Breast implant advice

This week’s expert: Prof Rodney Cooter, Plastic Surgeon; President, International Confederation of Plastic Surgery Societies; Clinical Associate Professor, Department Surgery, Adelaide University

“Breast implants are not lifelong devices,” says plastic surgeon, Professor Rodney Cooter.

Even with the most advanced version of these implants put in by the most experienced surgeons, there is likely to be deterioration over time and patients should be warned of this potential and regularly monitored.

“We suggest now that at 10 years, after having annual follow-ups, [these women] should have an MRI. And that’s an MRI of the implants which is different to an MRI of the breast parenchyma,” he says. If all clear, then he suggests the test gets repeated in another five years.

While there has been much media attention focussed on the link between breast implants and cancer, the commonest problem with implants is capsular contracture. This occurs in 3-5% of cases, which is a still a concern but is a much less likely occurrence than in the early days of breast augmentation. Capsular contracture usually requires surgery.

Far less common, but ...

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