I'm Having Gel Breast Implants Put in and Was Wondering How Long They Should Last?

I'm 5'7" and 150 lbs and having gel implant put in under the muscle. I'm wondering how long should the implants last. I'm just worried about them being high maintanence in the fact of replacement or complications...

Doctor Answers 8

How long do implants last?

It is hard to predict how long your implants will last.  There are all sorts of numbers being posted for implant revisions, and ruptures, etc..  Some patients can last a lifetime not having additional surgery. But, I always preface to patients before having implants, than based upon the studies, you hvae to assume some time down the road you will need additional surgery for whatever reason this caould be in a year or 20.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Breast Implants and how long the should last

This is a good question and one that we're often asked.  There is no expiration date on implants, so if they look and feel fine in 5, 10, or 15 years, then we usually recommend leaving them alone.  That being said, there are some statistics to consider.  The rupture rate is about 1-2%/year, and if you look at all women having breast augmentation in the US, about 30% or so have  revision procedure within the first 10 years after their augmentation.  Now this could be for anything from a ruptured implant, capsular contracture, or simply a scar revision.  So it's important to understand that while many women have one operation and never have another one, the possibility of needing another surgery does exist, and it's important to talk with your surgeon about monitoring your implants and options for revision surgery should you need it in the future.

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 149 reviews

Silicone Gel Breast Implants Lifespan?

Thank you for the question.

There is no known “lifespan” of silicone gel breast implants. You are however correct in being concerned about the potential for complications and/or need for replacement. Also, the FDA  recommends MRI surveillance ( for “silent leakage")  every few years.

Complications that can occur that may require revisionary surgery include leakage of the breast implants, capsular contracture, implant displacement/malposition,  dissatisfaction with breast size and/or shape etc.

I think it is wise for every young lady considering breast augmentation to  think ahead and understand that it is possible that she will require one to three  more operations in her lifetime.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Silicone Implant Lifespan

You can keep your silicone implants for as long as they don't cause any problems. While the risk of rupture increases the longer you have them, you don't need to have them replaced if it's not necessary.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

How Long do Gel Breast Implants Last?

This is a hard question since it depends on the how easy it is to diagnose a ruptured gel implant. Based on studies by Mentor and Allergan (the two implant manufacturers in the USA), the rupture rates for primary breast augmentation are:

Mentor 1% at 3 years

Allergan 9% at 7 years

It is best to have a discussion with your Board Certified plastic surgeon about the actual implications of these numbers for you.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Duration of Gel Breast Implants

As we all know no man-made device or structure lasts forever. Can you think of your last car? Refrigerator? Dishwasher? Eventually, your breast implant(s) will weaken and leak. While a leak with saline breast implants becomes obvious in a few days with a sudden breast deflation this is not the case with gel implants. You may or may not have any symptoms and a MRI may be required for the diagnosis. The goods news is you only pay once for breast implants in the US. Once you pay for one pair, the company will give you / your surgeon a free replacement pair when the leak (although you may still be responsible for the other costs of surgery).

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Gel implant lifespan

We get asked this question all the time. With tongue in cheek I tell my patients they will last as long as a new vacuum cleaner. They laugh, then look puzzled and then they get it. Nothing lasts forever and we never know ahead of time when something will fail. Go into this with realistic expectations, ie if you get breast implants there will be further surgry of some sort at some time.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Lifetime Of Gel Implants

No one knows for certain the exact lifetime of current generation gel implants.  Studies are underway at this time to try determine this.  Implant manufacturers will typically replace the implants at no charge if they fail.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 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.