Breast implants are not lifetime devices, according to the FDA. However, no one knows exactly how long an implant will last.
Dr. Stephen Li, who has served on three FDA panels that reviewed implant safety, told the New York Times in 2008 that manufacturers’ data suggested silicone implants should last at least ten years.
According to the FDA’s data, about 20 percent of women who get breast implants have their implants removed within 8 to 10 years.
Complications that may lead to breast implant replacement include rupture and capsular contracture, which is when the breast hardens around the implant.
You might also end up deciding to have your breast implants replaced after your initial surgery for aesthetic reasons. For instance, some patients decide they want a different size implant.
Aging and weight changes can also affect the appearance of your breasts, and you might choose to have your implants replaced or have a breast lift to get back a more youthful shape.
If you end up needing to replace your implants down the road, Allergan and Mentor, makers of breast implants used in the U.S., both offer warranties for their implants if they deflate or rupture. Be sure you understand the details of the warranty before your surgery.
The bottom line? There is no magic number as to when you may need to have your breast implants replaced. But as they aren’t intended to last a lifetime, it’s reasonable to expect you may need breast revision surgery to replace your implants at some point in the future.
If you have more questions about breast augmentation, contact Dr. Burgess.