Silicone breast implants on a black background

How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

Breast augmentation can help you feel more confident in your body. Advancements in technology have made it possible to achieve natural-looking results while minimizing the risk of complications.

The lower rate of complications means that implants are also able to last longer. While breast implants are not permanent, they typically last for 10 to 20 years after surgery and may last even longer in some cases.

Do You Need To Replace Implants After 10 Years?

Some sources will say that you need to replace implants no matter what after a certain time frame, such as every decade. However, this is typically not the case. You will only need to remove/replace your implants if there is a complication or if you desire to do so.

The reason you will often see 10 years as the estimated lifespan of implants is due to a 2011 study from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Their data demonstrated that 20% of women removed or replaced breast implants within 10 years of the initial surgery. The study grouped all reasons for removal together whether there was a medical reason or a desire to change the appearance of the implants.

Keep in mind that this means 80% of women kept the same implants even after the 10-year mark. Again, new and improved gummy bear implants have a lower risk of complications and if you choose a size that works for you in the long term, you may be able to extend the longevity of your implants.

When to Remove/Replace Your Breast Implants

Although you do not need to remove and replace your implants based on how long you have had them, you may need or want to do so for other reasons.

Complications that require implant removal include:

  • Capsular Contracture: This is a tightening of scar tissue around the implant and results in the hardening of the breast. The textured surface of gummy bear implants helps prevent this and although it is rare, it can still occur. In this case, a surgeon will need to remove the implant and scar tissue.
  • Rupture: If the shell of your breast implant ruptures, a surgeon will need to remove it. For saline implants, this is generally more noticeable as the breast size will decrease over the course of a few days while the saline is harmlessly absorbed. For silicone implants, a rupture may be more subtle. It is recommended that you get a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan every 2 years after getting implants to check for so-called “silent rupture.”

Some patients remove/revise their implants for cosmetic reasons, including:

  • A desire to increase/decrease breast size
  • Sagging due to aging
  • Changes in breast size or proportionality due to pregnancy or weight loss/gain

Removal Only vs Replacement

If you need or want to pursue breast implant removal, you may be wondering whether or not you should go without implants or get replacements. This will depend on your personal aesthetic goals, as well as the specifics of your medical situation. During your consultation with our plastic surgeons, we will help you determine what your options are.

We can pair implant removal with a breast lift if loose skin or sagging are concerns. This can be common if your implants were significantly larger than your natural breasts.

Remove or Revise Your Breast Implants

If you have implants and wish to remove them or change their appearance, we can help. We offer breast implant removal as well as other breast surgeries, including lifts, in Tucson, AZ.

To learn more about breast implant replacement, contact us today.