Exposure of a breast implant (or implant extrusion) is an uncommon complication that can occur after breast augmentation or implant based breast reconstruction. Plastic surgeons say the complication occurs in about 2 to 8 percent of patients, with slightly higher rates of occurrence after breast reconstruction.
Breast implant exposure is usually associated with either infection or inadequate tissue coverage for the device. In some cases, there may be a combination of both these conditions.
The traditional approach to correct an exposed breast implant is to simply remove the device. With more recent techniques, a plastic surgeon can treat the exposure and salvage (or preserve) the implant. Correction of implant exposure may involve methods such as:
- Administering antibiotics
- Breast implant removal or exchange
- Change of implant location
- Closure of the wound
- Tissue or muscular flap coverage
Preservation of the implant is a worthy goal, because loss of the breast implant can be rather traumatic. Whether implant preservation is possible depends on the severity of the complication. This type of complication can range from "threatened exposure" to "actual exposure" which may be combined with infection. In general, the rate of sucess when preserving the breast implant decreases as the complication becomes more severe.
If you believe that you are affected by breast implant exposure or infection, we encourage you to contact Dr. Tracy Pfeifer in New York City to discuss treatment options. During a surgical consultation, you can discuss the possibility of preserving the breast implant, or the options involved with breast implant removal and revision. We have offices in Manhattan, Great Neck and the Hamptons. Call 631-653-6112 to schedule an appointment.