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Breast Implant Warranty

Breast Implant Safety

At the initial consultation it is made clear that breast augmentation surgery will not last a lifetime. It is likely that women at some point in their life will need one or more revisions, due to a deflation, or rupture, capsular contracture, wrinkling or perhaps because they desire to change from saline to silicone (or vice versa)or some may want a change in size.

If a saline implant should deflate, it causes the body no harm. It is filled with a saltwater solution similar to the fluid that makes up most of the human body, and it will be released through the urine. It will however look like a deflated balloon and will need to be corrected in a timely manner.

It is not always known if a silicone implant has ruptured and therefore the FDA recommends women have an MRI periodically to determine if a possible “silent rupture” has occurred. If a woman notices any changes in her breasts or has concerns, she needs to discuss this with her plastic surgeon to determine a course of action.

The manufacturing of the breast implant has evolved through the years. The first silicone implants used thick shells and contained firm gel. The second generation gel implants were developed in the 1970’s, they had thinner shells and the gel was less firm. But concerns regarding the rupture rate led to a third generation being developed in the mid 1980’s. The third generation implants remain soft but the shell and gel are thicker. These implants are referred to as “cohesive gel”.

The implants of today are far superior to those of the past, the manufacturers have ongoing clinical studies (monitored by the FDA) to provide clinical evidence demonstrating the safety of silicone implants.

Breast Implant Comparison

There are two types of breast implants approved for use in the United States, saline and silicone. The FDA states women 18 and older are approved for saline implants, and women 22 and older are approved for silicone implants. For breast reconstruction, either saline or silicone implants may be used and are approved for any age.

Each type of implants has its advantages and disadvantages.

For saline implants the advantages are:

  1. The implant is filled during surgery allowing the surgeon to adjust the size to some degree.
  2. If the implant deflates, the harmless saline solution is absorbed by the body and released through the urine.
  3. Smaller incisions.
  4. Recovery from surgery is generally faster.
  5. Implants are less expensive.

The disadvantages are:

  1. The implant has somewhat firmer feel than silicone.
  2. The fill valve could fail allowing a deflation.
  3. More likely to cause wrinkling.
  4. Should be placed under the muscle only to avoid rippling.

For silicone implants the advantages are:

  1. A softer more natural feel.
  2. May be placed over or under the muscle.
  3. No valve to allow a deflation.
  4. No wrinkling.
  5. Formation of scar tissue (capsular contracture) seems to occur less often.

The disadvantages are:

  1. Possible “silent leak” detected by MRI only.
  2. Larger incision for pre-filled implant.
  3. Not able to adjust size.
  4. More expensive.

Breast Implant Warranty

Both Mentor and Allergan offer generous warranties on their breast implants. The fact that they can afford to do this shows the confidence they have in their product.

Both companies offer a lifetime replacement of their implants due to a rupture or deflation that is caused by loss of shell integrity.

Mentor‘s Warranty:

Silicone Implants:

Lifetime replacement of 2 implants (with confirmed rupture).
Any size, similar style.

Financial assistance toward surgery
(Up to 10 years after May 1, 2009)
$3500 (free)

Saline Implants:

Lifetime replacement of 2 implants (with confirmed deflation)
Any size, similar style

Financial assistance toward surgery
(Up to 10 years)
$1200 (free)
Enhanced Advantage
(Sign up within 45 days of surgery)
$2400 ($100)

Allergan’s Warranty:

Saline and Silicone Implants:

Lifetime replacement in the event of a deflation or rupture due to loss of shell integrity.

At the request of the surgeon any size or style may be selected to replace Natrelle style implants.
A charge may apply on implants with a higher list price.

Financial assistance toward surgery
(Up to 10 years)
$1200 (free)

Confidence Plus Premier
(Sign up within 45 days of surgery)
$3500 ($100)
Includes a replacement for contra lateral breast implant at surgeons request.