Breast implants: what you should know

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Things to consider before getting breast implants

Before you decide to get breast implants, you should know:

Did you know?

The materials found in breast implants that are sold in Canada have been tested for toxins. Beware of companies selling breast implant test kits designed to measure antibody levels. These kits aren't licensed for sale in Canada because there is no evidence supporting their therapeutic claims.

Home-use test kits are medical devices. All theses medical devices must be licensed by Health Canada before companies can sell them in Canada.

What to ask your surgeon before surgery

Before you decide to get breast implants, you should ask your surgeon about:

You should also ask about the risks involved with breast implants and the implant surgery, including:

Consent forms, product registration card and advisory letters

After thoroughly consulting with your surgeon, you should consider the benefits, risks and options carefully before making a decision.

If you decide to have the surgery, you and your surgeon should sign an informed consent form. You should also receive a product registration card from your surgeon with information about the implant(s). Keep a copy of both documents for your records in case there is ever a product advisory or recall. This will help you to find out if you or your implants are affected.

Informed consent form

Signing this form means you:

The completed and signed form is a legal document that lets your surgeon go ahead with the procedure.

Product registration card

Your surgeon will receive 2 implant registration cards from the manufacturer of the implant. The cards contain:

On the implant registration cards, the surgeon records the:

The manufacturer receives one card containing the identification number used by the facility to identify the patient. You (the patient) receive the other card with your name and address.

Advisory letter

You should ask the surgeon to provide details about the operation in a letter to your family doctor or health care provider. Your doctor will know what signs and symptoms to look for if you experience any health issues following your surgery.

Ongoing follow-up after surgery

After the operation, you should see your surgeon or health care provider if you:

As breast implants aren't designed to last a lifetime, you may need to have them replaced if:

If your implants have ruptured, you may want to have them removed or replaced.

Breast implants can make it difficult to get a mammogram, but special x-ray views can be done. Breast implants may also make it harder to breastfeed.

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