December 7, 2017

How Often Do Breast Implants Need to Be Replaced?

One of the rumors floating around about breast augmentation is that implants need to be replaced every 10 years. Unfortunately this is misleading and can confuse women who are thinking about their implant options and expecting to need surgery every decade.

The truth is, breast implants only need to be replaced if a problem occurs or the patient is no longer happy with them.

San Diego breast augmentation surgeon Abhay Gupta believes his patients should have the right information as they make decisions about their care. Here, he sets the record straight about replacing breast implants.

A Problem Occurs with the Implant

Modern breast implants are designed and manufactured to be extremely strong and durable. They don’t come with an expiration date or shelf life, and most implants can last for many years. Thus, there’s no reason to plan on having them replaced every few years.

However, no medical device is perfect. A small percentage of implants do develop problems like leaking or rupture. The implant failure rate increases over time as the implant shell becomes more fragile. One percent of implants rupture one year after placement and this number increases by a percent every year. Ten years after placement, an average of 10 percent of implants will have developed a problem.

A woman whose implants have leaked or ruptured need revision surgery. She may opt to replace them with a similar type, a different type or remove them altogether.

Leaks and ruptures are easily identifiable with saline implants because of the liquid filling material. Silicone implant ruptures and leaks are harder to detect because the silicone gel tends to stay in or around the implant pocket and the breast retains its shape. Regular physical exams and MRIs can help identify problems with silicone implants.

A Woman Is No Longer Satisfied with Her Breasts

Some women simply want to change their implant size or position for one reason or another. Perhaps large implants no longer suit their stage of life, or the breasts have started to sag and implants accentuate the sagging. Certain women feel they didn’t “go big enough” the first time around. In these cases, a board certified plastic surgeon can help patients find implants that satisfy their particular aesthetic goals.

Learn More about Breast Implants

For more information about breast augmentation with saline or silicone implants, please call Dr. Gupta today and request a consultation.

Fun Fact of the Month: Several years ago, a German study claimed that staring at breasts for 10 minutes a day improved men’s health. The theory suggested that the activity cut the risk of stroke and heart attack in half. After earning the attention of media outlets, the study was proved to be a hoax.