Breast augmentation is the most popular plastic surgery procedure in the country. Every year, hundreds of thousands of women have their breasts enhanced with saline or silicone implants and feel sexier and more confident. If you’re contemplating breast augmentation, you may be wondering exactly how long implants last, and at what point do they need to be replaced?
In this blog post, trusted breast augmentation surgeon Mark Lowney of Advanced Body Sculpting of New England discusses the life expectancy of saline and silicone breast implants.
The Life Expectancy of Breast Implants
Implants are perhaps the most studied medical device of all time, and studies continually show that both saline and silicone implants are extremely safe and durable. They are meant to last for years without problems. The only reasons implants need to be replaced are if there is a problem with them, or if the patient no longer likes the look of her breasts.
Let’s look at both of those reasons in more detail.
If an implant leaks, ruptures or deflates, it must be removed. Over time, an implant shell starts to break down from rubbing against the native breast tissue and itself, and also from moving and shifting within the body throughout the years. Eventually, the implant shell may deteriorate to the point that it ruptures and the implant filling leaks out of the shell.
If this is a saline implant, the saline solution leaks quickly out of the shell and the breast looks flatter almost immediately. If it is a silicone implant, the silicone gel tends to stay in or around the breast pocket and the breast largely retains its shape — making it difficult to visually detect a leak or rupture. This is why women with silicone implants are advised to have regular MRIs or imaging tests to check the integrity of their implants.
The rate of implant rupture or deflation rises every year. Some studies show that the rate of implant rupture/deflation is about 1 percent at 1 year after placement, and it increases by about 1 percent every year. There is approximately a 10 percent chance an implant shell will develop a problem 10 years after placement.
In some cases, the implant shell is still intact 10 of 15 years after placement, but the patient no longer likes the way her breasts look. Perhaps her lifestyle has changed and she no longer wants large, sexy breasts. Maybe she has had children and wants to correct some sagging with breast lift surgery and a new set of smaller implants. Regardless of the specific reason, implants can be replaced with a different pair or removed altogether. Dr. Lowney works with every patient to determine a solution that meets her needs and goals.
Contact Dr. Lowney
If you would like more information about having breast implants removed or replaced, please contact Advanced Body Sculpting of New England and request a consultation with Dr. Lowney. Call 877.577.5476 or email us today to make your appointment.