By Dr. Constance M Chen
Among breast cancer patients who opt for breast reconstruction, 80% undergo implant-based breast reconstruction. Studies by implant manufacturers, however, show that within three years, three out of four breast reconstruction patients with implants will experience at least one complication, such as pain, infection, hardening, or the need for additional surgery. Many women live with chronic implant problems, or else they undergo multiple operations to adjust or replace their implants with new implants in the hope of improving their implant-based breast reconstruction. There is a risk of cosmetic and health problems in the first few years, and the risks increase over time. Many women do not realize that implants are not expected to last forever. Most implants have a ten-year warranty, but many will have to be removed before that. That said, women should know that there are alternatives to replacing failed implants that will give them a more natural result and a lifelong solution.
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