The Life Expectancy of Breast Augmentation

March 27, 2015

When considering breast augmentation utilizing either a saline or silicone breast implant, there are options, alternatives, risks and benefits to consider. Women deciding if breast augmentation with an implant is right for them should make an informed decision weighing all the facts, including the expectation that they will likely have another breast surgery at some point in their lifetime. In 2015 the risk of breast cancer is now estimated at occurring in1 of 7 (14%!) of women, so future breast surgery could also include breast biopsies and subsequent partial or complete breast removal. Breast reconstruction often involves future breast implant placement. The good news is that there is no evidence to date that has linked breast implants with an increased incidence of developing breast cancer. We recommend that women discuss the ongoing surveillance for breast cancer with their primary care provider and begin routine mammography at age 40 unless there is a strong family history of breast cancer that may indicate earlier mammography.

Silicone Gel Implant


Natrelle® Silicone Gel Implant

Breast augmentation is typically accomplished by surgically placing a silicone or saline-filled breast implant under the breast tissue and the pectoralis muscle. This procedure, along with any other plastic surgery procedure, should only be performed by a plastic surgeon as certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties, or ABMS. Having the proper education and training to perform cosmetic surgery procedures, like breast augmentation, is the first step to ensuring the procedure is performed properly and is likely to have fewer complications post-surgery.

Some women who request additional surgery after breast augmentation have experienced sagging due to pregnancies, breastfeeding or aging which can result in additional deflation or drooping of the breasts during the period of time after their implant placement. Others may desire a larger or small implant size. In a later season of life, especially with weight gain that has been associated with an overall increase in breast volume, some women elect to have the implants removed and the breasts lifted if needed. Very few women experience an implant rupture causing reoperation. Implant manufactures, like Allergan and Sientra, provide warranties in case of implant ruptures.

Your board-certified plastic surgeon should provide you with a detailed consultation that considers a full list of associated risks, benefits and complications associated with breast enhancement surgery. This consultation helps ensure your optimal safety and comfort during the procedure. Be sure that you have seen numerous before and after photos of their patients following breast surgery and have had a chance to review their policy for reoperation. We want to have a plan to make sure you are happy with your augmentation surgery, so it is important to establish honest communication with your plastic surgeon.

Proceeding with a breast augmentation surgery is an important decision that should be carefully considered. Take time to do your research online and include face-to-face consultations with one or more board-certified plastic surgeons. Women of all ages have enjoyed enhanced confidence that they directly credit to their breast augmentation surgery and feel the benefits of the surgery outweigh the limited risks associated with this surgery.

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