Breast Implant Replacement Timeline

How long to breast implants last

In general with modern silicone breast implants the devices last for decades, unless there is a manufacturing fault (such as with the PIP implants) of major trauma to the implant.

However it’s what is around the implant that may not make the result last. The surrounding tissue may thicken (as in a capsule contracture) or the breast may sag.

Often events that make the breast change size abruptly like weight fluctuation or pregnancies stretch the breast and alter the result. Surgical revisions are most often performed for these reasons, not because of a problem with the implants theselves. (Richard Rahdon, FRACS, Melbourne Plastic Surgeon)

Silicone breast implants, when should they be exchanged?

The manufacturer’s warranty is for ten years for breast implants. The rupture rate slightly increases as the age of the implants increase.

Therefore, if you are not having any problems at ten years, you do not have to exchange them. If you are having pain or discomfort your should see your plastic surgeon and consider exchange of the implants. (Michelle Hardaway, MD, Farmington Plastic Surgeon)

Silicone breast implants replacement timeline

The main manufacturers of breast implants in this country have guaranteed their implants for ten years. That means that if something happens to the implant within the first ten years, you may be able to put a claim with the manufacturer.

However, the ten year mark is not a deadline to change your implant. Your implant may last 20-30 years if cared for properly. Saline implants will fail by deflating.

This is very easy for the patient to determine and the body reabsorbs the saline solution. Silicone gel implants will not deflate, especially if they are the newer generation implants.

The best way to determine if a silicone gel implant is problematic, is to get an MRI of the breasts done. This will detect an implant rupture. If it is ruptured, it needs to be replaced. (Moises Salama, MD, Miami Plastic Surgeon)

Silicone breast implants can last a lifetime (but not always)

Breast implants, whether saline or silicone, can and often do last a very long timeline. I have seen many patients who have had implants for 25+ years without incident. The durability of the latest generation of cohesive gel implants is even more impressive.

That said, because the long term studies are still in progress and we can not estimate with confidence what the leak rate will be 20-30 years after surgery, I still explain to all of my augmentation patients that their new implants will not last forever and they will most likely undergo a lift or replacement at some point in the future.

And for patients with silicone breast implants, we continue to recommend that they have either an ultrasound or MRI at specific timeline intervals to minimize the chance of an undetected leakage. As for what’s causing the “air pockets” you now feel.

Given that saline implants have been shown to lose a little bit of volume over timeline, it’s possible that after 14 years, yours have become less full as well. If the rippling becomes overly bothersome, replacement is certainly an option. The only issue that would absolutely require the changing of saline implants would be a rupture, since this would result in a complete loss of fill. This occurs in 2-3% of all cases. And last but not least, the notion that breast implants need to be exchanged every 10 years is, as Dr. Rand noted, an untrue urban legend. If an individual has breast implants and is not having any problems, then nothing need or should be done. (William F. DeLuca Jr, MD, Albany Plastic Surgeon)

How long do silicone breast implants last

IN GENERAL THE LONGEVITY OF BREAST IMPLANTS ARE UNPREDICTABLE. I have had patients who had breast implants for over 30 years and never had any problems. On the other hand few patients had some problem with their implants shortly after their insertions. If one does not have any problem they should leave them alone.

However if a patient feels that there may be something wrong with implants or if they even feel some changes in their breast they should bring it to the attention of their plstic surgeon right away. The status of implant could be checkes by MRI , per recommendation of the manufacturer and FDA every 10 years. (Fereydoon S. Mahjouri, MD, Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon)

Implants can be replaced for elective reasons such as a desire to change from saline to silicone or a request for a larger size.

The medical indications for removing implants are rupture of the implant or capsular contracture.

Years ago many surgeons told patients to change their implants every ten years because the predominant implants at the timeline were siicone and there were no reliabel studies to determine implant rupture.

Today we have reliable studies with MRI and we have better quality implants. As long as the implants are intact and you are pleased with them you do not need to replace them.

Your comments about a painful rash and “feeling air pockets” is concerning to me. On rare occasion the pressure of the implants on the breast skin can lead to skin loss and exposure of the implant.

This requires immediate medical attention. There is also a type ofbreast cancer which presents as a rash involving the breast skin. It is called inflammatory breast cancer and this also requires immmediate attention. I am not trying to scare you as this may simply be a rash but I encourage you to see your plastic surgeon as soon as possible I wish you all the best. (Robert W. Kessler, MD, FACS, Corona Del Mar Plastic Surgeon)

Frequently, patients come in armed with the thought that every 10 years they need a new set of implants. This is simply an urban myth.

If there are no problems with the implants, and if you are happy with the size, appearance and feel, then leave them alone. I have personally seen patients with 35-year-old saline implants who never had an exchange and never had a problem.

As to the rash and feel of air pockets, these issues should be evaluated by a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery who can best determine if they are in some way related to your implants or something else. (Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS, Seattle Plastic Surgeon)

A rash and air pockets?! Go see your doctor!

