Bellissimo Breast Implant Education & Upgrade Program
What We’re Doing
The Bellissimo Breast Implant Education & Upgrade Program is an initiative we launched to help educate and assist women with implants that are more than 10 years old.
The Education portion of the Program includes a free consultation with board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Antimarino, to determine the integrity of the implants and discuss the patient’s satisfaction with their implants. Dr. Antimarino will address any aging concerns with the breast implants, including:
- shifting of implants or drooping
- wrinkling and hardening
- aging breast tissue or atrophy
- deflation or implant rupture
- capsular contracture risks
The Upgrade portion of the Program offers patients with implants that are more than 10 years old the opportunity to replace and upgrade their breast implants if there is a concern with the implants. The cost to upgrade the implants with this Program is $3,995 which includes the surgeon fee, anesthesia, operating room facilities and silicone implants. This price is about 50% of the average price that plastic surgeons typically charge and is only offered as part of the Bellissimo Breast Implant Education & Upgrade Program.
Why We’re Doing It
Dr. Antimarino started Bellissimo Plastic Surgery & Medi Spa because he wanted to have a practice that genuinely reflects his personality and his philosophy about patient care, including the development of profound patient relationships that revolve around trust, sincerity and honest communication. At Bellissimo, we believe we have a responsibility to treat all our patients the same way we would want our own family treated and to connect with them to ensure we achieve the outcomes they desire and deserve. Unsurpassed patient care, education and results define the Bellissimo experience and we will always strive to assist patients in defining who they are and who they want to be. As we celebrate our one-year anniversary and reflect over the past year, we felt the best way to express our gratitude, both to our patients and the surrounding community, was by doing what we do best- Patient Education and Patient Care.
As the Medical Director of Excela Health’s Department of Breast Reconstruction, Dr. Antimarino is a staunch advocate of women’s breast health. With approximately 300,000 women undergoing breast augmentation each year in the United States, it is thought that more than 4.7 million women have had breast implants since 1997. While the FDA has stated that approved breast implants have a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness when used as labeled, the agency does emphasize that breast implants are not lifetime devices. The lifespan of breast implants depends on the individual, but on average breast implants made prior to 2006 tend to last about 10-15 years from the time of the original surgery.
The longer a woman has breast implants, the more likely she is to experience local complications and need a replacement. Some of the most common reasons for replacement are size change, rippling, wrinkling, asymmetry, rupture and capsular contracture. Women with older silicone gel implants may actually be unaware that their implants are broken or leaking. Unless they have an actual concern with their implants they may feel that regular follow-ups are unnecessary and expensive. But many of these women have aging breast implants that should be examined and some may need them removed or replaced. Changes may be more evident with a saline implant as they deflate when they rupture, whereas a silicone implant rupture may be more difficult to assess.
Dr. Antimarino encourages women with implants that are more than 10 years old to have routine examinations by a board certified plastic surgeon every 1-2 years and report any unusual changes such as pain or change in appearance immediately. With an in-person evaluation, women have the opportunity to discuss implant replacement or upgrade while having their surgeon perform a physical evaluation. With the evolution of implants over the last 10 years there are now a multitude of anatomical shapes available that allow more options for women who are interested in replacing an older implant to choose from.
Why It’s Important
All breast implants will eventually leak or rupture. Breast implants made prior to 2006 tend to last about 10-15 years from the time of the original surgery. It is not yet known how many years the breast implants that are currently on the market will last, but they have a thicker outer shell and a more stable, cohesive gel than the prior implants. According to one FDA study, 20-40 percent of patients who have implants for cosmetic reasons will require device replacement within 8-10 years after receiving their implant. Some of the most common reasons for replacement are size change, rippling, wrinkling, asymmetry, rupture and capsular contracture. As the body ages, the naturally occurring weight shifts, hormonal changes and loss of volume can further alter the position of the implants.
The majority of women that Dr. Antimarino has treated for a ruptured implant have had the silicone contained within the capsule that formed around the breast implant. The capsule is a natural barrier around the implant formed by a woman’s body within weeks of implant placement. Many of these women experienced a change in the shape of their breast and felt more firmness or low-grade pain in the affected breast. It is important to remove or replace a ruptured implant early to prevent the silicone from migrating outside the capsule and into the breast tissue or lymph nodes.
During the physical examination, the plastic surgeon can determine whether additional tests such as an ultrasound, mammogram or MRI may be necessary to diagnose a ruptured implant. When the FDA approved silicone gel breast implants in 2006, it recommended that women with these implants have a breast MRI three years after getting them and then every two years after that. An MRI is the most accurate way to detect a rupture of a silicone implant, but is also the most expensive method. Saline implants do not require MRIs to check for leakage.
What is Capsular Contracture
The scar tissue (capsule) that normally forms around the implant may tighten over time and compress the implant, making it feel firm and leading to what is called capsular contracture. Capsular contracture may be more common following infection, hematoma, and seroma, and the chance of it happening may increase over time. Symptoms of capsular contracture range from mild firmness and mild discomfort to severe pain, distorted shape of the implant, and palpability (the ability to feel the implant). Capsular contracture occurs more commonly in revision-augmentation than in primary augmentation.
When choosing a surgeon for breast implant removal or upgrade, you should know the answers to the following types of questions:
- How many breast implant procedures does the surgeon perform each year?
- How many years has the surgeon been performing breast implant procedures?
- What brand of breast implant does the surgeon use?
- Have the certification programs recommended by the manufacturer for the use of its breast implants been completed?
- Is the surgeon board certified, and with which board?
- In which state(s) is the surgeon licensed to practice surgery?
- What is the most common complication the surgeon encounters with breast implant procedures?
- What is the surgeon’s reoperation rate with breast implants and what is the most common type of reoperation performed?
- Can the surgeon perform the surgery in a hospital as well as in a surgery center?
Dr. Antimarino is board certified by the American board of Plastic Surgery and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He has more than 15 years of experience and performed more than 1,500 breast augmentations and more than 700 breast re-augmentations. Dr. Antimarino completed Allergan’s and Mentor’s Physician Certification Programs for the use of their breast implants and Bellissimo Plastic Surgery & Medi Spa only uses Allergan and Mentor breast implants. Dr. Antimarino also developed the revolutionary Projection Pocket technique to narrow a breast pocket previously created for a breast implant which in turn creates a new, fuller, more projected breast.
- Breast Implant Complications Booklet
- National Library of Medicine – Breast Augmentation Series
- National Library of Medicine – Breast Reconstruction – Implants
- National Library of Medicine – Cosmetic Breast Surgery
- American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) – Breast Augmentation
- American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) – Breast Augmentation Surgery