Do I need to get the implants replaced after a certain length of time?

I have had my implants for about 28 years and have had no problems. Do I need to worry about them after a certain length of time?

Doctor Answers 14

Implant Exchange- When to Replace Implants


If your current implants are not causing you any problems and are still giving you the look that you want then there is no urgency in having them replaced.  That said, I would recommend giving consideration to having them replaced at some point in the future. The average life span of an implant is in the range of 12-15 years after which time the outer shell can start to break down. If your implants are saline filled, this may equate to a slow and steady loss in volume over time. If your implants are silicone filled, it is quite possible the silicone material is no longer being held to shape by the implant shell, but by a natural capsule that the body forms around an implant.

As an additional consideration, there have been significant improvements to the implants, material and sizing options since you had your initial procedure. Exchanging the implants prior to any potential issues will undoubtedly be an easier procedure and recovery. One of the newer generation silicone implants or even a hybrid saline implant like the IDEAL implant may support your tissue better than you current implants ensuring you maintain the look you desire for years to come.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Breast Implants Are Not Designed as a Lifetime Device

Breast implants are not designed as a lifetime device and over time they will rupture. If you have saline implants, a deflation will be obvious as the affected breast will shrink overnight. With silicone implants, because they do not deflate, ruptures often do not show any outward signs (i.e. a "silent rupture") and sometimes can only be detected with an MRI. 28 years is a long time to have the same implants in, and there is a reasonable chance that you could have a rupture. The newer generation of implants are much better than the ones from 28 years ago, and a simple implant exchange is a fairly low risk and minimally invasive surgery (assuming your breasts don't need other adjustments), so I would strongly recommend that you consider switching your implants out for a fresh pair at some point in the near future.

Robert Cohen, MD
Santa Monica Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Broken implant?

With saline implants you would know if they were broken. In my experience, the vast majority of silicone gel implants from the era when yours were put in, at 28 years after surgery, are broken despite not being hard or having any direct physical evidence, In our office, a simple in office ultrasound can readily discern whether a gel implant is broken or not.  The gold standard for looking at broken implants is still MRI in most physician practices.  I would recommend for piece of mind that you consult with a board certified plastic surgeon who can counsel you in this regard.  Good luck. 

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Implant Exchange

Unless you begin to experience any problems with your implants, then there is no reason to have them changed. Some people decide to change fills, shape or size, but it is for sure not necessary.

Lawrence Bundrick, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Breast Implant Replacement

Thank you for this wonderful question! The quick answer is no, you do not need to worry about your implants after a certain length of time. Breast implants are designed to last as long as you; if you are not having any issues there is no cause for concern. 
With this being said I am always careful to discuss with my patients that breast implants are a man-made device which results in there being a possibility for the need to replace one or both over time. Whether this explant/remplant is due to a deflation, rupture, or wanting to change size it is always a possibility that a revision will be required. There is no imaginary shelf life on your implants which require you to replace them every 10 years as some rumors state. There are thousands of women with implants from their original augmentation 15 to 20 years ago who are not experiencing any issues. My suggestion is to enjoy your implants and continue practicing good breast health with annual mammograms. 
I hope you have found this information helpful! 

Ronald Downs, MD, FACS
South Bend Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Do I need to get the implants replaced after a certain length of time?

Thank you for your question.  No, if there is nothing wrong with your implants, there is no need to replace them.  At the same time please make you sure you have proper breast cancer screening follow up and periodic imaging studies if you have silicone breast implants to rule out silent ruptures.

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

Do i need to replace my implants?

Thanks for your inquiry and an excellent question.  I do not believe that implants have require a scheduled maintenance, but if they are hardening, deflating, have evidence of rupture by imaging then that may necessitate maintenance.  If you have silicone implants, the ones you had placed 28 years ago often eventually ruptured so please follow your mammogram results with this in mind as well,  Good Luck.  

Vishnu Rumalla, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 196 reviews

Old breast implants

Thank you for question.
If you have saline implants, you can leave them in, if you are happy. If you have silicone implants, it would be a good idea to get an ultra sound or MRI to ensure that there is no silent leak. If you have ruptured implants, you should replace of luck!

Dr. Dhaval M Patel

hoffman estates, south Barrington, oak brook, Naperville

Dhaval M. Patel, MD
Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Implants and exchange

If the implants are soft or do not give you any problems, then there is really no need to change them out. It is up to you.

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

Replacement of Breast Implants

Hi jrador

If you have saline implants, you need do anything if you are happy.  If you have silicone, it would be a good idea to get an MRI to ensure that there is no silent leak.  If you have ruptured implants, you should replace them.


Scott E. Kasden, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 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.