Woman smiling after learning how to monitor her breast implants

Our practice’s dedication to providing high-quality care goes beyond just creating excellent breast augmentation results; my fellow surgeons and I are just as committed to carefully monitoring breast implants here at St. Louis Cosmetic Surgery. Regular, ongoing monitoring allows us to catch any complications early, and it helps you to enjoy your results with confidence. While options for long-term implant monitoring were limited in the past, high-resolution ultrasound (HRUS) now makes the process faster, easier, and more affordable than ever.

Here’s what you need to know about long-term implant monitoring, why it matters, and how we’re working to make the process even simpler and more convenient than before.

Why is monitoring my breast implants important?

As with any surgical procedure, breast augmentation comes with some potential risks and complications such as asymmetry, capsular contracture, and rippling or wrinkling. Other risks are related to implant ruptures, such as a tear or a hole in the implant itself. Thankfully, regular monitoring can detect any issues early on and prevent them from developing further.

Whether or not you’ll need monitoring depends on your implant type. With saline implants, ruptures are easy to spot without scans. A saline implant tear causes a noticeably deflated appearance in the affected breast, and the leaking saltwater is harmlessly absorbed by the body.

With silicone implants, however, these ruptures can occur “silently” and without major immediate symptoms. Breast implant scans can detect tears that could otherwise go undetected, and they ensure that tears can be addressed promptly.

How does implant monitoring work?

The FDA recommends either magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans or ultrasound screenings 3 years after your surgery and every 2 years after that. MRI has traditionally been the preferred option, but our practice is now offering an updated approach with HRUS. This technology offers multiple benefits, including:

  • Affordability: HRUS is more cost-effective than MRI.
  • Convenience: Rather than requiring a separate imaging center, HRUS can be performed by a nurse right in our office.
  • Speed: It typically takes just a few days for a radiologist to return the results.
  • Accessibility: You won’t need a consultation or referral before a screening.
  • Accuracy: The technology produces accurate and reliable imaging my fellow surgeons and I trust.

Does monitoring require additional treatment?

We happily offer HRUS monitoring as a stand-alone service. You don’t have to be an existing patient of ours, we would only need a copy of your implant card or your OP note to identify the type of implant you have which will allow us to provide accurate information to the radiologist. You also won’t be required to pursue any specific follow-up treatments in addition to your screening. If you need a revision procedure such as an implant exchange or removal, you can choose to have it performed by one of our board-certified plastic surgeons or at a separate practice.

You can also electively exchange or remove your implants at any time if you desire a change. I’m happy to discuss your options at a private consultation.

If you’re interested in learning more about HRUS monitoring for breast implants or if you’re thinking about breast augmentation revision surgery in St. Louis, please contact us or call (636) 530-6161 to schedule an appointment.

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