Re-use of Implant Caused Rupture. What Can I Do?

Fda and Breast Implant Manufacturer state "breast implants are for single use only" and never should implanted again if it was explanted. Breast implants should never be resterlized. Manufacturers state that your warrantly will be void if your surgeon re-uses the implant. If Plastic Surgeons have this knowledge, why isn't this on the consent forms that patients have to sign so we are informed patient. I have a ruptured implant that the Manufacturer will not cover because of the reuse.

Doctor Answers 2

Breast implant "reuse"?

Thank you for the question

I would agree with Dr. Tholen's answer that most surgeons would have replaced your implant unless otherwise indicated. This replacement would not be considered "reusing", is common practice among plastic surgeons, and should not be an issue with deflation replacement by the breast implant manufacturers.

I hope this helps.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Re-use of implant.

I'm not sure I understand what your issue is here. If you wanted your surgeon to use a new implant at your re-operation, then you would have had to pay for it. You apparently avoided the cost of a new implant  at your re-operation, but "the manufacturer will not cover because of the reuse" so now you have to pay for a new implant. Same cost either way. Re-use may have had nothing to do with "rupture" as this (extremely rare) occurrence would require re-operation with a "new" OR a "re-used" implant.

Let's define re-use first. If you request or require re-operation for some reason other than implant size (capsular contracture, malposition, symmastia, etc.), virtually every one of us (myself included) would preserve your implant in a sterile covered container in the operative field, do the necessary pocket work, and replace your (intact, proper-size, still-sterile) implant into its position in your body. This is NOT re-use, it is revision of breast tissues and continued use of a perfectly intact sterile implant.

If I take out an implant, store it in a bag in the implant room, and then re-implant it in another operation later (same patient or different one, even if re-sterilized) THAT is re-use. No one I know does this (including myself). Once out and off the operative field, it stays out. Your surgeon did not do that, and it has no bearing on your concern. Read your consent--it authorizes your surgeon to do what you and he discussed in detail. Unless you paid for and requested new implant(s), the consent form would not say anything about this, nor should it.

One final point. I believe either manufacturer of breast implants would cover this implant rupture, regardless of cause, unless there is a documented history of this surgeon having implant damage issues. Is your surgeon an ABPS-certified plastic surgeon? Are you getting the straight story?

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

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