How Long Do Breast Implants Last?
Hundreds of thousands of women each year decide to get breast implants, whether to address asymmetry, to obtain a boost of volume, or for a number of other reasons. Prior to getting implants, one of the most frequently asked questions is, “How long will my breast implants last?” This is a very valid question, as the natural effects of the aging process will eventually require a breast revision procedure down the road to maintain the same smooth, beautiful shape. However, many people are surprised to learn just how long their breast implants may last.
The Average Lifetime of Breast Implants
While they won’t last forever, breast implants can have a surprisingly long lifetime, averaging between 10 and 25 years. This, of course, can depend on a number of factors, including the implant type and size, surgical technique, and the varied rate of the natural aging process of each individual.
When discussing the lifetime of breast implants, there is much debate over whether saline or silicone implants tend to be more durable. While some experts believe that silicone gel implants may last longer than their saline counterparts, an MRI is needed in order to detect a rupture in silicone implants, whereas a rupture in saline implants will be immediately apparent (Mayo Clinic). Thus, there really is no right or wrong implant type, and the choice is ultimately up to your personal preferences. If you’re struggling to decide which may be the best option for you, discuss the pros and cons of each type with a trusted board-certified plastic surgeon.
When to Consider a Breast Revision
Although your breast implants could last up to 25 years, there are a variety of indicators that it may be time to consider a breast revision procedure, including:
- You’ve experienced a leak, rupture, or rippling. Eventually, breast implants may leak, rupture, or, in the case of saline implants, create a rippled effect. Maintain an open line of communication with your plastic surgeon, including any scheduled follow-up visits, to help ensure that these types of concerns are monitored and addressed. In the case of a leak or rupture, breast implant replacement will be necessary to restore your breast augmentation results.
- You want to update your look. Many women find that a breast revision provides a great opportunity to update their appearance. Perhaps you’d like to reduce your implant size to fit the current trend towards smaller implants, or change your implant type (ABC News). These are options that should be discussed with your plastic surgeon prior to your revision procedure.
- You want to address skin laxity. Whether due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight loss, or the natural effects of aging on the body, sagging skin can alter the appearance of your breast implants. Through breast revision surgery, a skilled plastic surgeon can address concerns related to skin laxity and may suggest adding a breast lift to your new implants to help achieve the smoothest, most youthful look possible.
The Bottom Line
It is true that breast implants aren’t likely to last forever. A breast revision provides a great opportunity to update your look and maintain the smooth, youthful results and boost of self-confidence that your initial breast augmentation achieved. Keep in mind, though, that it is important to work with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience performing breast implant replacements and revision surgeries to ensure that you get the beautifully contoured results that you want.
At Premier Plastic Surgery & Dermatology in Pittsburgh and Wexford, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Brian Heil has ample experience performing a wide range of breast procedures, including revision surgeries. To learn more about your breast implant or revision options, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Heil, please contact us at 724-264-3608 and let our team of personable, experienced professionals help you look and feel your absolute best.