Breast Implant Removal: FSA Eligibility
Why is breast implant removal surgery necessary?
Breast augmentation surgeries are designed to enhance the appearance or rebuild breast tissue with a breast implant, but these operations are not permanent by any means. In general, breast implants last around 10 years on average, but some can last as long as 25 years in some cases. However, these implants must be scanned via MRI every two years to check for ruptures and other potential issues, so there is a certain degree of maintenance that is required to ensure that breast implants will remain aesthetically and structurally sound (American Society of Plastic Surgeons).
With this degree of long-term care concerns and potential health issues that could arise with breast implants, some women may choose to pursue breast implant removal surgery. Additionally, there are a number of potential issues that could arise from breast implants that could give women the incentive to pursue surgery, including via U.S. Food and Drug Administration:
- Breast Pain
- Asymmetry, Sagging, Extrusion and other aesthetic issues
- Implant complications (Ruptures, wrinkling/rippling)
- Infections, inflammation, rashes, chest wall deformity
What is breast implant removal surgery?
If patients decide to opt for breast implant removal surgery, it must be as a result of a medical issue that is caused by the implants to be eligible for reimbursement through a consumer-driven healthcare account. Unlike breast implant surgeries, removal procedures take much less time (about 1 hour in most cases) and the implants are usually removed through the same scar where the implant was placed in the initial surgery. Doctors will remove the implant and check the underlying breast tissue for any signs of tumors before closing up the incision (National Center for Biotechnology Information).
After a recovery period to overcome the effects of the anesthetic in the post-op period, patients will have to wait about a week for the surgical incision to heal and get plenty of rest to allow the body to completely recover. While some discomfort may be present immediately after the surgery, this pain can be alleviated with over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications. Because there is very little trauma during surgery for the pocket that held the breast implant, recovery times are typically very quick and complications from these procedures are usually quite rare.