Many who choose to undergo reconstructive breast augmentation surgery have this query. Do their breast implants come with warranties? If yes, what is the nature of these warranties? What kind of costs they cover if something goes wrong in the future? Is the coverage an indefinite one? Read on and you’ll get familiar with all the salient points regarding breast implant warranties.
What is a Breast Implant Warranty?
To begin with, everyone ready to go for their first breast augmentation surgery must understand that breast implants are not meant to be lifetime devices. As such, the possibility is always there that the patients may have to replace their implants sometime in the future. That said, the good thing is that if and when an issue arises with your current breast implant that may necessitate surgical intervention, the manufacturer’s warranty that comes with your breast implant may help.
A board-certified plastic surgeon explains that the warranty is, in many ways, similar to insurance. If some issue develops due to the surgery, the warranty is there to provide financial assistance to the patient. And as with insurance plans, what your warranty covers will vary from one brand to the next. At present, there are four different breast implant manufacturers approved by FDA and while all of them offer a warranty program, the terms and options vary.
What Is COMMON to All Breast Implant Warranties?
All patients undergoing breast implants receive lifetime guarantee if their implants suffer from a case of rupture and all four FDA-approved manufacturers offer this coverage. So, what is a rupture? A rupture is when an implant fails inside the body of the patient, usually due to wear and tear issues that may cause tears along a seam or a fold in the implant. Explains Dr. Broadman, if an implant, at any point after your breast augmentation procedure, ruptures as a result of a “wear and tear” issue, the company will pay the full cost of a replacement. Moreover, according to FDA requirements, all companies are obliged to offer contralateral implant during the course of the replacement—meaning when your damaged implant gets surgically replaced, you’ll also receive a second implant. The latter will be used to replace the unaffected implant in your other breast. This is why it is called contralateral replacement.
However, note that while breast implants come with a lifetime replacement cover in case of a rupture, the financial assistance for the surgery (i.e., the cost you’ll have to bear for the replacement surgery) does NOT come with a lifetime warranty. Commonly, the manufacturer will provide this financial assistance for up to 10 years from the date of the augmentation surgery. One notable exception is Sientra. This brand extends the financial assistance window to 20 years. Also, in addition to a rupture issue, the brand provides cover for a majority of common complications reported with regard to breast augmentation. These include late-forming seroma, double capsule, capsular contracture and BIA-AICL. According to Dr. Broadman, Sientra offers the most comprehensive breast implant warranty program among all four FDA-approved breast implant manufacturers in the US.
He, however, adds that this does not mean that you’ll always have to go with Sientra at the expense of the other companies. This is because complication with breast augmentation surgery is rare enough and in a large majority of cases, the patients will never even need to use their breast implant warranty.
For more information, look at this breast implant warranties from Dr. William M. Jacobsen page.