Your Breast Implants: Under Warranty
Protect your breast implants by understanding your warranty
Breast implant manufacturers such as Allergan, Mentor and Sientra offer warranties with their breast implants. Enrollment in the warranty programs is automatic and free of charge. In general, these warranties cover problems that may result from implant failure such as rupture or deflation. Breast implant warranties cover the cost of the implant itself (only part of the breast augmentation cost); some additional costs are covered for a limited period of time.
Read your breast implant warranty carefully so you know what is covered and what is not. For example, other implant complications such as capsular contracture, infection, and wrinkling are likely not covered. You may also purchase an extended warranty with your implant company. Ask your surgeon whether additional coverage is a good idea, and why.
All breast implants are numbered by lot. Each one has a serial number for identification. You should receive stickers with the implant serial numbers of your breast implants as part of your postoperative information packet. Keep this information handy with your other important documents.
Another set of identifying stickers will be sent to the implant manufacturer, along with your social security number and information about your surgery. This information is kept for warranty and identification purposes. If there is ever a problem found with a particular lot of breast implants, the manufacturer will be able to easily notify those who were affected.
Allergan's Breast Implant Warranty Program
Allergan's standard warranty program is called ConfidencePlus. Women who received implants after April 1, 2002, are automatically enrolled in this program at no cost. It covers lifetime product replacement for saline and silicone implants, and 10 years of financial assistance of up to $1,200 that can be applied to other costs associated with the surgery. For $100, you can buy into Allergan's extended program which is called ConfidencePlus Platinum. It will cover up to $2,400 toward the surgery, as well as replacement of the other implant if your surgeon deems it necessary.
Mentor's Breast Implant Warranty Programs
Mentor's standard program for saline implants is called the Mentor Advantage Limited Warranty. This warranty covers all implants placed after May 1, 2005. Enrollment is automatic and free. It covers the cost of the implant if it should fail, replacement of the other implant at the surgeon's request, and 10 years of financial assistance totaling $1,200 for other costs associated with the breast revision surgery. For $100, you can purchase the Mentor Enhanced Advantage Limited Warranty. This must be purchased within 45 days of your breast augmentation. Under this extended warranty, you are entitled to up to $2,400 financial assistance if replacement is necessary.
There is a separate warranty program for Mentor's Memory gel implants. It is called the Mentor Lifetime Product Replacement Policy and covers the cost of up to two replacement breast implants of any size in a similar style for free if there is a confirmed implant rupture. There is also a new warranty program for MemoryGel® round breast implant surgeries performed on or after May 1, 2009. This Mentor Premier Advantage Limited Warranty offers up to $3,500 in financial assistance for up to 10 years from the date of implant surgery, if there is a confirmed rupture. It also covers opposite side implant replacement if your surgeon deems it necessary.
In addition, there is an extended warranty option called the Mentor Enhanced Advantage Limited Warranty; it costs $100. This extended warranty is good for 10 years and covers one-time costs of up to $2,400 for the operating room, anesthesia, and other services not covered by insurance.
Sientra's Breast Implant Warranty Program
Sientra's Limited Warranty Program covers up to $3,600 of certain out-of-pocket costs directly related to revision surgery performed within 10 years. They also offer lifetime free replacement of the implant should it rupture, and free opposite side implant, if needed. Ruptures or complications must be confirmed by a board-certified plastic surgeon.The program is virtually paperless for patients. The surgeon fills out the requisite information about the device including breast augmentation surgery date and submits the paperwork to Sientra. Patients are then automatically enrolled in the program.
Contacting the Manufacturer
If you have breast implants that have ruptured or deflated, they may be covered by your warranty. File a claim by contacting the product evaluation department at the following numbers.