How to know when it's time to replace your breast implants 

How to know when it's time to replace your breast implants

How to know when it's time to replace your breast implants

Updated on 10/2/2023
Mai DelacruzBy Mai Delacruz
Personal Fitness Trainer & Health Coach
Learn More about Mai Delacruz

It is a major decision to choose breast implants. A breast augmentation is an investment that helps you achieve the feminine curves that you desire, often helping to boost your self-esteem. However, you shouldn't plan on having breast implants for the rest of your life.

In most cases, women decide to have their implants removed between 10 and 20 years after their initial surgery for a variety of reasons. Breast implants do not last forever, and many reasons can be given for this decision. The plastic surgeon will discuss the care and treatment of your implants with you before you decide to have implants, as well as the checkups you need to have to keep your implants healthy.

Breast implants have an average lifespan of 10 years

Enhancing your breast's appearance is possible with breast augmentation. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons states that implants are not considered "lifetime devices," despite being generally safe and long-lasting.

It is estimated that today's implants will last more than a decade, with the chance of rupture increasing by one percent every year. You are more likely to suffer from ruptures or other complications if your implants are older.

It is possible for breast implants to remain in good shape for 20 years or more in most cases. Your body and how you take care of your implants will determine how long your implants last.

Breast implants are removed or replaced for a variety of reasons

Breast implants can last for a long time and need to be replaced after several different complications. The following are examples:

Scar tissue hardens around one or both implants as a result of breast hardening or capsular contracture. Breasts can become tight, painful, tender, and change in size and shape with this scar tissue.

In the event of a rupture of a saline implant, it will deflate rapidly like a balloon. If there is a hole or tear in the implant, saline will leak out and harmlessly absorb into the surrounding tissue. In addition to losing size and shape, the breast will eventually look dramatically different from the other breast as the saline leaks. The risk of a saline leak increases by one percent per year after the first few years.

The rupture of a silicone breast implant, sometimes called a "silent rupture," is quite different. Despite implant rupture, silicone gel often remains within silicone implants or surrounding tissue. As a result, silicone implants are difficult to detect when they rupture. If your breast size reduces, your appearance may become uneven, or you may experience tingling, swelling, burning or numbness in your breasts.

The development of wrinkles or ripples on implants is possible in some cases. Some ripples may be felt through the skin, and in extreme cases they may even be visible.

Even though breast implants can alter your appearance, they cannot stop aging. You may develop breast sagging as you age due to gravity. Position changes can also be caused by extreme changes in weight. To restore your breasts to their desired appearance, you may consider a breast lift or implant replacement.

Women may wish to change their breasts' appearance sometime after their initial surgery. Depending on the situation, this may require a revision surgery with larger or smaller implants, or even the removal of the implants altogether.

Breast implants can be replaced or removed

When it comes to removing breast implants, you have a few options. Your plastic surgeon can remove the implants simply, remove the implants while also performing a breast lift, remove the implants and hardened scar tissue that has formed, or replace the implants either with or without a breast lift.

For the best results, your plastic surgeon will discuss the options with you based on your goals, anatomy, and existing implants.

Implants last longer if they are properly cared for

You can improve the longevity of your breast implants by taking proper care of them during your recovery from breast augmentation. Wearing a surgical bra or support garment during recovery is recommended by your plastic surgeon, for instance. Without these guidelines, sagging can increase over time due to a lack of support.

Regular self-checks and annual checkups should be performed as recommended by your plastic surgeon. A silicone implant patient should get an MRI within five to six years of the surgery and every two to three years thereafter. If you take proper care of your implants, you will be able to extend their life and reduce the likelihood of having to replace them in the near future.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do breast implants last?

Breast implants are not permanent and can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years. However, it is important to note that the longevity of breast implants can vary depending on the individual and the type of implant used.

When should I consider replacing my breast implants?

It's recommended to schedule regular check-ups with your surgeon to monitor the condition of your implants. If you notice any changes in the shape or size of your breasts, or any signs of rupture or leakage, you should consider replacement.

Are there any risks associated with breast implant replacement?

As with any surgery, there are risks associated with breast implant replacement such as bleeding, infection, and scarring. Your surgeon will discuss these risks with you before the procedure.

What is the process for replacing breast implants?

The process for replacing breast implants involves removing the old implants and inserting new ones. The surgery usually takes around 2 to 3 hours and is performed under general anesthesia.

Is breast implant replacement covered by insurance?

Breast implant replacement is typically considered a cosmetic procedure and is not covered by insurance. However, if there are medical issues such as rupture or leakage, it may be covered.

How can I ensure the longevity of my breast implants?

To ensure the longevity of your breast implants, it's important to schedule regular check-ups with your surgeon and to avoid activities that may put excessive stress on the implants such as heavy lifting or extreme sports.