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 24

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

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
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 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 12 reviews

Lifespan of breast implants

The lifespan of breast implants is not necessarily 10 years-- it can be longer if you do not have any issues or problems. Reasons to replace your breast implants include: rupture, deflation, capsular contracture, malposition, desire to not have implants any longer, or breast cancer abutting the implant. If you have silicone breast implants, you should get routine MRI screening to make sure you do not have a silent implant rupture. If you have saline implants, a ruptured implant will be immediately evident. If none of these situations apply to you, there is no definitive time point by which you must get your implants replaced.

Lara Devgan, MD, MPH
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Clinical history not just implant age

Implants should be replaced when there is a problem.  Deflation, capsular contracture, implant malposition, and problems with size are all legitimate reasons to replace the implants.  

Replace Breast Implants Every 10 Years?

There is no time limit as to when or if you need to exchange your breast implants (I have also 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, 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. Best wishes.

Breast implant replacement

Implants do not have to be replaced every 10 years contrary to what any people believe. Implants only need to be replaced when there is a problem with them. Insurance will cover the cost of your surgery if there is a complication related to it however insurance will probably not cover the cost of a new implant. You should make sure what is covered with your insurance provider.

Breast Implant Life Expectancy

         This is a commonly asked question and frequent source of confusion amongst patients. There is a general misconception that breast implants should be replaced every ten years. The origen of this belief is unclear, but is probably secondary to misinterpretation of implant warranty terminology.


         The manufacturers of breast implants clearly state that these devices are not intended to last a lifetime, despite this, many patients can expect to have implants last their entire lifetime. Current studies suggest that implants deflate at a rate of one percent at one year and three percent at three years. Overtime, this number can be expected to grow.


         Implants may deflate with no apparent cause or may deflate secondary to some type of trauma. Under these circumstances, the decision to replace implants is easy. If a patient is doing well and not having problems with breast implants, we see no reason to routinely replace implants just because a set time period has passed.


         Although, insurance doesn’t generally cover the cost of implant replacement, these devices do come with a warranty. In some cases, extended warranties can be purchased as well. When implants deflate, the warranty usually covers the cost of replacement. 

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.