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There are several different situations that may affect the answer to the question of the duration of use of the Silicone Breast Implants and when the Silicone Breast Prosthesis should be replaced. These may include;
Breast Stiffening or Capsule Contracture
This occurs when the scar tissue around one or both silicone breast implants hardens from the inside. This scar tissue can cause breast compression, pain, tenderness, and changes in breast size and shape.
Tear of Silicone Breast Prosthesis
The rupture of silicone breast prosthesis, often referred to as “silent tearing”, is quite different. Silicone breast implants usually contain a thick silicone gel that remains inside the implant or surrounding tissue, even if the implant ruptures. For this reason, it is often difficult to tell when a silicone implant has burst. You may notice a decrease in breast size, an uneven appearance, or changes in breast sensation, such as tingling, swelling, burning, or numbness.
Fluctuation after Silicone Breast Prosthesis
In some cases, wrinkles or fluctuations may occur in silicone breast prostheses. You can feel these fluctuations and in extreme cases, the fluctuations can be noticed through the skin.
Slip-on Silicone Breast Prosthesis
While silicone breast prostheses can change your appearance, they cannot stop the aging process. As you get older, gravity will continue to exert its effect and breast sagging may develop. Extreme weight changes can also contribute to position changes. When this occurs, you may consider breast lift surgery or a prosthesis replacement to return your breasts to the look you want.
Some women want to change the appearance of their breasts sometime after their first surgery. This may mean revision surgery with larger or smaller implants, or even complete removal of the implants.
Most patients believe that changing implants is a requirement, however, in most situations, it is only a personal preference. Simply because they prefer larger or smaller implants. Implants must be replaced in some circumstances for medical reasons, however, this is not always the case. Patients frequently desire to modify them owing to aesthetic concerns.
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What are the Reasons for Silicone Breast Prosthesis Replacement (Renewal)?
- Requesting a prosthesis that is larger or smaller than the current one.
- Asking for a prosthesis that is different from the current one (such as a round model instead of a drop model).
- Demanding a prosthesis with a different surface feature than the current one (such as a flat-surface prosthesis rather than a rough-surfaced prosthesis).
- Replacing a prosthesis that was placed many years ago with a new model silicone prosthesis even though there is no complaint.
- Renewing the implants during breast lift surgery.
- Rupture of the silicone prosthesis (silicone rupture).
- Capsular contracture development around the silicone prosthesis.
- Slipping, and displacement of the Silicone Prosthesis on the anterior chest wall (if the prosthesis is too large and it is necessary to replace it with a smaller one).
- The development of rippling in the breast (if a change in the size or surface properties of the implant is required).
The breast shape obtained after breast augmentation surgery with a silicone implant is not permanent for life. Over the years, there will be shape changes in the breasts due to factors such as the effect of gravity, pregnancy, and weight gain and loss. Moreover, women’s understanding of breast aesthetics may change over the years and they may want a larger or smaller breast than they are.
While there is no problem with silicone implants, sagging and loosening of the breast tissue covering the implant may develop and a breast lift surgery may be required. During this surgery, silicone implants can be left in place or replaced with new ones. If 5-10 years have passed since the first surgery and/or a new silicone implant with a different shape, size, or surface feature is desired, the implants are also changed during the breast lift surgery.
At the beginning of the situations in which the silicone breast prosthesis must be replaced, the rupture of the silicone prosthesis (prosthesis rupture) or in other words “the explosion of the silicone” comes. Today, commonly used silicone implants have a silicone or polyurethane sheath on the outside, and a gel-like medical silicone inside this sheath. As a manufacturing defect, due to the wear of the sheath over the years, as a surgical error, due to a trauma to which the implant has been exposed, or for any other reason, there may be rupture of silicone prostheses and leakage of its contents around the implant. In this case, the torn implant and its contents are surgically removed, the pocket in which the implant is located and the capsule contracture, if any, are cleaned, and a new implant is placed in the same pocket or another newly-created pocket. This process is called silicone breast prosthesis replacement or renewal surgery.
Do Silicones Last For Life?
With the developing technologies in the production of silicone breast prostheses, the durability of the prostheses has increased even more. If there is no medical or aesthetic necessity, the prostheses can stay for a lifetime. Many manufacturers give a lifetime warranty and if there is a tear in the prosthesis due to wear, they give a new one free of charge.
How Many Years Are Silicones Replaced?
There is no specific period when silicone prostheses must be replaced. Silicones can remain unchanged for life as long as no complications are observed.
Do Silicone Prostheses Get Old?
The outer sheath of silicone implants is subject to some wear over time. The covers of the prostheses produced in recent years are more durable and this wear is often not a problem.
How Do Weight Changes Affect Silicone Prostheses?
Changes in body weight, such as excessive weight gain or weight loss, do not directly affect the silicone prosthesis but affect the breast tissue on the prosthesis and the aesthetic appearance of the breast. In cases of weight gain, breast sizes increase even more. In cases of weight loss, the risk of the implant being noticed from the outside increases as the tissue covering the prosthesis will become thinner.