How do augmented breasts change with aging/ children/ breastfeeding? How common/necessary is late-in-life revision surgery?

What is the 'shelf life' of a breast augmentation, in terms of shape/proportion/ general appearance over time, specifically following pregnancy/ breastfeeding? I'm currently in my mid-twenties, no kids yet, probably wanting a child in early/mid-thirties, and will want to breastfeed. I'll soon be getting an augment thru areolar incision, with 250cc (or less) silicone implants, to correct a mild tuberous condition. With or without kids, do many women feel they need a revision surg later in life?

Doctor Answers 9

Breast Implants & Changes Over Time

Breast implants are not designed to last a lifetime, but they do last for several years. All implant companies do have a lifetime warranty for rupture and even offer financial assistance if rupture occurs within a certain amount of time. Many implant companies even cover some postoperative complications. Before deciding to proceed with a breast augmentation, it is necessary to go over the risks of having a surgical procedure with implants with your board-certified plastic surgeon.

Regarding breast changes over time, everyone is different. Therefore, it is hard to say whether a revision is needed later on. After surgery, it is important to see your board-certified plastic surgeon annually for follow-up appointments to evaluate breast health and implant integrity and ensure your continued satisfaction with the procedure.

Good luck with your surgery!

Los Gatos Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Implants over time

This is a fantastic question.  Everyone responds differently to implants.  For some patients, they may need a second procedure 10-15 years down the road.  However with that said, I see many patients who have not had any issues with their implants 20-30 years later.  I recommend an in-office examination as well as a detailed discussion with a surgeon who you are comfortable with and who is a board-certified Plastic Surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Best wishes! Dr. Desai
Harvard Educated, Beverly Hills & Miami Beach Trained, Double-Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Urmen Desai, MD, MPH, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 227 reviews

Breast augmentation

Excellent question! Augmented breasts will change and age with you. This means that in 10 years your breasts will have aged s bit. The implants should still be in good shape, but your breasts will probably lose some volume, and you may want to consider another procedure once you are done having kids. Good luck!


In general, implants are not a life time guaranteed product. In other words, most women will require at least a second procedure sometime during their life.  As for the shape of the breast long term, your body will age and many factors can impact how the breasts will look over a life time.  More details can be given in person during a consultation. Good luck.

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

Breast augmentation longevity

I have patients who I performed breast augmentation 28 years ago who are still happy with their implants. People age at different levels, usually after pregnancy or large weight loss the breast can sag. The implants you are considering for a tuberous breast deformity may last a lifetime. The manufacturer's provide a ten year warranty and implant replacement for life. Good luck...

Larry Weinstein, MD
Morristown Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Breast changes

With or without implants your breasts will change over  your lifetime. They will get smaller and sag with children and ageing. People with implants or overly concerned about their breast appearance often have more than one surgery over their lifetime. 

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Breast Implants over time

Every patient is different and there is not one general answer for all patients.  However, if you have minimal breast tissue and are having smaller implants, then the likelihood of needing a lift in the future is less than someone with heavy breast tissue or larger implants.  Without seeing you in person it is difficult to give you specific advice.
Good Luck

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Aging of an implant

I have patients with original implants 30 years out and others who seek implant exchange after 15. There is a broad spectrum but I think you should assume that the implants will need to be exchanged. Many patients in their 50s opt for removal and lift.  Your own breasts will change with time and factors including weight gain/loss and childbearing. I would not recommend the areolea incision in terms of breastfeeding potential. Best wishes.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Great Question!

I'm not sure I understand what "shelf life" means, but I'll give it a try.  Saline Breast Implants typically have a rupture rate of 10%/year.  Silicone breast implants - the new generation may last 20 years, or so.  However, you must think of a breast implant as a medical device and as such, all devices are subject to failure - rupture, etc.  Your breast implant should remain the same in location and position (exclusive of capsular contracture) following pregnancy, breastfeeding, etc.  However, your natural breast might not remain the same.  As you age, your breasts have a tendency to sag, independent of whether or not you have an implant.  Even small breasts, following pregnancy and nursing might sag.   If you are getting implants through an areolar incision and would like to nurse - I would advice against this approach as some of the ducts might be compromised.  If nursing is a top priority, I would recommend another approach, such as an incision beneath the breast.  Hope this answered your questions.  Good luck. 

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.