I have silicone breast implants and I've had them over 10 years. They are folding and articles say they need to be replaced?

Silicone breast implants overdue

Doctor Answers 8

10 year old breast implants with folds

It is difficult to answer your question without more specifics. All breast implants develop folds inside the pocket.  Sometimes you can even feel these folds However if the skin is not extremely thin or there is not a particularly sharp knuckle, the folds do not have any significance. On the other hand if you can see the fold or if it is uncomfortable or feels like it is very close to the skin you should have an evaluation  and possibly exchange of implants 

Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Replacing gel implants

are only needed if they rupture or cause surface irregularities that require attention/intervention to resolve.  If your folds are not appreciated and only seen on radiographic studies, you can keep them until something happens.  If you wish to be proactive and are willing to accept the costs and risks, you could simply go ahead and change them out... but 10 years alone is not a reason to change them.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Folding of breast implants

Most of the time you feel the folding of the implants if you are thin.  Also, capsular contracture can make you feel the implant edge.  It is more common with textured implants and also saline implants.  See a PS for a evaluation.

Christopher Costanzo, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Silicone Implant evaluation

Your breast tissues will thin somewhat with time and the pressure of the implants, and it is not unusual to feel the sides of an implant.  Even silicone implants have ripples, just not as prominent as with saline implants.  Even "under the muscle" is is not under the muscle laterally and inferiorly.  So it is normal to fell some some ripples in those locations.   This doesn't mean your implants have failed.  It would be a good idea to see a board certified plastic surgeon and discuss your options.  An MRI is suggested by the FDA to check for rupture.  Some studies are suggesting that ultrasound may also be helpful to check as well.  The actual rate of implant rupture varies between studies, but 8% by ten years is a good rule of thumb that some have suggested for an average rate of implant failure.  That means that 92% are still doing OK.  I do not recommend surgery at 10 years to replace implants that have not failed and are otherwise doing well.  So don't panic, but probably a good time to followup. 

Jonathan Hall, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

I have silicone breast implants and I've had them over 10 years. They are folding and articles say they need to be replaced?

Thank you for your question. If you have folds or issues with your implants I recommend you to see a board certified PS for evaluation. He/She will evaluate and recommend you what is best for you.

Implant evaluation

Hello and thank you for your question.  The long story short is that the "10 year" rule is more for saline implants as a large proportion of them deflate, rupture, stretch out tissue, move out of position, etc within 10 years.  My main philosophy is to "not fix what ain't broke."  However, if you have tissue rippling, malposition, a desired size change, have discomfort, or feel something is different with your implants, then you warrant an in-person examination.  I recommend you seek consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon with expertise in revision aesthetic breast surgery.  I hope this helps to answer your questions and best of luck to you!
Dr. Sean Kelishadi

Sean Kelishadi, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Silicone implants

If you are having problems with your silicone implants, then I suggest you go for consultation to be checked out. Best of luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

I have silicone implants and they are folding.

Thank you for your excellent question.  As implants age they can develop changes that may necessitate their exchange - rupture, contracture, rippling, etc.  See a board certified plastic surgeon in your area for an in-person exam and discussion as to the best treatment options.  Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 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.