If you have developed “a rash and air pockets” you need to be seen by a plastic surgeon. There is one local “cosmetic surgeon” who recommends that his patients have implants replaced every 10 years. This notion seems ridiculous to every “plastic surgeon” who I have spoken to about this subject. If the implant is not causing you a problem, there is no reason to change it. Hardness of the implant, desire for change in size, and known leakages are good reasons to have implant exchanges but otherwise you are subjecting yourself to surgery (with some level of risk) for no good reason.

Leave well enough alone unless you are having a problem. In your case or “rash and air pockets” you need to be evaluated by a plastic surgeon. (Evan Sorokin, MD, Cherry Hill Plastic Surgeon)

You need to be examined by a competent and experienced plastic surgeon. Whether or not an implant needs to be replaced is independent of your symptoms. Generally speaking, implants do not have to be replaced unless they are not functioning in the way that they were intended.

If we are talking only about leakage, saline implants will demonstrate leakage by a decrease in size or shape. Silicone implants may not change the breast size, shape or consistency, thus the “silent” leak.

Rash and discoloration may indicate leakage of silicone implants or thinning of the overlying soft tissue with either saline or silicone implants but without leakage. Both may indicate a need for re-operation.

It is the fact the we know that implants may not last a lifetime and can leak that requires your situation be given serious examination. (Robin T.W. Yuan, MD, Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon)

Breast implants do not necessarily need to be replaced at 10 years.

Many women tell me that they read somewhere or heard that breast implants need to be replaced in 10 years. This is not true.

The warranty period is 10 years. I suspect that some women may believe that if the warranty is for 10 years this is how long the implants last.

In fact, breast implants last much longer than 10 years in the majority of my patients. If you have no problems, there is no need to replace them.

On the other hand, if you suspect a deflation, or if the shape seems to have changed, or there is a lot of rippling, changing out the implants is advisable, even before 10 years.

The large rash under your left breast is not likely to be caused by the implant itself. It could be intertrigo. The underside of the breasts can be a moist area and yeast infections can develop and require treatment with a topical antiyeast cream (such as Lotrisone).

You should definitely have this rash evaluated. The air pockets are not likely to be actual air pockets because the body absorbs air, but this problem needs to be checked too.

Perhaps it is rippling of your implant.If you like, you can read more at my website. I’ve attached a link. (Eric Swanson, MD, Kansas City Plastic Surgeon)

How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

Unfortunately, implants do not last forever. Breast implants typically last anywhere from 10-15years.

There are factors that can cause implants to last under 10years but it is estimated they last approximately 10-15 years. Some patients have been seen with no issues and have had the same implants for 20 or more years.

But everyone is different and its all case by case. If you aren’t experiencing any abnormal symptoms of your breasts and are satisfied with the way they look then you can technically have the same implants until they start causing issues. (Timothy Treece, MD, Columbus Plastic Surgeon)

How Long Do Breast Augmentation Implants Last?

This is a common question. The simple answer is that they are warranted for life but, like all medical implants, they will eventually fail. Of the breast augmentation implants available today, saline implants are the most prone to failure. When saline breast implants fail, the saline leaks out and the implant goes flat.

While some consider these implants to be the safest implants, the fact that they can require repeated surgeries for replacement means that you, the patient, are being subjected to more surgeries! The new gummy bear implants are made of highly cohesive silicone gel and the studies show that these are very strong and therefore far less likely to fail over the course of your lifetime than saline or the older implants so they are very safe and do not have to be replaced unless you are having an issue like capsule contracture. (Brian Windle, MD, Kirkland Plastic Surgeon)

There is a common misconception that implants have to change every 10 years. I have many patients that I had operated on over 10 years ago and their implants are totally fine.

As long as there no problem with your implant then nothing needs to be done with them. The only reason you would change an implant is if you developed a complication post surgery. The most common long term problem is implant rupture. With rupture of saline implant, the presentation is very obvious.

For gel implants, you may need MRI or mammogram to confirm this. The modern implant shell can last much longer and may never need to be change. So most women will live their whole lives with their original implants and will never require additional surgery. (Colin Hong, MD, Toronto Plastic Surgeon)

Breast implants are not lifetime devices. However, is not uncommon for them to last over 20 years. There is no medical need to replace them every 10 years, as any people indicate.

If you’re not having a problem with your breast implants there is no need to replace them. However, the longer they are in place the higher the chance for hey rupture.

You can wait until there is a problem before you decide to do anything going further. However, if you have a rash on your left breast this should be evaluated by dermatologist.

Normally, there is no association between breast rupture and overlying skin abnormalities. (Vincent P. Marin, MD, San Diego Plastic Surgeon)

Breast implants duration

Modern implants lasts for a life timeline, but if any problem is identified they should be replaced, you need to be evaluated by a PS, he will prescribe some imaging studies to check the condition of your implants. (Kemil Issa, MD, Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon)

Only replace when there is a problem

There is no need to replace implants based purely on length of timeline that have been inside you for. If you are still happy with the shape and do not have any symptoms then it is best to just leave them alone.

You may never have to replace them. However, large studies have shown that about 20% of patients will undergo implant exchange within 10 years – for a variety of reasons eg rupture, displacement, capsular contracture.

