How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

Sun 3rd Apr 2022

It is a common misconception that Breast Implants only last ten years. This is not always the case, and in many cases, your Breast Implants can last much longer than that. However, in some rare cases, Breast Implants may last fewer than ten years for many reasons, such as rupturing or simply changing in position within the breast due to natural factors such as aging. In this article, we will be looking at how long breast implants can last, signs that your breast implants may need to be replaced and the breast implant exchange process.

If you think that you may need to have your current breast implants examined, replaced or removed entirely, request a consultation with specialist plastic surgeon Dr Eddy Dona by calling us on 1300 373 662 or using the enquiry form on our website.

Signs that your breast implants may need replacing

Implant Rupture

Whilst Breast Implants do have the potential to rupture, the silicone that most implants are made out of is very resilient and does not rupture easily. A rupture is not likely to be caused by your physical actions. If your implants were to rupture, you would need to have your implants removed or replaced.

Breast Implants are comprised of a silicone shell filled either with a silicone gel or a saline solution. If a saline implant were to rupture, the saline solutions would simply be absorbed into the body. This can result in one of your breasts looking deflated due to the rupture. In this case, the ruptured shell can be removed before inserting a new saline implant during implant exchange surgery.

Silicone Implants are the most popular choice of implant due to their higher durability and more natural feel they give to the breast. Dr Dona uses silicone implants during Breast Augmentation procedures for all of his patients. Most people don’t experience any symptoms if a rupture does occur and many won’t even notice if a silicone implant ruptures, this is known as a silent rupture.

While most implant ruptures go completely unnoticed, a small number of people may experience one or more of the following:

  • Tenderness
  • Mild Pain/Discomfort
  • Decreased Breast Size
  • Numbness
  • Swelling
  • Uneven Breast Appearance

Implant hardening (Capsular Contracture)

Silicone Breast Implants are foreign to the body, your body’s natural immune reaction to this is to build a scar capsule around the breast implant. This scar tissue is a good thing and helps the implant to stay in its proper position. In some cases, the scar capsule can contract too tightly, which over time can result in the breast becoming hard and potentially painful.

This overtightening of the scar capsule is known as capsular contracture; Breast Revision surgery is required to resolve capsular contracture if the contracture is causing visible distortion or discomfort. During this corrective surgery, the capsule, along with the implant will be removed.

The risk of capsular contracture is relatively low; newer surgical techniques have reduced the risk of capsular contracture occurring to 5%.

Implant Rippling

Whilst breast implant rippling is not of functional or medical concern; rippling can affect the aesthetic appearance of your breasts. Rippling is when you can visually see the folds of the implant on your chest. In some cases, rippling can be a side-effect of capsular contracture.

The use of cohesive silicone gel implants has significantly reduced the likelihood that rippling will occur over saline implants. For thinner patients more at risk of rippling visibility due to less breast tissue, Dr Dona may recommend the use of firmer silicone gel implants.

What is the average Breast Implant lifespan?

There are many different factors that can affect the lifespan of your breast implants. Most implant manufacturers provide a minimum 10-year warranty. However, IMPLANTS DO NOT HAVE AN OFFICIAL EXPIRY DATE.  As long as they continue to look and feel okay, then they’re okay to stay.

Obviously, there are many factors that may require your implants to be removed or replaced sooner rather than later, with many of them being out of your control.

Breast Implant replacement (exchange) process

Breast Implant Exchange or Breast Revision Surgery is a common procedure that can be requested early after the initial surgery due to an unsatisfactory result, or several years later due to changes in appearance or patient aesthetic ideals that have occurred over time.

During your implant removal/breast revision surgery, Dr Dona will remove the implant using your existing scar. If necessary, any hardened or lumpy tissue will also be removed before inserting a new implant into the breast pocket.

How to get the most lifespan out of your Breast Implants

Unfortunately, there is no certain way to guarantee that your breast implants will last longer. There are a couple of things to help your augmented breasts maintain their aesthetic appearance for years to come.

Wear a supportive bra

It is always important to wear a supportive bra all of the time, except for those few occasions that warrant not wearing one. A bra will support the weight of your breasts and potentially reduce the likelihood of your breasts, and implants, from dropping.

Pregnancy and Weight Gain

Life, time, and gravity will bring about many changes to your body over time. Also, weight fluctuations can cause your breasts to stretch and drop over time. Pregnancy and breastfeeding will also have an affect of the changes to your breats over time.

Request a Consultation with Dr Dona

Dr Eddy Dona has been a specialist plastic surgeon since 2007, and is a member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. From your first clinic visit, and throughout your surgical journey, Dr Dona and his team will be there to make it as smooth as possible.
Get in touch with our clinic to request a consultation with Dr Eddy Dona

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