Breast implants are not intended to be lifelong devices.
How long implants will last before needing to be replaced is a very common question women have when considering breast augmentation. Many women have their implants for 20+ years with no complications, and there are no expiration dates or hard and fast time frames within which implants have to be replaced. As long as you remain happy with the size of your implants and there are no issues such as implant rupture or failure, you can realistically expect to have your implants for a very long time. With that said, expecting to have implants for 40 to 50 years is quite a stretch. Women often elect to replace their implants at some point, even without implant failure, because they desire a different size or look than they did with their original surgery. Without knowing your age, it’s difficult to say how many times you would need to have your implants replaced, however you should likely plan on at least one implant revision surgery within your lifetime.
The reality is that the vast majority, if not most, breast augmentation will eventually need a revisional surgery due to implant failure or a desired change in the appearance of their breasts. It is not a question of whether you will need a future surgery, it is just a question of when and why.
Is surgery later years after breast augmentation inevitable
There is a 20-24% chance that you will require surgery at some point after your initial breast augmentation. The most common call for repeat surgery is that the implant has leaked or you have developed scar tissue called capsular contracture. Other reasons are that the patient wants to be large or they have sagged and they require a lift. If a patient is going to sag depends on many variables and is unpredictable.
You should proceed with breast augmentation surgery thinking that additional surgery is inevitable…
Although there is no "automatic" exchange date for breast implants, I think it is wise for patients to expect that additional breast surgery will be necessary in their lifetimes. In other words, I advise every patient considering breast augmentation surgery to expect that additional surgery may be necessary for variety of reasons short or long term.
On the other hand, 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 would like to change the size. Risks of surgery include infection, bleeding, leakage, rippling/palpability, encapsulation, loss of sensation, interference with mammography, movement of the implants, size concerns and the probable need for further surgery in your lifetime. You may find the link below to be helpful.
Your breast implants won't decay inside of you
Breast implants do not decay. No one knows how long implants will last. The only reason my patients replace their implants are if they wish to change their size or if the implants rupture or deflate. Last year, I had a patient who wanted to get bigger implants after 19 years. When I removed her implant, it looked just like the day I put it in 19 years before. Hope this info helps. For more information on this and similar topics, I recommend a plastic surgery Q&A book like "The Scoop On Breasts: A Plastic Surgeon Busts the Myths."
It may be asking a lot of two implants to last 40 to 50 years. Implants can break and may need to be replaced. However, I have seen saline implants over 40 years old doing very well. Realistically, do expect to replace at least one implant during your lifetime.
Longevity of breast implants
You do not have to change your implants if you are happy with the size and do not develop any complications such as capsular contracture. The implants will not "decay" over time.