Implant Tune-Up: Have You Reached 100,000 Miles?

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Dr. L. Scott Ennis and Donna Ennis

How to know when it’s time to change, exchange or remove your implants.

Implants are an important investment that will help you reach the quality of life you want and need. But many women don’t  understand that their implants aren’t a lifelong purchase. Not only do they get tired, but like everything else, technology improves. There is always a newer, better model on the market.  You need to change out your implants so you can ensure they are the highest quality and working at their peak performance level. Here’s how to know when it may be time for your next implant tune-up. 

Reasons For Change 

There are several reasons you might want to change your breast implants and they are all valid. You are the best keeper of your body and you may instinctively know when it’s time to switch them up. Some common reasons you may need an implant exchange are: 

  1. Time logged. Before 1992, implants were made of a silicone liquid that could leak into your body if the implant was compromised in any way. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA)  took these types of implants off the market in 1992 while tests were completed. Today, implants are made with a much-safer gummy silicone that looks natural and is much less likely to leak.  If your implants were put in prior to 1992, it’s definitely time for a change! “Almost every implant I see that was put in prior to 1992 is leaking.”, says Dr Ennis.
  2. Switching From Saline. During the time of the FDA testing from 1992 until 2006, the only implants available in the U.S. were made from saline, a saltwater solution that was deemed safer if it were to leak. Some women are unimpressed with the  less-natural looking and feeling saline implants and are ready for a switch back to silicone. These saline implants often rippled and often felt like a plastic baggie inside the breast.
  3. Movement Or Rippling. If you notice your implant has shifted position or if you’re noticing any rippling of your implant, it’s definitely time to have your implants switched out.  The newest soft touch silicone implants not only feel better but look much better as they hold their shape so much better. With these new implants, the implant gives the breast its shape from the inside, just like a bra would give you the shape from the outside. Less need for those cumbersome bras!
  4. Health Concerns. Health concerns are also a big reason why women sometimes want to exchange or take out their implants. Because there have been reports of older saline implants getting mold in them, some women are very concerned about their implants having grown mold over the years. But the truth is, you probably don’t have mold in your implants. Implants are supposed to be filled with a closed system that protects them from mold. If your surgeon made a mistake and drew up the saline out of an open bowl or container, then there is a risk of mold spores in the air landing in the bowl prior to the implant being filled. Unfortunately the only way to know is to take them out and even then, mold may not be visible to the naked eye. 

Also, a buzz in the plastic surgery world is the question of whether or not implants are making you sick, or if your body is rejecting the implant, which is sometimes referred to as “Breast Implant Illness.” When it comes to ailments or illnesses that may be caused by your implants, you’ll want to think about this like a peanut allergy.  

Although most people can eat peanuts without any trouble, there are certainly people out there that have anaphylactic reactions to peanuts and can have major health consequences. The same may be true with implants, they just may not agree with some people’s bodies and immune systems. For this, you’ll want to pay attention to what your body is saying and how your implants are working for you. 

Most studies show breast implants are totally safe, but there are a few patients who have seen significant health improvements when they had their implants removed. 

Getting An Upgrade: How To Handle The Change 

For older implants, implants that have begun to sag or ripple, or implants that are causing any health concerns, you’ll want to discuss the best options. Whether it’s removing the implants, exchanging them, or upgrading them, there are several options available for getting you the look you want. 

En Bloc Procedure – A surgical procedure most often used when health issues arise. The surgery works to remove the implants as well as the entire capsule and all the tissue around the implant that has come in contact with the implant to make sure any tissue that ever touched the implant has been removed and any problems are completely removed from the area. This way, if there was any inflammatory reaction caused by the implant, it will, in theory, be removed. This technique is typically used when someone wants their implants removed and not replaced. 

Dr Ennis has a special technique when removing implants that keeps the breast from “caving in” and looking like a raisin.  This technique allows the breast to shrink back up slowly, giving a much prettier, nicer look. 

Capsulectomy – A surgical procedure that removes the implants and capsule tissue around it. This technique is best used when you are exchanging your implant for another implant, or upgrading to the new, cohesive gel form of an implant, or when an implant gets hard and needs to be fixed. This procedure removes the hard scar tissue and the old implant, and a new implant is placed in hopes that the new scar that forms will be soft and feel like a nice soft breast. 

Fat Transfer – If you’re having your implants removed completely but don’t want to have small sagging breast left behind, this may be an option. This surgical procedure takes fat from other parts of the body and inserts them into the breast to give you a plumper look and more volume after removal of the implants.  You will need to speak to Dr Ennis to see if you are a candidate for the fat transfer and if it can be done at the same time or should be delayed by several months to allow the breast to heal from the initial implant removal.

A Dream Team   

There are so many reasons that you may need to tune-up your implants, and everyone will need to do it at some point in the life. Unfortunately, they are not a lifetime device. When it comes to trusting someone with such important details of your implants, you want a team that you know will go above and beyond to get you the look you want. Dr. L. Scott Ennis at Ennis Plastic Surgery in Boca Raton, FL is a highly-renowned and sought-after plastic surgeon that’s been named one of America’s Top Plastic Surgeons and one of the Ten Best Plastic Surgeons in Florida based on patient reviews and Realself’s Top 100 cosmetic surgeons in the country. Dr. Ennis and the Ennis Plastic Surgery team are ready to help you transition your implants to a new and improved version. 

Post sponsored by Ennis Plastic Surgery