearly and with each decade. As a Houston, Texas plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, I strive to stay on the cutting edge of science within the realm of cosmetic breast surgery to offer my patients the absolute best results. I have also been selected to be part of the breast implant advisory board of Allergan to provide feedback and date to further improve outcomes and safety.
To be seen as a patient in my private practice, please call 281-242-1061 and a friendly member of the staff at Body by Ravi Plastic Surgery can help you coordinate a visit. You’ll enjoy your time in our beautiful 5-star hotel-style office located off I-10 near Memorial, Spring Valley, the Galleria, Katy and the Heights.