The latest implants are very durable and it pays to go with a mainstream manufacturer as rupture rates are extremely low – even 1% at 10 years. (William Townley, MD, FRCS(Plast), London Plastic Surgeon)

How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

Implants may last different lengths of timeline in different people, and there is really no set timeline at which they have to be replaced.

Technically they don’t need to be replaced unless they are leaking. With saline implants it is easy to tell if they are leaking because they deflate and go flat. With silicone implants it is harder to tell because they do not just go flat.

The FDA and implant companies recommend MRI’s to evaluate silicone implants to see if they are leaking. In general, most patients should get well over 10 years out of their implants, and by 25-30 years the implants have probably outlived their meaningful lifespan. In your particular case, I would recommend seeing a board-certified plastic surgeon as soon as possible for evaluation of the symptoms you mention. (Hampton Alexander Howell, MD, Winston Salem Plastic Surgeon)

How Long Do Breast Implants Last

Although breast implants are not considered “lifetime” or permanent devices, there is no pre-set length of time at which implants are replaced. So long as the implants are viable and the patient has not experienced rupture or capsular contracture (a hardening of the “pocket” that holds the implant in place), there is no need to replace them.

Replacement timeline is often chosen by patients who (A) want a different size, (B) want a different type, ie, switch from saline to gel-filled, or (C) need a breast lift due to sagging as a result of childbearing, breastfeeding or natural aging. That your left breast is now painful suggests to me that you “might” have a capsular contracture. The best advice I can give you is to return to your original breast surgeon and obtain his or her advice. (Jonathan Berman, MD, Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon)

Implants vary in how long they last. I usually tell patients that saline last around 10 years and silicone, especially the form stable one and can last 15-20 years. Of course everyone is different. I tell patients that they are not lifetime devises and will most likely have to be re done at some point. (Michael A. Fiorillo, MD, New York Plastic Surgeon)

Do my implants need to be replaced?

It is hard today what is accounting for your rash. It is unlikely to be the implants, but evaluation in person by a dermatologist might be the best course of action for you. What you describe as “air bubbles” is also almost certainly not air. Because your implants were placed 14 years ago, during the era when only saline implants were approved or use, I would suggest what you are feeling is the edge of the implants and what is referred to as rippling and “palpability”, because the skin and breast tissue overlying the implants is thin.

Removal of the saline filed implants and replacement with silicone filled devices will help although it may not completely eliminate the issue, especially if your implants are above the muscle, if your implants are large, and if you have minimal breast tissue to cover them.

Another alternative may be to have localized fat grafting to cover the implants if you have enough fat elsewhere to have it removed by liposuction without leaving a secondary problem from the fat removal.

It is not unusual for patients to consult with me and ask me if they need to have their implants changed at regular intervals. They have heard from some doctors implants need to be removed and replaced regularly in some kind of “preventive maintenance” program me. I am far from alone in believing this is misleading.

I believe the chances of implant leakage is very low for many years, only rises gradually over timeline, and that operating on otherwise well patients without a reason when they have an otherwise satisfactory result, exposes them to risk, and expenses which are entirely unnecessary.

The figure of approximately 1% of implants developing leaking is often cited, and while it may not be entirely accurate, is a good estimate. Saline implants are easy to evaluate for integrity; they are either intact or they are not, (like drum skins, or speakers) there is no in between.

If they leak, the body absorbs the saline and they rapidly deflate There is no scientific literature to support regular implant exchange, nor does the manufacturers product literature suggest this. This is in spite of the fact we never suggest implants will last a “lifetime”.

The truth is, a leaking saline implant results in saline being absorbed; the body is 70% composed to begin with, and a leak because of the resulting volume loss is immediately obvious. Leaking silicone implants are no longer even suspected of causing diseases.

The diagnosis of a leaked silicone implant is more difficult to make than saline. Generally there will be little or no external sign of a leak, and it is for this reason in the USA the FDA suggests all patients with silicone containing implants to undergo regular MRI exams to screen for leakage (mammograms and breast ultrasound are of less value in screenings for leaks).

However Canada, like Britain, France, Germany, Australia , New Zealand and other countries with similarly advanced medical systems like ours, do not feel this kind of screening for leaks is needed. (Benjamin Gelfant, MD, Vancouver Plastic Surgeon)

When do breast implants need to be replaced?

Breast implants do not need to be replaced unless something happens them. So if everything is going well and they look and feel fine then you can leave them alone. I had one patient that had hers in for forty years before she had a problem. The average rupture rate is about 1-2% per year and if you combine that with other reasons for replacement timeline such as capsular contractures, malposition, unhappy with size it come out to be that at 10 years about 40% of women with have exchanged them.If you are happy with the size and are happy with the way they are you can leave them alone.I advise all my patients that plan on probably needing to have them exchanged at some point in the future. If it happen in 5 years or 20 years you won’t be surprised. If you don’t need to at all, it will be a bonus. (Adam Hamawy, MD, Princeton Plastic Surgeon)