How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

How long do breast implants last?

If you’re considering breast augmentation and researching breast implants, you’ve likely read or heard about a “rule of thumb” that implants need to be replaced after 10 years. That’s a myth. Yes, some women choose to replace their implants after 10 to 15 years, but many implants last much longer than 10 years. We tell our breast augmentation patients at our Calgary plastic surgery practice that there’s no need to change implants at all if they don’t notice any concerns.

There are a number of reasons why women replace their implants at some point, and we’ll discuss those reasons in this blog post. We’ll also address what makes implant replacement surgery—usually called breast augmentation revision—different from primary breast augmentation procedures.

Why Replace Implants?

Even though we’ve seen some implants last longer than 30 years without any issues, this isn’t always the case. The reasons for needing breast augmentation revision surgery vary. It’s important to choose a plastic surgeon who regularly performs these procedures and understands the unique techniques needed for revision surgery.

Some of the most common reasons women come to our practice for revision surgery include:

Complications

Even though most patients don’t experience problems after getting implants, some complications occur that can require revision surgery. The most common complication is called capsular contracture. This condition occurs when the scar tissue that encapsulates an implant tightens. In moderate to severe cases, it can cause the breast to feel hard and distort the implant’s appearance.

Implant rupture

Women who have saline implants immediately notice if an implant ruptures because the fluid drains and the breast appears deflated. Cracks or ruptures in silicone implants may go unnoticed until detected during an MRI. This is sometimes called a “silent rupture.”

Pregnancy

Having children results in changes to the breasts for virtually all women, including women with implants. Those changes may influence a woman’s decision to have revision surgery. Other weight fluctuations can create similar changes to the breasts’ appearance.

Implant position

Some implants shift position over time, causing the breasts to look asymmetrical, too far apart, or too close together.

Elective implant exchange

Women sometimes decide they want to increase or decrease the sizes of their implants or change the type of implants they have. For example, a woman with saline implants may want to have a newer generation of cohesive silicone gel implants instead. In some cases, patients choose to remove implants without replacing them, which is called explant surgery.

Enjoying Your Results

Our surgeons help maximize the duration of your breast implants by using specific techniques and maintaining follow-up appointments for at least a year after your initial surgery. We also tell patients that they can minimize the risk of complications by taking enough time to heal after their surgeries. It’s tempting to return to your normal daily life as soon as possible, but taking a few extra days is definitely worth it in the long run.

Our surgeons are recognized for their skill in performing breast augmentation revisions, and we serve women from Edmonton and throughout Alberta who need to have their implants replaced. You can see results enjoyed by our breast augmentation patients in our gallery of before-and-after photos. Contact us to schedule a consultation using the online form or call us at (403) 452-7953 to schedule an appointment.