Breast implant warranties FAQs
- What does Confidence Plus® Premier add to the standard breast implant warranty?
- I have heard some breast implants are “on warranty.” What does this mean to me as a patient?
- In the past, implant manufacturers have offered upgrades on their warranties. Is it worth it for me to pay for an upgrade?
What does Confidence Plus® Premier add to the standard breast implant warranty?
The Confidence Plus® Premier Warranty provides all the peace of mind offered with the standard Confidence Plus® program, plus it includes:
- Increased financial assistance from $1200 to $2400
- Free contralateral implant replacement at your request
As of November 20, 2006, this limited-time offer is a $100 value and is now automatic for silicone patients. The Confidence Plus® Premier warranty is non-refundable and non-transferable. These terms supersede the April 1, 2002 warranty terms described below. For complete program details, see the terms at allergan.com or call Dr. Zevon at 212.496.6600 or Allergan at 800.624.4261.
I have heard some breast implants are “on warranty.” What does this mean to me as a patient?
If you are told during your consultation that your implants are “guaranteed,” or “on warranty,” be sure to get the warranty in writing so that you can read it carefully and make sure that you understand what it does and does not cover. We use breast implants manufactured by Inamed, a division of Allergan. Inamed Medical offers unlimited free lifetime replacement of breast implants if they deflate or rupture under the basic warranty program. Other breast implant manufacturers may offer a warranty on their products.
With the Inamed warranty, if a breast implant deflates, the patient will receive free unlimited lifetime replacement of the implant with the same style and size of breast implant. The basic warranty program allows the patient to choose to have a deflated or ruptured implant replaced with a breast implant of a different size or style. If the new implant costs more than the replaced implant, the patient is responsible for the price difference. The basic warranty program also includes payment of up to $1200 per implant replacement surgery toward expenses (such as surgeon’s fee, anesthesia fee, and/or facility fee) not covered by insurance if the surgery occurs within 10 years of the original surgery. The 10-year financial assistance provision is renewed each time her breast implants are replaced under the warranty, if they are replaced more than once.
The basic warranty program specifically excludes replacement of breast implants under certain circumstances. First, the warranty doesn’t apply if the patient chooses to replace her implants for cosmetic reasons. For example, if there is no deflation or rupture, but she decides she wants a different size, shape, or style, replacement is not covered by the warranty. Second, the warranty doesn’t apply to both implants if only one has to be replaced due to its deflation; the warranty only applies to the defective implant. Third, the warranty doesn’t apply if the implant deflation is caused by some subsequent surgery, such as cosmetic revision of the original breast augmentation. Fourth, the warranty doesn’t apply if the implants are replaced because of capsular contracture. (Capsular contracture refers to the contraction or hardening of the capsule of the tissue surrounding the implant; it is a complication that can occur after breast augmentation surgery.) Finally, the warranty doesn’t apply if the deflation of the implants is caused by capsulotomy: a surgical procedure sometimes used for the treatment of capsular contracture.
To receive benefits, the surgeon and patient must file and complete a claim within six months of the date of implant removal.
We recommend to prospective patients that they ask questions when they are told by a doctor that their implants are guaranteed for life. Not all warranties are the same, and there may be some surprises if you don’t read the “fine print.” Be sure to get your warranty in writing, read it carefully, and ask Dr. Zevon if you have any questions about its terms. Get the best possible warranty by knowing exactly what protection comes with your implants and by comparing warranty terms.
In the past, implant manufacturers have offered upgrades on their warranties. Is it worth it for me to pay for an upgrade?
Breast implant manufacturers periodically alter the terms of their warranties. If two versions of the product warranty are offered, it may be worth it to pay for the upgraded warranty. The cost of the warranty upgrade is minor compared with the cost of breast augmentation surgery; the benefits will help defray the cost of implant replacement surgery, if needed; and your investment may give you the freedom to change the style or size of your breast implants.
We use breast implants manufactured by Inamed. If a saline or silicone breast implant deflates or ruptures, Inamed Medical offers free unlimited lifetime replacement of the defective implant with the same style and size of implant. Other breast implant manufacturers may offer a warranty on their products.
On April 1, 2002, Inamed Medical introduced a two-tiered improved warranty program. Both programs allow you to choose to have a deflated or ruptured implant replaced with a saline or silicone breast implant of a different size or style. If the new implant costs more than the replaced implant, an additional charge may be imposed for the upgrade. A tier one warranty automatically accompanies each breast implant. Under this warranty, a qualifying patient is eligible for $1200 of financial assistance in addition to implant replacement. As of November 20, 2006, patients having silicone implants will be automatically enrolled in the tier 2 upgraded warranty program. A tier two warranty is available for a one-time enrollment fee of $100 per patient. At tier two, the amount of financial assistance available doubles to $2400. A tier two warranty also offers free replacement of the “contralateral” implant (the implant on the other side) whether or not it is defective. This is important if only one implant becomes defective, and you choose another style or size for implant replacement. For example, if you have a defective implant in one breast and desire to change the size of the implant, you could do so, qualifying for free replacement of both implants, regardless of the reason for your choice. You would also be eligible for up to $2400 toward revision surgery. In both warranty tiers, the financial assistance is available for the expenses of implant replacement surgery (including the plastic surgeon’s fee, anesthesia fee, and/or facility fee) if the implant replacement occurs within ten years of the original surgery.
Offering replacement of the contralateral implant and increasing the amount of financial assistance to $2400 is a fair value for a $100 enrollment fee. All patients should consider the upgraded warranty. To enroll in the upgraded warranty program, the $100 enrollment fee must be paid within 30 days of the breast implant surgery. To receive benefits, the surgeon and patient must file and complete a claim within three months of the date of explantation (implant removal).
We advise prospective patients to ask questions when a doctor tells them that their implants are guaranteed for life. If your breast implants are silicone, are they covered by a warranty? Is your financial assistance available for any out-of-pocket expense, or is it restricted to certain types of fees? Will both implants be replaced at no charge if one is defective? Will you be required to waive any legal rights to assert your rights under your warranty? Be sure to get your warranty in writing, read it carefully, and ask Dr. Zevon if you have any questions about its terms. Get the best possible warranty by knowing exactly what protection comes with your breast implants and comparing warranty terms. Not all warranties are the same, and there may be some surprises if you don’t read the “fine print.” Paying an extra $100 may not make a big difference at the time of your surgery, but it could save you thousands later if a problem arises.