I've had my implants for 6 yrs now. I've never been in a car accident or had any trauma to them. I woke up one morning and one did not feel right. Went to see the doctor that had placed them and they gave me a quote to replace them. 6 yrs ago I paid 5k for my implants today I was informed to get them replaced would cost me 8 to 16k. Please help!!! I am so broken right now. I don't have that kind of money to replace them. Is this correct?
Should I Be Charged to Replace my Ruptured Implant?
Doctor Answers (9)
Should I Be Charged to Replace my Ruptured Implant?
In agreement with Dr. Feldman, the human body is extremely complex and unpredictable. Devices and implants we use are not nor will they ever be "perfect." They occasionally fail. Surgery is expensive. Surgeons are highly trained, certified, and accredited, an expensive and demanding process. Office expenses, rent, employees, equipment and supplies, insurance, and many other incidentals are costly. Anesthesiologists, nursing staff, surgical assistants, and administrative staff don't work for free. Implants, although warrantied, should probably be replaced with gel to avoid future deflation. Your body is the most precious item you will ever own. Don't shortchange yourself. Be glad the service you need is available, many have invested heavily to provide it. Pay for the best, you are worth it. If your original surgeon is too expensive, shop around for the best you can afford.
Most breast implants have replacement costs covered for 10 years.
You should call the manufacture of your breast implants and checked see the policy for replacement. All implants that I use are covered four replacement for 10 years. After that the company will provide new implants but does not chip in any money for the cost of replacement.
Charges for replacing implants
If the implant is saline-filled it is quite obvious if it has failed (deflated) and both Allergan and Mentor have automatic guarantees for lifetime replacement of the implant and $1200 for the replacement surgery facility fee. This is adequate for simple replacement of one implant when the surgeon has control of the operating facility and it can be done under local anesthesia. My patients pay nothing for such a replacement, but I charge for patients whose original surgery was done elsewhere and different surgeons have different policies regarding charges for replacing implants.
If the implant is silicone gel-filled, it is much harder to tell if it's "failed" and needs to be replaced because most don't look or feel different from the outside. The best test is an MRI which is expensive just for the test. If it can be documented that the implant has failed then it would have the same guarantee options as for saline-filled implants.
If the implant has become malpositioned (shaped implants can do this too) but not failed and/or the patient just wants it replaced, then it is not a device problem and not a revision at 6 yrs. You might want to get other consultations and cost quotes if your original surgeon wants to charge that much.
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It is totally reasonable for your surgeon to charge you a fee for another surgery. I often give my repeat patients a discount on additional surgery.
Paying for re-augmentations following deflation
You should not expect it to be free... but I'm surprised your surgeon isn't cutting you a discount for returning to him/her. If they are unwilling to negotiate a more doable fee, shop around as there are many surgeons out there with much better fees. Know what their revision policy is in case your result is not up to your standards and try to think of this as an opportunity to change things that you may not have liked about your original, aging results. Turn this into a good thing for you.
Implant deflation is a device issue. As such your device should be warrantied. However it is 100% appropriate for a surgeon to charge for revision. Even if your warranty includes some coverage of surgeon/anesthesia fee it is often far below market value. Revision surgery can often be more challenging and take longer than a primary surgery so without seeing you or seeing pictures it's impossible to say if the quote is reasonable or high. You're always encouraged to get a second opinion from a board certified plastic surgeon doing high volume (200+) augmentations per year.
Ruptured implant question
I agree with you the price seems high. The other responses have informed you about the warranty. Get a copy of your operative report and implant information and get a second opinion. Also you can contact the implant companies about warranty info. Good Luck!
Your implants are covered by the implant company for the first 10 years. This does not cover the surgeons fee. The cost of replacement can be higher if there are some other issues like implant displacement.
Ask breast implant manufacturer about replacement policy
If your surgery was done in the U.S. 6 years ago then your implants are either Mentor or Allergan, and both companies have a lifetime replacement policy so you should get a new implant at no cost. Within 10 years there is also a financial allowance for anesthesia and the surgical facility. However implant deflation likely has nothing to do with your surgeon so it may be reasonable to charge a surgical fee.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.