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Breast Augmentation Breast Implants

How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

One of the top concerns of my breast augmentation patients is how long-lasting their results can be. A common misconception about breast implants that I often hear from my patients is that implants must be replaced every 10 years. In fact, the idea that implants have a 10-year expiration date is one of the biggest myths about breast implants.

Reasons for Implant Revision

When women hear that a breast implant patient undergoes a second implant surgery following her initial augmentation, it’s common to assume that the revision was due to implant failure. However, this is not typically the case.

In reality, implant breakage is not even among the top 10 reasons that women elect to undergo reoperation. Some common reasons for breast implant revision include:

  • Size change
  • Changes in the breasts due to age, pregnancy or weight fluctuations
  • Implant malposition
  • Rotation of the implant

Modern Developments

Most likely, the source of the 10-year breast implant myth is the shorter lifespan of older breast implant models. As one of the top cosmetic surgeries performed nationwide, breast implants are under constant improvements with the goal of long-lasting results. The newest breast implant models are designed to be as long-lasting as possible with reduced risk of breakage. However, even with older models, there is no reason to change implants in the absence of complications unless the patient is unhappy with them.

The Importance of Surgical Skill

Reoperation rates are also affected by the skill of the surgeon. While one surgeon may have a 10 percent reoperation rate in the first three years after augmentation, another might have one percent. Thorough pre-operative consulting in combination with proper implant placement and size can significantly affect the chance of future complications.

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January 23, 2015
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