Dr Nicholas Linklater – Surgical Assistant – Breast Implant Check and patient reviews for past patients of Dr Craig Rubinstein
Regular Breast Implant Check
Routine breast implant checks usually take about 30-40 minutes. However, due to the particulars of your condition, the consultation may be longer as our doctors may feel a more extensive examination is required. No referral is needed.
Early signs that something may have gone wrong with breast implant surgery include:
- redness of the skin around the breast
- unusual swelling that does not go down
- a burning sensation
If you notice any of the above symptoms, immediately see your surgeon. If you are concerned that the operation was not carried out correctly or are unhappy with the results of the surgery, you can book in to see Dr Craig Rubinstein’s Surgical Assistant, Dr Nick Linklater.
Conditions and Treatments
Leaks, Ruptures, Capsules and Double Bubble
The use of breast implants carries the risks of implant leak, rupture and capsular contracture. Ruptured silicone breast implants can cause breast pain or changes in the shape of the breast. Double bubble occurs when a breast implant shifts down into the breast crease.
If you experience symptoms such as pain, soreness or swelling, lumps, or softening or hardening of the affected breast, you should see your doctor immediately. We now recommend that all women with breast implants should be checked regularly.
Breast Implant-Associated (BIA) ALCL is a rare lymphoma associated with breast implants. The incidence of BIA ALCL is between 1 in 1000 and 1 in 10,000. It is more closely associated with textured implants.
BIA ALCL takes about eight years to develop, so women have a long time to determine their best course of action. It is important to get checked regularly and to know that this lymphoma is treatable by removal of the implant and surrounding capsule if caught early.
BII – “Breast Implant Illness”
Breast Implant Illness (BII) is a patient-reported condition with several symptoms ranging from general fatigue, hair loss, modified body odour, general body pain, depression, painful breasts, itching of the breasts, redness of the breasts, irritable bowel syndrome, endocrinological conditions, palpitations and autoimmune diseases including rheumatology, SLE, myalgia, arthralgia and Raynaud’s disease.
More than 100 different symptoms are patient-reported and intensely discussed in Facebook groups and in other forums on social media. The medical profession has been working intensively over the past 60 years to understand the mechanisms of the concerns and side effects of the above patients related to breast implants.
At Coco Ruby, we take these concerns seriously and listen to patients and share our objective, evidence-based knowledge.
There are currently no diagnostic tests available for BII. Data in the literature does not yet support the hypothesis that breast implants cause autoimmune diseases. So far, there is no evidence that the withdrawal of breast implants guarantees a long-term symptom-free life.
We respect and support a woman’s desire to take out their breast implants after having received relevant information. The decision to undergo breast augmentation for aesthetic reasons, or to do breast reconstruction, should be taken by a well-informed patient. Similarly, a decision to remove the implants should also be well-founded by a well-informed patient.
Based on existing scientific data from best practice around the world, Professor Deva and Associate Professor Karen Vickery, together with colleagues from the University of Texas – Southwestern, have published a 14-point plan for surgeons to minimise the risk of breast implant infection.
The plan includes protocols such as specific antibiotic and irrigation regimes, particular incision and dissection techniques, minimal device handling and layered closure methods.
How often should you get your implants checked?
It is recommended you have your implants screened via MRI three years after your breast augmentation surgery, and every two years thereafter. This is to check for a “silent rupture.” What is a silent rupture? Today’s silicone implants are made with a firmer gel that will hold its shape even if the shell breaks. Therefore, a silicone implant rupture is very difficult to detect without the aid of imaging technology; in fact, if a patient does not come in for imaging as recommended, she might have a rupture for many years without even knowing it.
While there is no medical evidence that a rupture causes direct harm to the patient’s health—the silicone gel in modern implants is designed to stay together and not migrate outside the breast capsule—we still consider it best practice to remove a ruptured implant, just to be on the safe side.
If you’ve been avoiding having an MRI you can also choose to have an ultrasound. It can also spot implant ruptures.
If you’re put off by the idea of spending time in an MRI machine, you’ll be glad to know that we can also check for silent rupture using ultrasound. Both procedures are just about equal in how accurately they can spot a silicone implant silent rupture.
