Long term breast augmentation maintenances.

Assuming insurance covers nothing for follow up breast implants procedures, what should I expect as far as long term maintenance (checkups, problems, replacement, etc) - assuming I'm your average patient in my mid 30s, small 200-225cc, silicone, under muscle, placed thru nipple. Please share things that will be out of pocket and typical things that will change for my future medical follow ups. Also, who supplies the best bras for best support following such a procedure?

Doctor Answers 4

Long Term Maintenance

Reputable implant manufacturers usually have good warranty in place for their products and your Plastic Surgeon can let you know what brand/serial number of implant you have and how to contact the company if needed. Generally, appointments or procedures that would carry a cost for the patient would be those to make aesthetic changes to the breasts which aren't medically necessary. You shouldn't expect to have maintenance needs for your breasts but regular exams with your primary care physician are a good idea. Each Plastic Surgeon has their own preference for post op bras so I recommend that you ask your surgeon what they recommend for you.All the best

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Breast augmentation maintenance

Barring problems such as capsular contracture, infection, or implant rupture, the maintenance required for breast implants is really fairly low.  Your breast tissue may change with weight gain/loss, periods, pregnancy, etc. but the implants themselves will just sit there.  Placing small implants under the muscle should reduce your risk of capsular contracture.  While some doctors advocate changing implants every ten years, I do not believe that this is essential.  I have seen saline implants last for almost thirty years before deflating and I have seen silicone gel implants that have been in place for 35-40 years without any issues.  As for bras, we sell Coobie bras in our office and our patients love those.  They are stylish, supportive, and inexpensive.

Edwin C. Pound, III, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Maintenance after Breast Augmentation

As far as bras go, we tell our patients to avoid push-up or underwire bras for six weeks post surgery.At that point, any bra that fits is acceptable to me. As far as maintenance goes, other than seeing the plastic surgeon should anything change in relation to the breast, it makes sense to me, and is recommended by the FDA, to have some type of surveillance looking for occult rupture. MRI has been the mainstay for the diagnosis of a ruptured silicone gel implants. Unfortunately, at a cost of 1500 – 2500, dollars, and not covered by insurance, that seems prohibitive for most patients. In our office, we have used ultrasound to evaluate breast implants over the last four years. In our experience, ultrasound is almost and may be just as good at ascertaining the presence of a broken implant as an MRI. Presently we recommend that the patient have an ultrasound, in the office, done sometime in the sixth year and then also in the ninth year. Over the next few years, I believe that in office ultrasound, done by your plastic surgeon, will become a replacement for MRI. Congratulations on your surgery. 

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Long term breast augmentation maintenances.

Thank you for your excellent question.  Depending on the implant used for your augmentation the manufacturers will cover the cost of your implants for any ruptures or leaks and some even contribute a dollar amount towards anesthesia and facility surgical costs, such as for correction of capsular contracture.  If you require any future imaging studies to assess the condition of your implants, such as an MRI, this would be out of pocket, as would any surgical costs that were not covered by the implant manufacturers.  Implants are not considered permanent devices and at some point a revision procedure may be needed - increasing implant size, exchange of implants, or a breast lift.  As far as a garment I recommend patients be professionally fitted at 6 months after surgery to have the best, most supportive garments for their implants.  

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

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.