Replace Breast Implants Every 10 Years?

Should Breast implants be replaced every 10 years? If not, how often? Is this covered by insurance?

Doctor Answers 29

No Need to Replace Breast Implants at 10 Years if There is No Problem

Thank you for your question. There is a lot of confusion on this topic.

If you are happy with your Breast Implants at 10 years and there are no problems with them, most Plastic Surgeons would not recommend removal.

Problems which can occur and may require removal include:

  1. Rupture of Breast Implant
  2. Capsular Contracture or hardening
  3. Asymmetry
  4. Ptosis or sag
  5. No longer want Implants

Be sure to follow up with your surgeon. Generally Medical Insurance does not cover cosmetic replacement of Breast Implants. Most Implant manufacturers however have a warranty program for their implants.


Breast Implants: Do They Have an Expiration Date?

Many patients are confused as there is lots of misleading information out there...


The truth is, there is no exact "shelf life" or expiration date when it comes to breast implants. It is a common misconception that implants need to be replaced every ten years. I've seen patients whose implants have lasted 20+ years trouble-free, but have also seen patients who have experienced implant leakage after only a few years. If you are not having any problems with your implants, there is no need to replace them no matter how much time has past.


With saline implants, a leak is easily identified, because patients will notice the breast deflating and becoming smaller in size. It is not painful or harmful as the saline (or salt water) is just absorbed by the body. Although not critical to your health, replacement is recommended as soon as possible. Saline implants do not require any special monitoring.


A rupture or leak is a harder to tell with silicone implants. The silicone gel tends to stay in the area of leakage and the volume or size of the implant is maintained. The newer generation of implants do have lower rupture rate than older implants, but detection is still difficult.


The first way to evaluate the silicone breast implant is with a physical examination by your plastic surgeon. Very often the first sign of a leak or rupture is thickening or hardening in the tissues surrounding the implant. Confirming a leak can best be done with an MRI of the breast, as a mammogram is not very good at detecting leakages. With silicone breast implant leakage or rupture, it is recommended that the implant be replaced or removed as soon as possible.


My recommendations for monitoring silicone implants are a yearly physical examination by a plastic surgeon and an MRI every other year.


Brad Herman, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Do You Need to Replace Breast Implants Every 10 Years

Breast implants do not have to be changed every 10 years.All breast implants made over the last 20 years or so have come with a lifetime warrantee.That means that the manufacturer and the surgeon are placing your implants with the assumption that they will not fail through the course of your life.That said, all medical devices will eventually fail and if they fail before you do then they may need to be replaced.

If you are not have any problems with your implants and they are serving you well, there is no need to replace them.

The new gummy bear implants, for which I have added a video for you, are even stronger than the older ones and the chances of them failing are even less than the are with the older generations of breast implants.

I hope that helps.

Best regards.

Brian Windle, MD
Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

No Need to Replace Implants Every 10 Years

Thank you for your question. Most breast implants will last a lifetime. There is a common misconception that implants will only last 10 years. This is not true. The only reason you would want to change out implants is if there is a problem with them. Unfortunately, medical insurance does not cover cosmetic replacement of breast implants. Most implant manufacturers have a warranty program for their implants. I suggest you seek out the advice of a board certified plastic surgeon in your area. Best of luck to you.

John A. Kotis, DO, FACS, FACOS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

No need to replace implants every ten years.

Implants are not permanent devices.  Most things that we place in the body at some point need to be replaced.  Having said that, there is not an automatic trigger.  If the breasts are soft and in good shape, and the implants are intact, most would leave them alone.  Silicone leaks are hard to appreciante clinically, and so an MRI is used for detection. 

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Implant Replacement Timeline

Hi HtownShelley, Many people are under the mistaken impression that breast implants need to be replaced every ten years. This is not true. There is no finite time frame for when you have to replace your implants. They do  not have an expiration date.  As long as you are happy with their appearance, your breasts are soft, and there are no problems with leaks, there is no need to change out your implants. They are by no means, once in a lifetime device, but the most common reason implants are replaced is when a woman wants to change her breast size. Implant manufacturers provide warranties in case of implant rupture. If you want the full guidelines recommended by the FDA you can read at their site, however, the basis for these guidelines are arbitrary at best. I tell my patients to come back yearly for a wellness check, should we detect any issues that require testing like and MRI, we'll order it. And, no, health insurance is not going to cover your implant replacement. This is a voluntary cosmetic procedure you chose to have, it is your responsibility.

William Aiello, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Replace Breast Implants Every 10 Years?

As a mater of fact it is a common misconception that implants will only last 10 years. Most of the plastic surgeons will not be eager to change breast implants unless you have some certain problems such as capsular contracture, significant fluid accumulation etc. 

Most of the implants, regardless of the shape are filled by cohesive silicone which has the advantage that not migrating even if the the implant is broken. The implant manufacturers do not consider implants as 'lifetime devices' as the possibility exists that over time the outer shell will fail. But over 90 percent of implants outer shell are not failing based on the recent statistics.

So implants only need to be removed if they are broken or if there is an infection.
There are two cases when the implants are need to be replaced - implant capsular rupture or implant migration due to ageing and gravity).
Thus they can be changed when you have some problems appeared with the time, like rupture, or migration, or size, or bottoming out, Not all the patients will need to have more than one surgery, just those who need smth to be improved.

Hope this helps.

Ercan Karacaoglu, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Breast implant question

 In general there's no shelf life on breast implants. If after 10 years you still feel like they are doing well for you I see no reason to remove them. It is true however that in general the risk of capsular contracture or with a breast implant increases by one percent every year.  And so the ten year risk is 10%. Contracture also has to do with a variety of other factors such as placement of the implant, technique, and healing. Most patients ask to have the implants removed for other reasons such as increasing their size, pain, or deflation.

Kailash Narasimhan, MD
Sherman Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Replacing Implants

In my practice I tell patients that there is no need to replace implants unless there is a issue or unless you are wanting to go with a different size etc.  Insurance will not cover cosmetic surgery.

Mark W. Greene, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

There’s no definitive rule for breast implant replacement.

If you are happy with your breast appearance and your implants are intact and showing no signs of wear at the 10-year mark, it shouldn’t be necessary to replace them. If you have silicone implants, it’s important to keep up with your routine MRI screenings to check for rupture or capsular contracture, as these issues are not always detected visibly or in a physical exam. Depending upon your insurance policy and coverage, a portion of the costs to remove your implant or replace it may be covered, although this is not common in most cases.

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.