(609) 241-7586 Menu

How often should you replace breast implants?

by Hamawy, Adam

Many of our patients wonder if they really have to have their breast implants replaced every 10-15 years. The short answer to this question is “no.” If your breast implants are functioning perfectly and you’re satisfied with them, then there is no reason to tinker with them as a matter of course, or because a certain number of years has passed.

With that said, it’s true that breast implants are not considered lifetime devices. Depending on how early in life you have implants, there is a good chance you will need to replace them for a specific reason, such as leakage, a rupture, or migration and unevenness. It’s a matter of debate among surgeons (and patients), and there is no one right answer as to how long breast implants last. The estimate that most surgeons give is 10 – 20 years for a set of implants. But the data is variable (especially once you factor in the differences between silicone implants and saline implants).

However, if you do wind up replacing your breast implants, your recovery from a replacement surgery will be much easier than the first surgery. Most of the pain women experience during recovery from breast augmentation in New Jersey comes from creating the pocket under the muscle. Once the surgeon creates this pocket, it’s there for the next go-round, and performing a second surgery is much easier. Recovery is faster, and your surgeon may even be able to use the same scar.

Why Replace Them?

Some breast implant problems have obvious effects (such as discomfort from capsular contracture, or uneven appearance from mammary asymmetry), but others are much more subtle, and can take longer to manifest. That’s often the case with leaks and ruptures. For example, the saltwater solution from saline implants often leaks out (which isn’t harmful) at a rate of about one percent to five percent a year. It can leak because of a leak in the valve area, or a tear or hole in the implant. This leakage can happen with wear (sometimes called “fold fatigue” — the fold of your breast begins to weaken the implant). Your body absorbs the saltwater solution without any bad health effects, but the implant eventually deflates. Silicone can leak too, but it’s sometimes less obvious (which is why you may want to schedule routine MRIs). A silicone implant can rupture at any time, but one of the implant manufacturers reports a rupture rate of two percent per seven years.

Rupture and leakage capture a lot of media attention, but most women who get their implants replaced do so for other reasons. Also, with time, you may become dissatisfied with the size or position of the implant, especially if you’ve gained or lost weight. Plus, implant technology keeps improving. That means that in 15 years, there may be a new gold standard — which means you may want to switch to a newer, even more natural looking (and feeling).

If you’re making the decision about whether or not to get breast implants, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the long-term. But there’s no ticking clock on your implants, or a certain date they “expire.” Talk with your board certified cosmetic surgeon about what you can expect, and talk to patients who have had breast implants for many years (both original and replacement).

FAQ: How Often Should You Replace Breast Implants

Schedule a Consultation

Learn More

Copyright © 2018 Princeton Plastic Surgeons. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy

Schedule a Consultation

Get Started Send Us A Message

Update Regarding COVID-19 View Update View Specials

Practice Update Regarding COVID-19

We are pleased to announce Princeton Plastic Surgeons is now OPEN! ⭐️ Your health and safety is our top priority. We are now taking appointments with strict protocols in place in accordance to the CDC and NJ Department of Health. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care in a safe environment for our patients. WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU ALL!

The following protocols will be in place:

  • Please complete all new patient forms in advance online before the day of your appointment
  • Upon arrival please stay in your vehicle and call our office to check in. Please arrive on time and alone.
  • Patients must wear a mask in the office at all times.
  • COVID 19 screening questions and temperature check will be done when entering the building
  • Hand sanitizer used before entering treatment rooms
  • No patients will be in the waiting room. One patient in the office at a time.
  • Ongoing staff testing and temperature checks
  • Staff will be in protective PPE – face masks, face shields, gloves, disposable gowns and any other necessary protective gear.
  • All treatment rooms, restrooms and office area will be thoroughly sanitized
  • Continue to offer virtual appointments if necessary – consultations/follow ups

Virtual Consultation