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After Breast Implant Surgery, Many Women Go Back for a Different Size

WebMD Health News

Many Want Resizing After Breast Implants

Oct. 27, 2003 -- The number No.1 reason women go back to the plastic surgeon after having breast implants is to get a different size, new research shows.

Results from the National Breast Implant Registry show that the majority of reoperations after breast implant surgery to remove implants are performed for women who want to change the size of their implants.

But complications, such as capsular contracture that occurs when scar tissue forms around the implant, implant rupture, and others follow close behind as common causes of breast implant removal surgery also known as explanation surgery.

The registry was founded in 2000 to collect information on the patterns of use and reasons for reoperations. Results from the first two years of monitoring were presented this week at the Plastic Surgery 2003 meeting in San Diego, Calif.

Tracking Breast Implants

As of February 2003, information on 7,300 implants had been entered into the registry. Of those, 98% were saline filled, and 1% were silicone gel filled.

Silicone breast implants were banned by the FDA in 1991, except for use in clinical trials. An FDA advisory panel recently recommended that the FDA allow them back on the market.

During the first two years of the registry, researchers found 745 implant removals were entered into the database. A request for change in size was the most commonly cited explanation (34%), followed by capsular contracture (32%), rupture (29%), patient request (25%), implant displacement (6%), skin wrinkling (1%), abnormal feel (1%), and pain (1%).

Two cases of breast cancer were also reported during this time period.

"We started the registry to get information about breast implants," says researcher Leroy Young, MD, chairman of the registry, in a press release. "Through the registry, we are seeing a trend for women who request a size change. By using this data, we could decrease this particular reoperation rate."

Researchers say that the results show that surgeons need to do a better job of discerning what patients want before breast implant surgery.

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