How long is it safe to keep silicone implants? Do they need to be replaced after a while?

Doctor Answers 5

Breast Implant Replacement

Thank you for a great common question.

Implants do not have to be changed after a while unless there is a complication you are unhappy with the results.  You may have them not just for 10 years but for decades.  
The new generation implants are cohesive.  If they rupture (which is unlikely) you may not notice so as per FDA guidelines is best to have them evaluated and MRI obtained three years after your surgery and every two years thereafter to ensure they are not ruptured.

All the best,


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Silicone Gel Implant Lifespan

Hello,
Silicone gel implants may remain intact for many years, even decades.  Occasionally, they need to be assessed using either an MRI or high definition ultrasound. They do not need to be removed unless they are ruptured, in which case they would not present a danger to your health, however they should be replaced.
Best of luck! 

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

How long is it safe to keep silicone implants? Do they need to be replaced after a while?

Thank you for your question. There is some urban legends out there about implant replacement and many people think that the implants somehow "go bad" and need to be replaced every so often. I think this comes from the fact that many of the implant manufacturers guarantee the implants for a period of 10 years. That being said, there is absolutely no reason to have the implants removed, replaced, or otherwise revised unless there is a problem. The FDA recommends that with silicone implants you have an MRI at 3 years post-op and then every two years after that to look for "silent rupture." If the implant is ruptured, it is advised that you have it removed. Other than that, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Best of luck!

How long is it safe to keep silicone implants? Do they need to be replaced after a while?

Thank you for your question.  As long as there is nothing wrong with the implants, there is no need to replace them.  The FDA does recommend getting an MRI every couple of years for silicone implants to rule out silent ruptures.

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

How long is it safe to keep silicone implants?

There is no time limit as to when or if you need to exchange your breast implants. I have heard from patients that they have heard that breast implants need to be changed every 10 years. The only reason you need to exchange your breast implants is if you are having a problem with them or if you'd like to change the size.
Some of the potential complications that may arise would be deflation or leakage, capsular contracture, bottoming out, or just size change. If you are happy with the size of your breast implants and are having no problems, you don't need to do anything.

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.