How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

Breast Implants Don’t Need To Be Changed Unless Necessary

I know of several women who received implants and have never had to change them. It is a myth that implants must be changed every 10 years. Generally, if you don’t have a problem with your implants and haven’t noticed any pain or a change in appearance, then there is no need to replace them.

However, because you have noticed recently that your implant feels different and are experiencing pain, you should see your surgeon as soon as possible. You may be developing a complication. It is important to note that while changes tend to be more obvious with saline implants, silicone implants that rupture may not be as noticeable and remain undetected for a longer time.

You should visit your surgeon or doctor regularly so that they may also examine you to make sure your implants are in good condition. (Jerome Edelstein, MD, Toronto Plastic Surgeon)

Replacing Breast Implants

There really is not need to replace them if you are not having any issues. The implants have a lifetime warranty and could perhaps last that long but most often revisional surgery is needed to perhaps perform a lift or go larger or smaller.

At that point most surgeons would replace the implants given the fact that you are in the operating room and under anesthesia.

Most patients at this point desire to change size and some perhaps want to switch to silicone implants from saline. (Farbod Esmailian, MD, Orange County Plastic Surgeon)

How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

Breast implants should not be considered to last a life time. After breast augmentation patient should continue to monitor their breast implants. I like to see my patients every year for a follow-up that we do at no charge. Although implants can last a long time it is best to proceed with augmentation with the understanding that future surgeries may be required.

There is a myth propagated on the internet that implants should be changed every 10 years. This bit of misinformation has been circulating for years and has no merit. Although repeat operation may be necessary, implants do not have a expiration date at which time they have to be removed. Surgery is only needed if there is a reason to re-operate. (Shahriar Mabourakh, MD, FACS, Sacramento Plastic Surgeon)

Today’s Improved Breast Implants Should Last Many Years

Breast Implants are now designed to last for decades but not considered lifetime devices. Deflation rates are only about 1% per year. Most patients will never need replacement for this reason. I tell my patients that even after 15 years of practice, I see very few deflations and rarely change an implants for this reason.

On the other hand, I also let them know that many women who have breast augmentation will need another operation sometime in their lives for age related breast changes, drooping of the breasts, or rarely implant capsule formation (hardening) or implant position problems. At the time of the procedures for other reasons the implants are sometimes changed. Finally silicone gel implants require extra vigilance because a rupture can be silent ( not detectable). The FDA recommends periodic MRI’s every 5 years to check them. Most patients who are doing well probably don’t follow this recommendation.

Important Points To Remember:

  1. Your breast implants will probably last about 15 years
  2. You will probably have more than one operation in your lifetime if you have breast enlargement
  3. Saline implants can easily and quickly be replace if they rupture. The operation to replace a saline implant takes only 20-30 minutes and can often be done under twilight or local anesthesia
  4. Rupture of a Silcone implant is harder to detect. Fortunately it will not affect your overall health or cause a disease in spite of what you might read on some renigaide web sites.

Have your silicone implants checked by your doctor if you notice changes such as hardening, pain, shape changes. An MRI or implant replacement may be in order.

In your situation, a visit to your plastic surgeon is clearly in order to determine the status of your implant. (David L. Mobley, MD, FACS, Sarasota Plastic Surgeon)

Breast implant replacement

There is no expiration date for breast implants, and I have seen patients that have had breast implants trouble-free for as many as 30 years. Nonetheless most breast implants are not lifetime devices, and I tell my patients that we hope that their implants will last approximately 15 years on average. As people’s bodies change over time they sometimes request other breast operations, including those to change the size of their implants or lift their breasts. (John K. Wakelin III, MD, Columbus Plastic Surgeon)