How long do breast implants last?

How long do breast implants last?

Author Bio

Dr. David Mashhadian is a Diplomate of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. He was recently given the honor of being appointed a Board Examiner for the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. He is dedicated to his continued education by learning the most modern techniques to implement into his surgical practice.

If you’re thinking about having breast augmentation with implants, chances are you have a lot of questions about the procedure, questions such as, “What Type of Breast Implants are There’ and “How Long Do Breast Implants Last.”  These are important questions you should ask your surgeon so that you can make an informed decision about surgery.

Types Of Breast Implants

Silicone and saline implants are the two main types of breast implants approved by the FDA.   They both have an outer shell made of silicone, but silicone implants are filled with silicone gel, while saline implants are filled with saline solution.  

Breast implants are available in various shapes and sizes and undergo extensive safety tests before gaining FDA approval.

How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

Breast implants can last a long time, but there are no guarantees, so patients should not expect them to last a lifetime. 

Silicone and saline breast implants generally have a lifespan of about 10 years, and most women don’t require revision surgery within this time. 

Once the 10-year mark has passed, patients may have to undergo one or two follow-up surgeries.   

Also, complications can occur that necessitate the removal of breast implants before the average expected lifespan.   As a result, patients are advised to do self-checks and visit their doctor annually to ensure that the implants are intact.

Nevertheless, there are instances in which breast implants last as long as 20 years without complications.   The duration depends on the type of implant, and the body’s response to the implant. 

For example, the Natrelle 410 is a long-lasting gummy bear implant made from advanced silicone gel that has lower complication rates than standard silicone gel implants.

Women considering breast augmentation surgery with implants should be prepared for the possibility that the implants may need to be replaced.

When Do Breast Implants Need To Be Replaced

Breast Implant Rupture

Breast implants should be replaced when they leak or rupture. It is easier to detect a rupture with a saline implant because the saline solution leaks out causing the implant to deflate. 

This results in a noticeable reduction in volume. It is much harder to detect ruptures with silicone implants because the silicone gel is viscous. 

Therefore, the implants retain their shape after a rupture and often look and feel the same. An MRI is generally used to check the breasts for ruptured implants.

Capsular Contracture

Capsular contracture is another complication that requires revision surgery. Capsular contracture occurs when the body reacts to the breast implant as a foreign substance and forms scar tissue around it.  

While this is a normal part of the healing process, there are times when the scar tissue becomes so hard that it constricts the implant.  This causes the breast to become tight, painful, and hard to the touch.   

Capsular contracture is usually addressed by removing the implant along with the surrounding capsule, and putting in a new implant.

Time Related Changes In Breast Implants

The natural effects of aging, gravity, and loss of skin elasticity can cause the breasts to sag and change shape.  Breast implants may also weaken over time due to repeated movement, and this can affect the integrity of the implants. 

Some women are dissatisfied with these time-related changes that alter the appearance of their breasts and make the choice to replace breast implants. 

Would you like to learn more about the longevity of breast implants?  Search our directory to find a practice in your area.

If you are in Beverly Hills, CA, or the surrounding area, Rodeo Surgical Art is our featured practice.


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