Results of a study conducted by the American
Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (ASPRS) showed that
84% of women who have had their breast implants removed have replaced
them with new implants. In 1998, 32,262 women with breast
augmentation had their breast implants removed, and 27,320 of them
opted for new implants.
Breast implant removals have increased 76% since 1992, with only 4%
of patients having them removed due to their concern over the safety
of breast implants. The increase in breast implant removals
most likely reflects implants that were inserted prior to 1992,
says ASPRS President Paul Schnur, MD. Women are comfortable
about the safety of their breast implants so as their implants age,
we will continue to see more implant exchanges.
Currently, most women receive implants consisting of silicone rubber
shells that are filled with sterile saltwater. In this study, 93% of
implants were removed due to physical symptoms, such as signs of
rupture or capsular contracture. If a saline implant leaks or
ruptures, the saltwater is harmlessly absorbed by the body and the
implant is removed and replaced, says Dr. Schnur.
Other reasons for removal of the implants included capsular
contracture (ie, a hardening of the breast due to tightening of the
scar or capsule around the implant). This study also found that 53%
of patients whose breast implants were removed required removal or
scoring of scar tissue.