How Long are Breast Implants Good for?

by | Mar 23, 2021 | Plastic Surgeon Feature

Many people who are contemplating breast augmentation wonder, “how long are breast implants good for?” When women visit Dr. Shahrem Salemy, they are confident they are going to get breast implants that look and feel amazing. In fact, Dr. Salemy provides patients many breast implant choices including the IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implant. The IDEAL IMPLANT has extremely low rates of rupture and capsular contracture compared to other implant options, which is why surgeons, like Dr. Salemy, offer it to their patients. Get to know more about him, why he enjoys being a plastic surgeon, and what to expect if you select him for your breast augmentation.

Tell us a little bit about you and your practice.

“My name is Shahram Salemy. I’m a board-certified plastic surgeon practicing in Seattle. My practice is all cosmetic surgery and I perform surgery of the face, breast, and body. Breast augmentation is probably the operation I do the most. It takes up a lot of my practice, and we see patients of all different ages, sizes, goals, younger, older, moms, you name it. We kind of see the whole gamut.

Why do patients select you over other plastic surgeons in their area?

“What I hear from patients is that they spent a lot of time researching who they want to go to, and it’s typically a combination of, ‘We like your work that we see, the photos we see, the before and afters online. We like what people say about you publicly.’ As I’m in my 40s now, compared to when I was in my 30s, I see a lot more of, ‘You operated on my friend, or my cousin, or my sister,’ or wherever. So there’s a combination of things; reputation, personal referral, and before and after photos.

“I also believe patients come to us because we are consistent. We have a really good system in terms of from the first phone call to the last visit in terms of not just me, but the staff, the coordinators, the operating room, the anesthesiologist, the nurses. The whole experience is very consistent and it’s a more predictable result. They know what they’re going to get. We try really, really hard to make the whole experience good. Not just the surgical experience, but the rest of it.”

What does a typical breast implant consultation look like?

“I want to get a sense from patients of what their goals are for the surgery, and then I examine them. A lot of the exam will help me determine—are they candidates for every type of implant or are they going to do better with one or another? Then I’ll go through the pros and cons of the different choices. And then ultimately, it’s their decision.

“Oftentimes, patients will leave it up to us, but it’s pretty rare. Most patients who come in who know, ‘I want an unstructured saline implant,’ they tell us. We don’t try to convince them one way or the other. If there’s a reason why they would do better anatomically with a silicone gel implant, I explain that to them. Similarly, if there’s a reason why I think an unstructured saline implant is a good choice for them, I would explain that to them as well. So we’ll do whatever they want, but in the end, it’s up to them to accept the pros and cons of the choice.”

How do you help patients make the right decision for their bodies when it comes to incisions, implant placement, and sizing?

“I explain to them that in my practice, ‘these are the things that I think work the best.’ On a rare occasion, the anatomy will call for something a little different than that. Having done this for a while, I feel like I can get a pretty good result doing it a certain way, and patients tend to trust us in that regard.

“We use a very low tech way of sizing that’s incredibly effective and durable. We just use implants, and a bra and a T-shirt, and then we adjust for the amount of difference that’ll occur when we put it behind the muscle, and then we make a plan. I have to say that the overwhelming majority of patients are thrilled with the size. It’s very, very uncommon to have a patient afterwards say they’re too big or too small.”

Why did you choose to offer the IDEAL IMPLANT?

“We’ve offered it for a while because the patients that I see, that I think are going to want this implant, are going to be highly educated women. They’re going to be women who don’t want big implants, who want a more modest appearance, but they want to have choices within that modest range based on their frame. That’s why I think having the choice of having different widths, different volumes at the lower range is critical.

“There are women that are going to be five foot tall, and a hundred pounds, and want to go from an A cup to a B cup, and want the smallest implant. There are also going to be women that are 5’9″ and 160 pounds, who also want to go from an A cup to a B cup. Those are the women that are going to come in. They’re going to be CEOs. They’re going to be stay-at-home moms. They’re going to be that whole range of highly educated women, especially in a place like Seattle. Tech, software, all that. They are not going to want enormous implants, but they need to have choices, and surgeons have to have choices within that range.”

What do you like about being a plastic surgeon? 

“I think I’m pretty good at it. I think that it’s fun to be a part of someone’s life that makes them happy. What makes me happy is when patients come in, they have a specific thing that they don’t like about their body, and I’m able to help them. They have an uneventful, totally vanilla experience. There were no setbacks or issues. They felt pain wasn’t bad. They went back to normal life and never saw the surgeon again and I was totally fine with it because they were totally comfortable and everyone was happy. That, to me, makes me really happy. We’ve done this little thing for them and it’s changed their happiness. They feel more confident about themselves. With their partner, they’re happier. In clothing they’re happier. With their girlfriends they’re happier. Everything has made their life a little bit better. Especially moms. They go through a lot with their bodies after children. It just beats them up. Giving them that sort of sense of confidence back, that’s great.

“I like no drama, no excitement. I want my operating room to be boring. I want the staff to be boring. I really mean this. This is what we want. We want folks to feel like this is a safe, comfortable place to come to get really good care by surgeons that are really good at it with a lot of experience, with a staff that’s genuine and warm. One of the things I’m really proud of about my staff is when people come in and meet them, I always hear the same thing from patients, ‘You have a great staff. They’re really knowledgeable. They’re really kind.’

“The other thing is my patients are not six-foot tall supermodels, and if I had a staff full of six-foot tall supermodels, because some surgeons do that because they want to make them feel important, it would make all the patients feel so uncomfortable, right? It’s like if I go to a gym and all the guys who were working out looked like supermodels, I’d be like, ‘I don’t know if I belong here,’ right? So the staff are genuinely good people who look like everyone else.

“I wanted to create a place where folks feel safe, and comfortable, and all the other stuff too. Regardless of age, gender, whatever, everyone’s welcome and they feel comfortable. So that’s why I enjoy doing it. Plus, I get to go home at night and hang out with my kids. I’m not up all night working. So that’s good, too.”

What is unique about your surgical suite? 

The thing that’s nice about the operating room is, it’s ours. We don’t do anything but cosmetic surgery there. There’s no sick patients and we have access. It’s always ours, so we can operate whenever, basically. And the staff is ours, which is really important. If you want a smooth, humming operating room, you need to be able to hand-pick your anesthesiologist, hand-pick your staff, hand-pick your surgical techs, so it doesn’t take us three hours to reinvent the wheel every time we do an augmentation. It’s the same system all the time, which is what patients want.

“If you’re going into something, you want them to have done it a thousand times. Not, ‘Hey, what are we going to do today? New anesthesiologist, new staff. I don’t know.’ That’s how the complications sort of pile up. I would say that to anybody, whether you go to me or somebody else. Find someone who has their own operating room. It’s going to make everyone’s life a lot better.

Considering breast implants in Seattle? Contact Dr. Salemy today to discuss your options. Simply call 206-467-1101 or visit Dr. Salemy’s office is located at 1101 Madison Street, Suite 1101, Seattle, WA 98104. Call today for more information on IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Breast Implants.