The modern breast implant is a miraculous thing. While not made to last forever, these pillows of silicone and saline can look beautiful and remain safe for well over 10 years. However, for those women who have had their current implants for 15 years or longer, there is some compelling information that may mean its time to upgrade, even if there has been no sign of trouble.
The Background on Breast Implant Safety:
Breast implants have been around since 1976, at which time, they were given a safety rating by the Medical Device Amendments, as part of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Acts. In 1992, based on information that had been submitted from manufactures, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that breast implants filled with silicone gel be removed from the market for further review. In 2006, after years of meticulous study, silicone implants were determined to be safe, with no scientific link to any health problems.
Reasons to Replace Implants From 2000 or Before:
Over the last decade and a half, breast implants have seen a vast improvement. Older implants were not created with the same, cutting-edge technology we use today. While there is no safety concern with implants that are greater than 15 years old, their lifespan may have reached its limit. Consider these factors:
1. Potential Rupture of the Breast Implant
Twenty years ago, the FDA regulations for breast implants were more lax, and it was acceptable for the implants to show potential for leakage under certain circumstances. Currently, the breast implant market is on its seventh and eighth generation of implants, whereas back in the nineties, it was only on its third. Meaning the older the implant, the greater the chance for leakage to occur.
2. The Shell/Lining of the Breast Implant
In the nineties, the silicone shell of the implant was thin and single ply. Nowadays, the Allergen models have a three-ply shell that offers 300% better protection against rupture and leakage. Older shells also tended to be more thick and rigid, whereas the new shells are flexible, giving them a longer life and more natural look.
3. Material Inside the Breast Implants
About ten years ago, breast implants were commonly filled with silicone gel in liquid form. Today, this material has migrated to an innovative cohesive gel. On the off chance the implant does rupture or tear, the silicone material inside is so thick (like Jell-O) that it will not enter the body.
In this video, a plastic surgeon actually cuts an Allergen Natrelle® Breast Implant in half with scissors to demonstrate.
4. New Breast Implants are More Natural
The feel of new breast implants are more consistent with natural breast tissue. It is almost impossible to tell when a woman has undergone a breast augmentation today, as her chest will still look just as natural as someone who has not had the procedure. Older implants often look less organic.
5. The Clock is Ticking on Older Breast Implants
Our office recently had a patient come in with older implants that were leaking. The implants had ruptured, leaked liquid silicone inside her body, and it even began oozing out of a hole in her skin. It took a considerable amount of time and expense to remove the old breast implants, remaining silicone, and damaged skin, as well as implant new ones – all of which could have been avoided had the patient come in sooner.
Irreplaceable Breast Implants:
Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery uses the Allergen brand of breast implants, which are guaranteed for life. This makes them ideal for women looking to have breast augmentation done for the first time. Additionally, Allergan is fantastic for women who are having their old, outdated breast implants replaced.
To learn more about why you should replace your breast implants if you have had them since 2000, call our offices at 281-484-0088 or by email at [email protected] Dr. Vitenas has been rated a top plastic surgeon for more than a decade, and his office offers consultations to new patients.