What type of long-term implant monitoring is required after surgery?
Saline implants do not require any active monitoring because deflation, a harmless event, is obvious when the implant finally wears out. Rupture of silicone implants is typically a silent event because there is no loss of volume due to the semi-solid nature of the filler material. Therefore silicone implants require active screening with periodic MRI scans to detect failure of the outside shell. The manufacturer recommends the first scan at three years but as a practical matter few silicone implants fail before seven years. Our practice therefore recommends that the first MRI scan be obtained seven years after implantation. The study is repeated every other year thereafter until a shell change suggesting implant replacement is demonstrated.