Can breast implants last 20 years?
If you’re thinking about breast augmentation or reconstruction, the longevity of a breast implant is something you should think about. How long do breast implants last? Is it necessary to replace them every so often? Do breast implants sag or ripple as time passes?
Many women believe that breast implants must be updated every ten years. This is not true. Although breast implants have an average lifespan of 10-15 years, they only need to be changed if they rupture or contracture. I’ll discuss how to spot an implant rupture or capsular contracture in the next blog post, as well as how common they are. I’ll go over several treatment choices and how your breast implants may evolve over time.
Are breast implants required to be replaced every 12 years?
One of the first topics we discuss when I see a patient for breast augmentation or reconstruction is the implant’s lifespan. Breast implants aren’t meant to be used for the rest of your life. Unless you have a very limited life expectancy, you will need your breast implants removed or replaced at some point. The magical figure of ten years is commonly bandied around as a breast implant’s life expectancy. The 10-year mark, on the other hand, isn’t magical. Breast implants aren’t like oil filters, which must be replaced every 15,000 miles. There’s no need to replace your breast implants unless they’re causing you problems. I tell my patients that their implants should last 10-15 years on average.
What makes it necessary to replace breast implants?
Breast implants may need to be replaced for two reasons:
a ruptured breast implant
Contracture of the capsular sac
a ruptured breast implant
You might be curious as to why a breast implant might rupture. Breast implant rupture is most commonly caused by time, despite the fact that mammograms and chest trauma have been blamed. Over time, breast implants deteriorate: the shell cracks and ruptures. After ten years, the rupture rate begins to rise, which is how that value is calculated. The type of breast implant determines what occurs when it ruptures.
A silicone outer shell is seen on both silicone and saline breast implants. The saltwater solution is filled into the shell with saline implants (saline). The saline is gradually absorbed by your body if the implant ruptures. Cohesive gel is a thick silicone gel that is used to fill the shell of silicone implants. Even if the shell fractures, the gel in newer gummy bear implants is thick enough to stay within the implant. (Want to watch an implant rupture in action? Check out the video below.) To see what happens when a silicone and a saline breast implant rupture, go to my YouTube channel.) The silicone gel filling of prior generation silicone implants was significantly thinner, resembling honey in substance. It’s generally with these older implants that silicone travels to lymph nodes.
How many breast implants fail every year?
The likelihood of a breast implant rupturing varies depending on the implant’s brand and whether it is placed above or below the muscle. Over time, the rate of rupture rises. According to a preliminary estimate, 1% of women will experience a rupture each year that their breast implant is in place. One in ten women will have a burst implant after ten years.
When a breast implant ruptures, how do you know it?
You’ll know if a saline breast implant has ruptured because your breast will gradually shrink as the saline is absorbed by your body. It’s a little more difficult with silicone gel implants. Because the silicone gel is so thick, it may be able to stay in the breast capsule (called an intracapsular rupture). You might not realize the implant has ruptured if this happens.
“Silent ruptures,” as they’re known, aren’t hazardous. However, because they can happen, the FDA recommends having a screening MRI every two years starting three years after the implant is implanted. Because this test isn’t usually covered by insurance, many women put off getting an MRI until they’re concerned about a rupture.
If your implants rupture, they may affect their appearance or feel. Your plastic surgeon would most likely order an ultrasound or an MRI to confirm the rupture if this happens. Don’t be scared to call someone fresh if you haven’t heard from your previous surgeon in a while. Even if we didn’t conduct your original procedure, most cosmetic surgeons will gladly see you for breast implant problems.