Breast revision surgery
I had breast implants put in 7 years ago but now one side is hard. I saw my original surgeon who said I have capsular contracture on one side. The quote for the revision surgery is as much as it was the first time. Should it be less if I'm seeing the same surgeon? The surgeon said I would need to have both implants replaced. Is it possible to just have the side replaced that has hardened to reduce the cost? How long should breast implants last? I thought they were supposed to be good for 10 years?
You have lots of questions to answer.
Capsular contracture does occur and when it occurs is very variable. Seven years is perhaps a little earlier than most, but not uncommon. Some women never develop it. Genetics may play a part.
If you have an operation, removal and replacement of both implants is not necessary, but may be wise. Implants have evolved over the last seven years and there are implants now which have lower complication rates including capsular contracture.
The implants you have in may no longer be available, so matching you old implant may not be possible.
Costs are a very individual thing between you and your surgeon. It is relevant however, that this second operation is much more complex than your first operation. This is because the scar capsule you have formed will have to be completely removed. This can be difficult, time consuming and has a higher complication rate. Have a thorough discussion with your surgeon about these things, so you can understand the operation clearly.
There is an "urban myth" that implants last ten years and should then be replaced. The truth is that most implants last a very long time but some do breakdown early. Capsular contracture is not commonly associated with implant breakdown. Complications such as capsular contracture, infection, bleeding, over-mobility and seroma are not problems because of implant failure, but problems related to the patient herself and how her body interacts with the implant. (They are not "Breast Implant Illness" however.)
If you have confidence with your original surgeon, stay with him. After all, he knows the details of what you had done.
Regards, Dr. John Newton