How long do breast implants last? This is a common question asked by many women who are considering breast augmentation surgery. Most women have heard stories about implants leaking or rupturing. Some women have heard of implants which had to be replaced. It is wise to learn the facts about breast implants and their expected lifespan prior to deciding if breast enlargement is the right choice for you.
This study details the lifespan of typical breast prostheses and provides guidance on how to preserve your implants for as long as possible.
How Long Do Breast Implants Last? / Research
There are always ongoing clinical studies trying to accurately determine the average life expectancy of a breast implant. Unfortunately, due to so many variables, this research has been mostly inconclusive.
There are far too many possible reasons for implant failure to really determine an average age at which breast implants have reached the end of their usable lives.
Rather than reading overly-simplified studies, it is better to assess your personal choices when it comes to implant style, placement and personal risk factors and then to use this information to predict the potential life of your implants.
Your doctor will assist you by providing additional valuable information concerning breast implant lifespan.
How Long Do Breast Implants Last? / Risk Factors
Almost all breast implants will eventually need to be replaced. Implants are basically designed to give 10 to 25 years of service before needing to be changed to a new set.
Many women will enjoy this long lifespan from their implants, while others might need to replace their prostheses far more frequently.
Several risk factors can reduce effective implant life:
Saline breast implants might not last as long as cohesive silicone gel implants, although they are easier to replace.
Athletic women, or women with a heightened risk of trauma to the breasts, are at a far greater risk for implant rupture.
Capsular contracture, infection or poor surgical result might necessitate implant removal even though there is nothing wrong with the actual implant.
Prostheses might be damaged during the implantation process. This is more common than you might think. Sometimes implant damage is not obvious until months or even years later.
Normal wear and tear can cause the silicone outer shell of any implant style to develop leaks.
Closed capsulotomy can cause implants to rupture.
Wrinkling or rippling of the implant shell will weaken the prosthesis along the fold. This is a common problem caused by improper fill technique or incorrect implant sizing.
How Long Do Breast Implants Last? / Answers
Cosmetic breast surgery is not a permanent fix. It is a method of achieving a beautiful appearance for an unknown period of time.
A talented cosmetic surgeon, using proper procedures and quality implants, can perform an augmentation which should last many years. However, even the best doctors have implant failures within the first year post-surgery. This is one of the risks of undergoing breast enlargement surgery.
Talk to your doctor about the lifespan you can expect from your implants. Also, make sure to discuss your options for implant replacement, if and when it needs to be done.