If you are considering breast implants, you may be wondering how long they will last. These devices are designed to hold up for many years, and with technology always making improvements, most women will be able to enjoy long-lasting breast augmentation with today’s implants. That said, there are several factors which can influence breast implant longevity. Here is the latest on how long breast implants typically last and what is being done to ensure that they last as long as possible.
The Average Lifespan of Breast Implants Today is 10 to 20 Years
Breast implants are designed to last for years, but they are not permanent devices. According to the latest research, the average lifespan of breast implants today is between 10 and 20 years. The “end” of breast implants’ lifespan may either be due to implant failure (such as implant rupture) or personal choice (to remove or exchange the implants).
Why Aren’t Breast Implants Permanent?
Breast implants are safe for long-term use, but unlike hard metal implants, they are soft and pliable. This makes them more vulnerable to eventual degradation. Still, with regular check-ups and proper care, most patients can expect their implants to last them an average of 10 to 20 years.
Signs that Breast Implants May Need to Be Replaced
There are a few signs that breast implants have lost their integrity and should be replaced for both aesthetic and health reasons. These include:
- Capsular Contracture: When the scar tissue hardens around a breast implant, it can cause tightness or hardening of the breast along with pain, tenderness, and changes to breast size and shape. This condition can be addressed with revision surgery to remove the hardened capsule and replace the implant with a new one.
- Implant Rupture: Both saline and silicone implants can sometimes rupture or burst, breaking the outer shell of the implant and releasing the implant filler. A ruptured saline implant will harmlessly leak saline into the body and deflate like a balloon, causing a noticeable difference in that breast’s appearance. A ruptured silicone implant, on the other hand, may generally hold its shape and position and therefore may only be detected by mammography. Any ruptured implant (whether silicone or saline) should be surgically replaced. Most patients are advised to replace both implants simultaneously in the event that one ruptures.
- Implant Rippling: Rippling occurs when an implant’s surface becomes wrinkled and noticeable through the skin. This is more common in patients with thin natural breast tissue or if implants are placed unevenly. In either case, rippling can be corrected by replacing the implants.
Other Reasons You May Choose to Replace Your Breast Implants
There are also a few signs that you may choose to replace or even remove your breast implants, whether or not the implants technically need replacing. These include:
- Changes in Position: As gravity and age take their toll, breast implants (especially heavy implants) may accelerate breast sagging. Should this happen, you may choose to consider a breast lift with implant replacement to return your breasts to your desired appearance.
- Personal Choice: Changes in your personal preferences may motivate you to get revision surgery. Whether to upgrade implant size, downgrade size, change implant types, or even remove the implants entirely, you have the freedom to make the decision that is right for you.
Are There Ways to Make Breast Implants Last Longer?
The answer is yes! You can take proactive steps to prolong the life of your breast implants:
- Postoperative Instructions: Following your postoperative instructions during recovery can make a significant difference in how long your implants will last. It is recommended that you follow your surgeon’s recommendations explicitly and ask them whatever questions you may have. If the body is not well-cared for while healing from surgery, and if the implants are not well-supported during recovery, they may be more likely to sag or have complications later.
- Regular Checkups: Getting regular checkups with your surgeon as well as performing self-checks can help extend the lifespan of your breast augmentation results.
- Healthy Living: Maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle can help you avoid weight gain or loss. This reduces strain on the implants, minimizing the risk of premature rupture or deflation.
- Wear Supportive Bras: It is strongly recommended that you always wear a properly fitted bra, especially during exercise and physical activity. This keeps the implants supported during your daily activities and minimizes the risk of implant failure.
Rest assured that for many patients, breast implants can last for 20 years or more. So if you are considering breast augmentation, know that with attentive care and an excellent surgeon, your breast implants could stay intact for many years.
To learn more about breast implants and how to have ensure long-lasting breast augmentation results, schedule your consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Richard Mouchantat. Call (303) 232-8585 or contact us online today.