Breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic procedure to date, and more women than ever are opting for the procedure. However, as with any plastic surgery procedure, it is important to be informed on what to expect and how to maintain results. One of the most common questions asked about breast implants is how long can they be expected to last?
Breast Implant Lifespan
Breast implants will not last forever, but can last for about 10 years. Because of this, women should understand that once they undergo breast augmentation surgery with implants, they will need to be sure to monitor their breasts to be sure a rupture has not occurred. This can be achieved through self-examinations and MRIs.
Signs of Rupture
It is also important to be aware of signs of rupture when it comes to breast implants. With saline implants, it is quite easy to detect a rupture, since the implant will deflate, and the body will absorb the saline solution. Then you simply need to contact your board certified plastic surgeon to have the implant replaced. However, with silicone implants, a rupture will not cause the implant to deflate, so it can be a bit trickier to detect (also called a silent rupture). This is why women with silicone implants should get an MRI three years after their surgery and then every two years after that.
Not Broke? Don’t Fix
The breast implants have a 10-year warranty. That means the manufacturer warranties the implants for 10 years, often paying for replacement implants and a small stipend towards the implant(s) replacements. So, if your implants are 11 years old, and you have no problems, it is okay to not replace them. The American Society of Plastic Surgery’s stance is that if implants are 10 years old then they need to be replaced. I counsel my patients that if their implants are over 10 years old, and there are no issues, then don’t replace them. Certainly, if there are problems, they should be replaced. An examination with their plastic surgeon is recommended to evaluate.
Overall, breast implants are created with quality, safety, and longevity in mind, but they may not last forever. This is why it is important for women considering breast implants to be educated on the procedure and how to care for their breast implants afterwards.