How Often Do You Have to Get Your Breasts "Refreshed"?

I've heard that after my initial breast augmentation surgery, I have to come back a certain amount of years after (6-7 yrs) to the operating room to get my implants refreshed (take the old ones out and put new ones in). Is this true?

Doctor Answers 20

Do implants need routine regular replacement?

One of the common myths about breast implants is that they need to changed every 10 years. This is definitely NOT TRUE. As long as your implants/breasts continue to look and feel good, nothing needs to change. So potentially they could last a lifetime.
However, your body will continue to change over time implants or not - time, gravity, weight fluctuations, pregnancy, breast feeding, lifestyle, genetics etc.....things will change. So for these reasons, you may wish to have further surgery at some later date.
Also large breasted women, whether they are natural or implants, gravity is far less kind to them than smaller breasted women. So it's really important to always wear good supportive bras all the time, except for those odd occasions that warrant no bra. You support them as much as possible, and they'll look after you as long as possible.
Yes, things such as rupture and capsular contracture can also occur and these may also warrant further surgery but these affect only a small percentage of women and are unpredictable.

Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Breast augmentation -getting it right the first time

No that is not true. All breast augmentation will have to undergo more surgery at some point but that is no predictable. It could be 2, 10 or 20 years or some other number of years. In the absence of deflation or capsular contracture there is no need to go in and replace breast implants no matter how long they have been there. You want to choose your initial surgeon and the specific type of augmentation that will maximize the number of years between breast operations.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

How Often Do You Have to Get Your Breasts "Refreshed"?

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, 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.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,485 reviews

No reason to routinely remove/replace implants...

This is a commonly asked question and a frequent source of confusion amongst patients.There is a general misconception that breast implants should be replaced every 10 years.The origin 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 1% at 1 year and 3% at 3 years.Over time, 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.In our practice, we routinely replace implants in patients who are undergoing secondary surgery for reasons not directly related to the implants, such as capsular contracture, if the patient has had breast implants for at least 10 years.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.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

No it is not true that your implants "need refreshed" at 6-7 years

whether or not you will need more surgery after breast implants is a controversial question, with answers all over the board.  The information you received has no factual basis

W. Tracy Hankins, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 292 reviews

Breast Implant Exchange

Breast Implants typically last much longer than 6-7 years.   Unlike a car tire, implants do not have to be periodically exchanged, just evaluated by a board certified plastic surgeon.   This evaluation will assess for rupture, capsular contracture, or assymetry.    Unless indicated by your plastic surgeon,  I would not recommend periodic exchange.

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

When do breast implants need replacing?

There are several opinions on this question. It is a matter of personal preference.

Breast implants, like everything else, wear out. It is easy to detect a saline implant failure, as you get a "flat tire" effect within days to a few weeks. Silicone implant failures are termed "silent" because they usually must be detected via MRI, sometimes Ultrasound. 

Some Plastic Surgeons advocate replacing implants before their average lifespan passes (average lifespan of a breast implant is around 10 years).

Other plastic surgeons recommend waiting until a saline implant failure occurs, or with silicone, a rupture is detected with regular MRI screening. 

Talk it over with your Plastic Surgeon as to which makes more sense for you and for them. 

William A. Wallace, MD, FACS
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Redo breast augmentation

There is no set time to consider redoing your breast augmentation unless there is a problem with the ones you have already.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Replacing breast implants

There is no finite period of time for the implants to be replaced.  Just keep in mind that despite having implants, all breasts will normally sag with time, thus requiring corrective surgery.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Implants do NOT need changing or refreshing every 10 years

There is no reason to "refresh" or change your breast implants unless there is a problem with them such as capsular contraction, infection or leak / deflation.  I tell all my augmentation patients that implants are man made devices and as such they may not last their lifetimes.  The present day implants have rates of deflation of 6 - 10% at 10 years and as the implants age the rate does increase slowly.  You will know if your saline implants are leaking as the volume will gradually get smaller as the fluid is absorbed.   An MRI is needed to check for leaks in silicone implants.  That said, many patients have their implants for many years without any problems.

Jeffrey M. Darrow, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

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.