If you’re hoping your breast implants will be covered by insurance because of something like asymmetry or changes after pregnancy, you probably need to explore other financing options. Breast implants are considered cosmetic surgery, so insurance companies typically won’t cover them. However, “Breast Implants are covered if they are being used as part of reconstruction after breast cancer or mastectomy,” says Houston plastic surgeon Dr. C. Bob Basu in a RealSelf Q&A.
In 1998, the U.S. FDA approved adjunct study protocols for silicone-gel filled implants only for breast reconstruction patients and for revision-surgery patients; and also approved the Dow Corning Corporation's Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) study for silicone-gel breast implants for a limited number of breast augmentation-, reconstruction-, and revision-surgery patients.
In some cases, a breast lift alone may not achieve a patient’s desired results. If you feel your breasts look “deflated” or have lost volume due to aging, weight loss, or pregnancy, your cosmetic surgeon can place breast implants during breast lift surgery to restore fullness and shape to the breast. If you have always wanted larger, lifted breasts, a breast augmentation with lift can help you achieve both with a single procedure and recovery.
When a silicone breast implant ruptures it usually does not deflate, yet the filler gel does leak from it, which can migrate to the implant pocket; therefore, an intracapsular rupture (in-capsule leak) can become an extracapsular rupture (out-of-capsule leak), and each occurrence is resolved by explantation. Although the leaked silicone filler-gel can migrate from the chest tissues to elsewhere in the woman's body, most clinical complications are limited to the breast and armpit areas, usually manifested as granulomas (inflammatory nodules) and axillary lymphadenopathy (enlarged lymph glands in the armpit area).
The first step in the breast implant surgery process is a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has extensive experience performing various types of breast surgery. During this meeting, the surgeon will perform an examination of your breast tissue, discuss your goals for surgery and tell you what you need to know about breast implants. Based on his or her examination, the surgeon will determine whether you are a candidate for surgery.
Because you’re injecting your body with something produced by your body, some people consider it “natural” plastic surgery, and it’s increasing in popularity. Breast augmentation using fat transfer increased 72 percent in 2016 while buttock augmentation using fat transfer increased by 26 percent, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Fat transfer breast augmentation has a few important limitations. First, fat transfer is typically limited to approximately one cup size increase in breast size. Second, the transferred fat may be absorbed again by the body. Third, it is more expensive because of the extra time involved in harvesting and processing donor fat as well as possible need for a special vacuum bra device. This option is best reserved for women who desire a modest increase in size without using an implant.
It is certainly possible to lift a breast without changing the volume or removing any tissue, however, the breast will sometimes appear smaller after this procedure due to its position. It is also possible to reduce breast volume without lifting the tissue (usually via liposuction) but all reductions that are performed by making incisions will also include a lift.