Updated September 2018
Breast implant warranties give you the assurance that in the event of implant malfunction or a defect, you receive new implants at no additional cost. But what if you need breast revision surgery for, say, capsular contracture? Is that covered too?
Warranties are the fine print you receive on a contract, so before you go in for your breast augmentation surgery, you should be aware of everything it entails. Basic plans typically only cover implant ruptures if they are on account of the device, not you. Did you know that?
Having all the information on hand will help you decide the warranty that works best for you.
What do breast implant warranties cover?
Breast implant manufacturers like Natrelle (Allergan), Mentor, Nagor, and Sientra provide variations of limited and lifetime warranties for their breast implants. The warranties these companies offer vary, and all companies allow you to purchase an extended warranty for different price ranges.
Generally speaking, though, when you choose breast implants you get a lifetime product replacement policy for free. But this only applies if replacement is necessary, and that will be determined by the plastic surgeon. This means if you chose an implant size and later became dissatisfied with that change and either wanted an upgrade or downgrade in size, your warranty would not cover them.
However, if your breast implant ruptured or deflated due to a defect with the device, it would be replaced—the same style—at no additional charge. That said, if before your replacement surgery you chose to go with a more expensive product style, you would be charged for the overage.
Higher warranty tiers require you to pay a fee that ranges from several hundred to several thousand, depending on the grade and benefits. What these tiers offer over basic protection/replacement plans is financial assistance toward your secondary surgery. Some, like Mentor, could make you eligible for up to $3,500 in financial assistance, while others like Sientra offer up to $5,000. How much you receive may depend on the reason for the replacement, with implant rupture taking precedence over capsular contracture, double capsule, and seromas.
In some cases of capsular contracture, double capsule, and seroma complications, however, you could have your choice of replacement implant. While implant replacement is covered for a lifetime, other perks are limited, on average, to 10 years or less, so make sure you understand your specific timeframe. Also, enrollment into premium warranties must be submitted within the first 45 days of your surgery to count.
Is your breast implant warranty enough?
Yes and no.
In order to activate your warranty and receive a replacement breast implant, even financial assistance, your surgeon will need to show and prove that there is a medical need for the replacement and that it is not a cosmetic or aesthetic "choice".
Also, you and/or your surgeon will need to provide the breast implant manufacturer with details about your implants, including:
- Implant serial number
- Implant size or volume
- Breast implant fill (saline or silicone)
- Implant catalog or reference number
- Breast implant design
- Breast implant shape and projection
- Date of your surgery
They may also ask for your plastic surgeon's name. All of this information can be found on your breast implant ID card, which your surgeon will give to you on the day of your breast augmentation. Keep it with your medical records so it is easily accessible.
If you lose your ID card, you'll have to request an operative report from your surgeon or the facility where your breast augmentation was performed. This could take days to retrieve and is not a waiting period you want to ride out when your breast implant is deflating or you have pain and discomfort.
Breast implant manufacturer warranties
Click on the links below to learn more about these warranties as their policies and prices can frequently change.
To see the Allergan Implant Warranty Policy, see this Natrelle Warranty Brochure.
Mentor breast implant warranties
To see the full Mentor Implant Warranty catalog, visit the Mentor website.
For additional warranty information, see this Nagor/GC Aesthetics leaflet.