Breast Implant Warranty

Q: Dr. Eppley,  I had a breast augmentation about 5 years ago but one of my implants has deflated. I have insurance on them through Mentor. Not sure how to go about figuring that out but obviously I am doing research to find a plastic surgeon to get it repaired. But also since I’ll have to go under again there are a few other procedures I am interested in having done at the same time. Any info would be helpful. Thank you.

A: In regards to breast implants what every patient that has breast augmentation receives is a breast implant warranty from the manufacturer. The warranty entails a lifelong implant replacement (for the type of implant that was originally placed) and a maximum amount to be applied toward the cost of the breast implant replacement surgery. What that was five years ago from Mentor I can not say for sure but that number was probably in the $2400 range. (or more) That information can be determined from the manufacturer.

The way the warranty works is that it is between the patient and manufacturer, not between the surgeon and the patient. (even if it is the plastic surgeon who did the original breast augmentation) The warranty is also ‘backended’ so to speak. This means the patient must pay all the expenses for the breast implant replacement surgery up front. (minus the cost of the new implants) Once the ruptured implant is removed it is then sent to the manufacturer for their evaluation. Thereafter the manufacturer reimburses the patient  to the limits of the warranty in force at the time of the original breast augmentation surgery. This is a process that usually takes about 3 to 4 months to complete.

In regards to your breast implant surgery, you have to decide if you want to stay with saline implants or switch to silicone implants. If switching to silicone implants, you would have to pay the difference between the current cost of saline vs silicone implants as per the original warranty.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana