The average lifespan of an implant is 10 years. It is recommended that silicone gel implants be followed with serial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to detect leaks. Radiation therapy is considered a relative contraindication to implant breast reconstruction because of the high rate of complications. Thus, other techniques of breast reconstruction are usually recommended with radiation therapy.
The nipple is usually created during a separate operation three months after the breast implant procedure. The procedure is done as an ambulatory procedure with the patient going home later in the day. The nipple is created by spiraling two small flaps of skin from the breast.
The areola is tattooed by a professional medical tatoo artist during a separate visit to the office six weeks after the nipple reconstruction. The medical tattoo artist works with you to choose the size and color shading.