How Long Do Breast Implants Last?Posted on January 28, 2021
If you’re considering breast implants, you probably have a lot of questions. You’ll need to make plenty of essential decisions before you commit to the procedure. Which surgeon to trust is the first and most crucial of these. You’ll want to find someone with the training, skills, and experience to produce excellent results.
Another question high on the list for most women is how long their implants will last before they’ll need to have them removed and replaced. It’s true that breast implants don’t last forever, but there’s a common misconception that women with breast implants need to get them replaced on a set schedule every few years. Here are the facts about how long implants last.
Breast Implants Don’t Have Expiration Dates
There’s no hard deadline for when you will need to have another surgery to replace your implants. What we have to work with are averages, which give an idea of what to expect, but don’t predict what your unique experience will be.
Breast implants tend to last 11 to 15 years, most commonly because women’s ideals for their bodies change over time. Some women choose to exchange larger implants for smaller ones – sometimes for comfort as they adopt a more active lifestyle or because they want a slimmer figure. An even greater number of women choose to replace smaller implants with larger ones. The effects of aging on the body and breasts can also change the original implant results and lead women to have them replaced. These are all personal decisions that have nothing to do with implant durability, but they factor into the average times before women get their implants replaced.
When considering implant durability and the incidence of medical issues that may require replacement, the timelines spread over a wide range. Some implants last a lifetime with no problems. Other women have complications with their implants within the first few years. The great majority of implants — between 80 and 90% — last 10 years without complications. Many last more than 20 years.
What Kinds of Problems Can Occur?
Two basic kinds of problems can occur that require implant replacement or removal.
The first is a problem with the implant itself — when it leaks or ruptures. The rupture of a saline implant creates a cosmetic issue when it deflates, but not a health risk. The breast loses volume and the body naturally processes the saline fluid. A silicone implant rupture may not change the breast appearance right away, but if a breast exam or MRI detects this issue, you should have the implant and the leaked silicone removed within a few months.
The second problem with implants can be the body’s reaction to them. The body always creates a shell of scar tissue around medical devices, called a capsule. But in rare cases, this capsule thickens and hardens, in a condition called “capsular contracture,” putting extra pressure on the implant and sometimes causing discomfort or pain. When this happens, a surgeon will need to remove the hardened capsular tissue and replace the implant.
What the Numbers Mean for You
What do you do with these averages and possibilities? Go into breast augmentation knowing that you may need to have your implants replaced or removed at some point in the future. While your implants could last a lifetime, that doesn’t mean they will.
It’s also crucial to check your breasts regularly for implant problems. You’ll know right away, by looking at your breasts, if a saline implant ruptures. We recommend regular check-ins with your doctor to watch for signs of a silicone implant leak or capsular contracture.
Learn More About Breast Augmentation in Beverly Hills
Dr. David Kim and Dr. Eugene Kim at Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery have developed an impeccable reputation for stunning, natural-looking cosmetic treatment and plastic surgery results, attracting patients from all over the world. Contact our practice today at (310) 746-5475 or send an online request to schedule a consultation.