Do you need to replace breast implants in the future after getting an augmentation?

I am curious if it is true that breast implants need to be replaced after an x amount of years after the procedure. Does it depend on the material chosen?

Doctor Answers 10

Breast implant replacement is inevitable

Breast implants typically begin to fail after 10 years. Not all of them do, however this is around the time that the implant manufacturers have determined that problems occur with the implants. I have seen implants some women have had for 30 years without any need for replacement. Having said that I have also replaced a failed implant after 6 months. These examples are obviously on two different ends of the bell curve, not representing the majority of cases. 
Simply put: Implants will fail at some point. Whether they are silicone or saline. This may be recognized visually or radiographically. Just Like tires on a car or the roof on a house. However there are recommendations in place for implant surviellance related to silicone implants. Discuss your options with your surgeon. There are warranty options available through the various implant manufacturers as well

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

When you have an augmentation with implants

you are accepting the near certainty that you will have more surgery in the future, whether to deal with complications or asymmetries or implant issues.  Implants should be changed when there are indications and I would never recommend simply changing them because they were aging.  Your surgeon should be able to educate you on this when you have your procedure.

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

Will Breast Implants Need to be Replaced at Some Point?

Most surgeons will tell you that you will most likely need breast revision surgery at some point in the future which may or may not include replacing the implants.There are several different reasons that you may need breast revision in the future, see the website below for details. If you are not having any issues, then you do not need to do anything. Manufacturers give a lifetime warranty on their implants and most offer financial help with the cost of surgery if a revision is needed within the first ten years.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Replacing Implants

This is an important question. I always tell my patients "if it is not broken, don't fix it". By this I mean if the implants look good, do not have capsular contracture and there is no evidence of clinical or radiologic rupture, then there is no reason to change. One exception is saline. I strongly believe that saline implants thin out the breast tissue and I do not recommend living with them for long term. In general the reason that re-operations occure with implants is the natural aging of the breast and not so much the implants. Good luck

Sepehr Egrari, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

When Does a Breast Implant Need to be Replaced?

Interestingly, the manufacturers of breast implants say in their literature (likely at the request of the FDA) the breast implants are not lifetime devices yet they warrant them for life. The warrantee usually includes money for the surgery in the first 10 years (most saline implants excluded) and that is likely where the mythology around 10 years comes from but the manufactures will replace all implants for life.

There is certainly no need to replace an implant if it is not causing any problems. All medical devices will, by definition, fail at some point but most implants that are made today, especially if they are the 5th generation implants or gummy bear breast implants will likely fail long after you do!

I have added a video about gummy bear breast implants for you as well as a web reference.

I hope that helps.

Best regards.

Brian Windle, MD
Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

No need to replace breast implants unless there is a problem #plasticsurgery

This is a common question - thanks for asking it. The only reason why implant would require replacement is if ..

1. You'd like them replaced for cosmetic reasons (smaller implant, larger implant etc)
2. They have ruptured or leaked (very very uncommon)
3. You have developed a severe capsular contracture

The rate of implant replacement amongst patient that have received cohesive silicone implants, which were released in the US in 2006, is exceedingly low.

Implant Replacement

The manufacturers of the implants state that they are not lifetime devices. They do not have an expiration date. So, there is not an exact time frame to have them replaced. The most common reason to replace the implant is for changes to the breast with aging and after pregnancy. Silicone gel implants have a low rupture rate. If there is concern about the integrity of the implant then a MRI done.

Jeffrey W. Hall, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Do you need to replace breast implants in the future after getting an augmentation?

We never expect breast implants to last a lifetime and always warn patients during a consultation that all implant patients should expect more surgery in the future. But there is no exact amount of time before the next surgery. It is common to read in nonmedical sites that implants should be replaced every ten years, but that is not true. Further surgery is scheduled either when the need arises or when the patient wants to make a change of some type. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Do you need to replace breast implants in the future after getting an augmentation?

Assuming that the patient has a good result (no capsular contracture, bottoming out), then in the absence of an implant rupture there is no reason to replace their implants. I have seen implants of both types, silicone gel and saline, last 30 years or more...and some that have broken by 10 years. Some people used to say that silicone gel implants should be replaced every 10 years, but that idea predated better imaging tests such as MRI and ultrasound that have become more accurate at detecting rupture of a gel implant. Saline implants, of course, would show visible deflation should they rupture.

Do you need to replace breast implants?

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'd like to change the size.

Some of the potential complications that may arise would be deflation, capsular contracture, bottoming out, or just size change. In other words, if you are happy with the size of your breast implants and are having no problems, you don't need to do anything. I hope this helps.

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.