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Breast Implant Surgery

Implants: Usually Not a One-Time Thing


Can you guess what the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure is? If you guessed breast augmentation, you're right. But one thing that some women don't know is that breast implants aren't a one-time deal. They need to be replaced over time, or you could run into some pretty unpleasant health problems. Even before their recommended 10-to-15-year replacement time passes, some women run into trouble. Worst-case scenario, the implant ruptures, spilling saline or silicone into your body. Or scar tissue can form around the implants, causing disfigurement. In either case, the implants need to be replaced. This New York Times story examines the issue in detail. Tons of interesting stuff in here, including this:

“Your implants may last less than 10 years or more than 10 years, but when you start having problems with them, your health insurance is unlikely to cover the M.R.I. tests or the reoperations,” said Carol Ciancutti-Leyva, the director of a 2007 anti-implant documentary called Absolutely Safe. “It can be a very expensive proposition, especially if you are young.”

Another interesting tidbit: Doctors don't have to disclose information about how long implants may last. One woman quoted says that her doctor never told her she'd need to have "re-surgery." (Bitter surprise that was, I bet.) I've never really wanted implants, but the story is a must-read if you or someone you know is considering augmentation—or if you're just fascinated by the phenomenon, as I am.

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