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Breast Implants

If You Like Your Breasts, Do You Really Have to Replace Your Implants?

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If you’ve started to research breast augmentation on your own, you have probably come across the magic number 10 already, referring to how long your breast implants might last. However, this one-size-fits-all approach isn’t the most accurate way to decide who needs breast augmentation revision and when they need to get it.

So you’re probably wondering, “Well, how long do breast implants last if it’s not 10 years?” The short answer is that it depends. Read on for the longer answers to three top breast enhancement questions.

Do You Have to Replace Breast Implants?

Around 80 percent of women will not need their breast implants replaced within 10 years.

Breast implants only need to be replaced if there is a medical issue, rupture or if you’ve changed your preferences and elect to have them removed or resized. There is no hard-and-fast rule that you need to have your breast implants changed every 10 years. In fact, usually only about 1 in 5 women will need to have a breast augmentation revision within a decade of their initial procedure — that’s a 20 percent chance.

How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

The average lifespan of today’s breast implants is anywhere from 10 to 20 years. Of course, there can be outliers — some that last longer and some that may need to be replaced sooner than 10 years. However, the current data that we have on how long breast implants last is from 2011. Breast implant technology has evolved and improved since then, so new data may show that the average lifespan of breast implants may be closer to the 20-year side of that range.

Do Saline or Silicone Implants Last Longer?

There’s no data to suggest that either type of breast implant lasts longer than the other. When it comes to detecting issues such as ruptures, however, saline implants do have an edge over silicone. When a saline implant ruptures, it is usually immediately visible. Silicone implants, on the other hand, require an MRI to detect a rupture.

Other differences between the two breast implant types mostly come down to personal preferences — many women feel that silicone offers a more natural look and feel than saline.

When Is It Time to Replace Breast Implants?

While there’s not a set time that you’ll need to have breast implant replacement on your schedule, there are some common instances when it may be necessary. These include:

  • Although rare, breast implants can rupture, causing the inner contents to leak from the outer shell. In this instance, the affected implant(s) will need to be removed and replaced with a new one.
  • Capsular contracture. This condition happens when the scar tissue that forms around your implants tightens and puts pressure on the implant. A few early signs of capsular contracture include tightness, pain, visible rippling of the implant and misshapen or “ball-like” implants.
  • Migrating or rotating. In some rare cases, breast implants may migrate or move over time. If this causes a noticeable difference in their appearance, your implants may need to be replaced.
  • You’re unhappy with the size. Sometimes, women decide that they want to change the size of their implants. In this case, a revision would be necessary.


If You Like Your Breasts, Do You Really Have to Replace Your Implants?
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If You Like Your Breasts, Do You Really Have to Replace Your Implants?
Do you really have to replace breast implants? Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Eric Mariotti of Concord, CA explains how long breast implants can last.
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April 6, 2020
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