How often should breast implants be replaced?
The answer varies since the longevity of an implant is dependent on many different things, including the implant type, the patient’s body, and even the surgeon.
There are two basic types of implants: Saline and silicone. Saline implants are filled with sterile saltwater. They’re inserted empty, and then filled once they’re in place. Silicone implants are prefilled with silicone gel.
While both saline and silicone breast implants are designed to last safely for many years, they are not considered lifetime devices, and both will likely need to be redone at some point. The average implant lasts between 10 to 20 years.
There are several factors that go into the decision to have breast revision surgery. These include whether overlying breast tissue has changed with time or if the breast implant itself has changed shape or size due to wear and tear. Hardening of the implant shell is also a possible reason for revision. In addition, some patients opt for replacements to take advantage of previously negotiated costs associated with replacement surgery.
Personal choice can also play a role, creating a desire to change breast size or change to a different style of implant that is more in tune with the patient’s lifestyle.
Patients concerned about the integrity, look or feel of their current implants should schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. Candidates for breast revision surgery should be nonsmoking, healthy patients at a stable weight.