Breast implants are a safe and effective way to enhance your bust, but sadly they cannot last forever. All breast implants need to be removed and replaced at some point with different types of breast implants lasting longer than others. Breast implants are a common surgery that provide benefits with beautiful breasts and we are happy to answer one of the most common breast augmentation consultation questions, “How long do breast implants last?”
Typical Breast Implant Replacement Terms
Breast implants need to be replaced when the implants begin to deflate or rupture. Saline breast implants tend to deflate while silicone breast implants tend to rupture. While 11-15 years tends to be the standard time frame when it comes to replacing breast implants, this time frame is not a hard and fast rule. Breast implants can last up to 25 or 30 years before needing to be replaced and there are numerous factors that influence whether or not implants need to be removed and replaced.
Plastic surgeons advise waiting until there is a problem with your implant, such as deflating or rupturing, before removing the old implant and replacing it with a new implant. It is always advisable to discuss breast implant replacement terms with your plastic surgeon before and after surgery.
The Manufacturer Warranty on Breast Implants
As mentioned above, breast implants surgically inserted correctly can last for 11-15 years; however, most manufacturers list their warranty on breast implants at ten years. Always ask your plastic surgeon about the manufacturer’s warranty before any revision surgery to see if you might be able to use the warranty to cover your expenses. When deciding to undergo breast augmentation surgery, make sure that you ask your plastic surgeon about the different warranties associated with the different types of breast implants.
Reasons To Remove and Replace Breast Implants
One of the most common reasons to remove and replace breast implants is due to a defect such as deflating or rupturing; however, there are other reasons some patients choose to remove and replace their breast implants. One such reason is due to malpositioning. Sometimes breast implants will change their positioning and even though they do not need to be replaced, the patient will opt to replace the breast implant to get the desired positioning back. Patients also choose to go back under the knife in order to go up a breast size or down a breast size with their implants.
Some patients experience breast pain as a result of their breast implant and may opt to have the implant removed in order to replace it with a different type of implant (for example: removing a silicone-based implant to try a saline-based implant). Other patients may notice that they have odd wrinkling under their breast skin due to the implant and replacing the implant can eliminate this cosmetic problem.
If Breast Implants Need to Be Replaced, Are They Safe?
The short answer is: yes! Breast implants are safe. The FDA considers both silicone-based and saline-based breast implants to be safe. In fact, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more than 300,000 U.S. women had breast implant surgery in 2016. The numbers have been holding steady for close to a decade. The only concern for patients who want breast implants or who have already had breast implant surgery is to make sure that they have annual follow-up appointments. These appointments are necessary to make sure that the implant has not deflated or ruptured. If the implant has deflated or ruptured, then surgery to remove and replace the breast implant is necessary.
Patient Age is a Factor
As we age, the skin breaks down and has a more difficult time keeping implants in perfect position. Weight gain and everyday movement also can work to shift the implants over time. Older women typically have a lengthier recovery from breast implant surgery as well and therefore may see more complications that involve additional surgeries to correct or repair. Patient age is a factor in how quickly breast implants need to be repaired or replaced. However, a patient’s diet and health can also make a big difference in the length of time a breast implant lasts. Concerns about age and health can be addressed with your plastic surgeon prior to your surgery.
Dr. Douglas Steinbrech is a board-certified plastic surgeon by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He routinely performs breast augmentations and is well versed in the various breast implant materials and procedures. He enjoys meeting with patients to help them make the best decision for their body regarding breast implants and to answer any questions they may have about the procedure or process. Selected by the Consumers’ Research Council of America as one of America’s Top Plastic Surgeons, Dr. Steinbrech is an excellent choice for patients who are interested in breast augmentation surgery.