Saline implants do not run the risk of silent rupture (a rupture is usually seen with the eye), you can wait a little longer between checkups, assuming you are happy with the way your breasts look and you aren’t experiencing any issues to cause concern. For most saline breast implant patients, having your implants checked every 5 to 10 years is adequate.
Regardless of what type of breast implants, you should go for scheduled mammograms, recommended by your doctor. Mammograms will not hurt your breast implants, and professionals are trained in how to perform and read mammograms for patients who have had a breast augmentation.
If you are experiencing breast pain or swelling, get your breast implants checked.
It’s important to pay attention to your breasts and get them checked if you observe anything unusual. Following are some symptoms that can happen and why it’s a good idea to resolve them.
- Unnaturally hard or round breasts after augmentation, with or without pain, are symptomatic of possible complications, most commonly capsular contracture. About 1 in 10 patients develops this to some degree. Mild cases are treated non-surgically, while more advanced cases will need to be treated with surgery to remove the old implant and breast capsule (scar tissue) and place new implants if desired. Treating the issue should resolve pain and restore a softer, more natural look.
- Breast pain accompanied by swelling or fluid buildup is a possible symptom of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), a very rare cancer of the immune cells, which occurs in about 1 in 3,800 to 1 in 30,000 patients with textured Before you get too worried, keep in mind that the vast majority of patients who present with these symptoms do not have BIA-ALCL. Of the very small number of patients who are diagnosed with the disease, nearly all are cured by surgically removing the breast implants and capsule.
The point here is not to ignore any breast changes or symptoms—this is true even if you don’t have breast implants. The earlier you detect and address any issue, the easier it will be to treat. And, if you end up ruling out a problem, you’ll have the peace of mind you deserve.
You should see your plastic surgeon anytime you have a concern about your implants.
Whether you’ve had your implants for a month or a decade, if something is concerning you, schedule an appointment with your plastic surgeon. This goes for aesthetic as well as possible health-related issues, no matter how big or small. It’s far better to discuss your concerns with a physician who can offer real solutions than it is to consult the internet (which, as we all know, is not always the most reliable source).
Common reasons our patients might come in for a follow-up include:
- Desired change in implant size or style
- Concerns about breast sagging or asymmetry after several years
- General concerns about how their breast implants may be affecting their physical comfort and health
Whatever your reasons for wanting to discuss your breast implants, we welcome you to come in for a consult. We’ll listen carefully and help you find the right solution.
Even if everything seems fine you will still need a check-up every few years.
Even if you love your breast implants, it’s important to maintain a relationship with your plastic surgeon and see them in person every few years. Here’s why:
- Breast implants aren’t meant to last forever. Although some patients keep the same implants for over 20 years, they are not intended to last a lifetime. Eventually, your implants will need to be replaced. The risk of implant rupture increases after the first decade, so at the very least, see your plastic surgeon within 10 years.
- Your breasts and body will change over the years. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight changes, and the natural ageing process will change your breast tissue and surrounding skin. With time your implants might not look or feel quite the same. The occasional visit to your plastic surgeon will give you the chance to discuss options to maintain or improve upon your results.
- Your breast implant warranty can expire. While most manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on the implant itself, coverage for revision surgery usually expires after a few years. In the case you were to sustain a silent rupture or have another problem that needed revision surgery, you’ll be glad to discover the problem while your warranty is still in full effect.
How a Breas Check Can Help
A BREAST CHECK WILL ASSIST WITH
- Bumps / Pain / Swelling / Redness
- Ageing Implants
- Double Bubble
- Textured Implants
- Bottoming Out
- Capsular contracture
- Pending Revision Surgery
- Post Pregnancy
- Weight Gain or Loss
- Exercise, Nutrition and Diet
- Pain Management
- Skin Cancer and Smoking
- Best Bras
- Breast Self Examination
- Regular Breast Checks with your doctor
- Mammograms, MRI, Ultrasound
TESTING FOR PROBLEMS
- Sent for MRI
- Sent for Ultrasound – Send for test
- Sent for Blood Tests
For any concerns or a regular check-up of your Breast Implants, call Coco Ruby today and book a review, no referral is needed with Dr Nick Linklater.