While a breast implant cannot expire, it will not last forever either. Understanding how long a breast implant will last can help you to make an informed decision about whether to have the surgery or when to have them replaced later on. Let’s try to answer the question of ‘how long do breast implants last’.
What Is Breast Augmentation?
Also known as augmentation mammoplasty, breast augmentation is the process of changing the size or shape of the breast by the insertion of implants. It can be performed for cosmetic or reconstructive purposes. A breast implant can be placed behind or in front of the chest muscle.
A breast augmentation procedure can be performed
- To restore volume to the breasts after pregnancy, breastfeeding or weight loss
- To make smaller breasts bigger
- To reconstruct the breasts following a mastectomy
- To make uneven breasts more symmetrical
It’s important to note that breast augmentation does not address sagging breasts. If this is your concern, your cosmetic surgeon is likely to recommend a breast lift, either on its own or in conjunction with a breast augmentation.
What Types Of Implants Are Available?
A breast implant is typically made from silicone or saline. Saline implants are held within a silicone shell.
Silicone breast implants
Silicone is the most traditional material for a breast implant. A silicone container holds a gel-like substance that has been created to feel like breast tissue.
Saline breast implants
When you have saline implants, a saltwater solution is contained within a silicone shell. Because the substance is liquid, some patients find the viscosity dissimilar to breast tissue and prefer silicone implants. In the event of a leak, however, saline is much safer for the body to process.
How Long Do Breast Implants Last?
It’s difficult to answer ‘how long do breast implants last’ because the expected lifespan of implants ranges between 10 and 20 years.
However, medical professionals advocate that you have a 10-year expectation, whereafter you should plan to have them replaced or removed. It is recommended to have your breast implants examined every year.
The research indicates that problems may develop eight to 10 years after the implants have been put in, and you may require additional surgery to address them.
How Do You Know If It’s Time To Replace Or Remove Your Implants?
If You Notice Your Breast Tissue Hardening
Sometimes the breast tissue may start to harden. you might feel and see changes in the breast. If this happens patients also report some tightness and pain in the breast tissue. It is possible for this to occur more than once.
A Saline Rupture
If there is a rupture or break in the saline implant shell, its contents will leak and the implant will deflate. The speed at which an implant can leak is variable; it can happen immediately or slowly over a few days.
Ruptures are rare in the first few years after breast implant surgery but your risk increases the longer you have had them for.
A Silicone Rupture
It is also possible for a silicone implant to rupture but when this happens, the contents are much thicker, and the silicone tends to stay within the implant or in the surrounding tissue. Because they can occur unnoticed, silicone ruptures are also referred to as silent ruptures.
For the majority of patients, this may happen asymptomatically but sometimes patients report
- Hard knots
- An asymmetrical appearance
- Unusual sensations
Silicone ruptures are thought to occur in between 2 and 12% of breast augmentations.
It is possible for breast implants to change position over time. Weight loss, the force of gravity and loss of skin elasticity due to ageing can all contribute to your implants moving out of their original position.
How Do You Know If Breast Augmentation Is Right For You?
You must be guided by your cosmetic surgeon when deciding if breast augmentation is the right procedure for you. It is a very personal decision, and your general state of health as well as different lifestyle factors need to be taken into account.
Some of the potential risks to be aware of include
- Having a breast augmentation may compromise your ability to breastfeed
- Smokers are generally not recommended to undergo elective surgery. If you are serious about a breast implant you should consider quitting
- If the physical appearance of your breasts is the primary reason for seeking cosmetic surgery, you may want to consider alternatives. Consider speaking to your cosmetic surgeon about non-surgical ways to enhance your breasts.
- In the event that you are dissatisfied with the result, you may need to have revisional surgery.
In order to be considered a candidate for a breast implant, you would need to
- Have fully developed breasts
- Be realistic about the outcome
- Be in a generally healthy physical state
- Be discontent about the size, shape or position of your breasts
If you’d like a more insightful answer to the question of ‘how long do breast implants last’, it’s best to speak to a surgeon about the types of implants available and your individual risk factors. Please contact us for a confidential appointment: (02) 8599 7161.
Breast augmentation (implants)
How long do breast implants last
Breast augmentation (breast implants)
Breast augmentation surgery