I Have 12 Year Old Silicone Implants and Am Considering Replacement Before I Experience Problems?

I'm thinking with the newer types this would hopefully be the last pair I would need. I am 43.

Doctor Answers 4

12 year old implants

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If there are no problems with the implants, then you should not worry to have anything more done at this time.

12 year old implants

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If you are happy with your implants they do not necessarily need to be exchanged. If you think you are having problems, an examination by your doctor and mammogram may be indicated. Being examined yearly would probably serve you best.

Changing breast implants

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You do not need to change your implants but you should expect that something may occur in the future that changes the way that your breasts appear/function that may require you to remove/replace your breast implants.

In general breast implants are said to have a 'lifetime' of about 7-10 years.  This means that on average, after 7-10 years the implants will 'fail' or produce some sort of complication that will encourage you to change them.  These include anything from rupture, capsular contracture, asymmetry, ptosis or droop, infection, etc.

Ultimately if you are not experiencing any problems you are not mandated to change the implants - its your decision - just understand what the risks are.

?Remove normal implants at 12 years.

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There was a time that surgeons recommended that their patients exchange implants at ten years. I still see patients who have moved to my locale or whose previous surgeons retired who present with completely satisfactory results saying they are ready to have the implants replaced. 


Although most of these patients had saline, some had silicone. My usual suggestion is not to have surgery unless there is something they want to change--size, position, lift, etc. This is not like driving about with bald tires. The implants can be replaced when and if there is a problem. 


Your implants have lasted for 12 years. They might last longer than a new pair inserted next month. At any rate, no one could guarantee a lifetime result to anyone, let alone someone as young as 43.


Best wishes

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.