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How long do breast implants last?

Quick read

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons states, implants are not considered to be “lifetime devices.” However with good maintenance you should able get at least 20 years from your investment before any need arise again in terms of implant removal or repairs. If the implants have been worn down over time breast implant replacement is an option woman can consider.

Infographic on breast implant durability over time
Infographic summarising the data from breast implant study

Do breast implants need to be replaced over time?

In 2011, the FDA released a report on the safety of silicone implants. The report found that after 10 years of an initial breast augmentation, 1 out of 5 patients need some sort of revision procedure. That means 20% of patients need another operation due to excess scarring inside the breast (capsular contracture), broken implant, etc.

The report also found that in comparison to other types of implant, silicone implants are more likely to rupture and that silicone implant ruptures are more difficult to detect. As a result, the FDA recommended that women who have silicone breast implants should get regular MRI scans to check for leaks. However, many experts believe that the risks associated with silicone breast implants are outweighed by the benefits, and that they should remain an option for women who are considering breast augmentation.

How often should breast implants be checked?

As previously discussed 1 out of 5 patients will need to have their breast implants redone after 10 years according to the FDA. Therefore it is advisable to have them checked every 10 years.

What happens to breast implants after 30 years?

After 30 years, the chances of an implant rupturing increase dramatically. When this happens, the silicone gel inside the implant can leak out into the body. In some cases, this can lead to serious health complications. For these reasons, it’s important to consult with a doctor on a regular basis to ensure that your implants are still in good condition.

How to maintain breast implants

Breast implants are designed to last a long time, but they do require some care to ensure they stay in good condition. Here are a few tips for maintaining your implants:

  • Be sure to follow your surgeon’s instructions for post-operative care. This will help your incisions heal properly and minimize the risk of infection
  • Wear a supportive bra during strenuous activity. This will help reduce the risk of displacement or damage to the implants
  • Avoid tobacco use. Smoking can decrease blood flow to the area and increases the risk of capsular contracture, a condition that can cause hardening and distortion of the breasts
  • Limit sun exposure. Ultraviolet rays can cause silicone breast implant rupture. If you must be in the sun, be sure to wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

By following these simple guidelines, you can help ensure that your breast implants stay healthy and look great for years to come.

How do you know when breast implants need to be replaced?

Periodic imaging tests, such as ultrasound or MRI can help to determine whether an implant is leaking or if it needs to be replaced. MRI is generally considered the most accurate test for this purpose. However, it is important to note that MRI is also the most expensive option. As a result, many women choose to have ultrasound every few years and only opt for MRI if there are concerning changes on the ultrasound. Ultimately, the decision of how often to have imaging tests should be made in consultation with a physician.

Symptoms of breast implant problems

If you experience he following symptoms you should consult with a doctor:

  • Redness of the breast skin
  • Swelling
  • Burning sensation
  • Breast pain
  • Change in breast shape or color
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • dry eyes
  • dry mouth

How much does it cost to redo breast implants?

The cost of redoing breast implants will vary depending on the type of surgery you choose, the location of the procedure, and the experience of your surgeon. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 for a complete revision. This includes the cost of anesthesia, facility fees, and your surgeon’s fee. If you opt for a less invasive procedure, such as a capsulorrhaphy (which simply involves tightening the capsule around the implant), then your costs will be on the lower end of that range.

However, if you require a more complex surgery, such as a mastopexy then your costs will be on the higher end. Ultimately, the best way to get an accurate estimate of how much it will cost to redo your breast implants is to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area.

Can breast implants hurt years later?

Unfortunately one of the possible complications is that breast implants can cause breast pain years later. This is because the implants may put pressure on the breast tissue and nerves, causing them to swell and become irritated.

Additionally, scar tissue can form around the implant, which can also cause pain and discomfort. If you are experiencing breast pain, it is important to see a doctor to find the cause. If you are considering getting breast implants, be sure to discuss all of the potential risks with your doctor beforehand.

References

C M Goodman et al. (1998). The life span of silicone gel breast implants and a comparison of mammography, ultrasonography, and magnetic resonance i. Ann Plast Surg. 6(41), pp.577-85. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9869129/#:~:text=The%20median%20life%20span%20of,to%2048.7%25%20by%2

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