What Are the Chances of Follow Up Surgeries After Breast Implants?

I'm not happy with the size of my breasts, but terrified of surgeries. My concern is that I will have to have follow up surgeries every 5-10 years... complications... risks.... I'm 32 and have 2 children. Very tempted but scared.

Doctor Answers 10

Ok to be "a bit" "scared"

Dear Katushka.  Just like any operation, there can be both short and long term complications and sequelae involved in breast augmentation.  The most common short term complication is bleeding, also known as a hematoma.  Long term complications can include breast implant leak, capsular contracture (scar tissue around the implant), and implant malposition.  If you still have any reservations after consulting with a reputable board certified plastic surgeon, please wait until you are completely comfortable with your decision.  I always tell my patients that being a "little bit nervous" before undergoing cosmetic surgery is completely normal. It is, after all, "elective".  Good Luck

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 132 reviews

Will I Need Future Surgeries After Breast Augmentation?

Statistics show that most patients who undergo a Breast Augmentation procedure will have another surgery in their lifetime.  Like any man made device, breast implants are not guaranteed to last a lifetime and may, conservatively, have a lifespan of anywhere around 10-20 years.  If everything is going well, you are happy with your size and you are having no problems with your implants, I advise my patients to start considering another surgery at around the 10 year mark.  You may not need one but it's good to start preparing.  If you have concerns prior to the 10 year mark, see your surgeon for an exam to rule out any complications that may have occurred.  If you are under the muscle, your second surgery is usually much easier than your first.  Best of luck!

Andrew Smith, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

More surgeries after breast implants?

Breast implants are man-made devices.  And like many man-made devices, they most likely will not last you your entire lifetime (think about your car, your cell phone, etc).  There is no good way to predict how long an implant will last and who will require more surgeries related to those implants.  Some women may need surgery for implant-related problems like implant rupture, infection, or capsular contracture; others may need surgery because they want to be a different size or their bodies have changed.


I would definitely encourage you to speak with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options as well as the risks associated with surgery.  Good luck!

Anureet K. Bajaj, MD
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Will I Need Operations in the Future if I Have Breast Implants?

Dear Katushka,

Breast implants can last a lifetime, but you should be prepared to potentially need revision operations in the future.  Haematoma and infection could require reoperation in the short-term, while in the longer term, probably the most common reason for revision surgery is problems with the implant such as rupture and capsular contracture.

Rupture is not particularly common but capsular contracture may occur.  Capsular contracture is when the implant becomes hard and uncomfortable. It usually takes years to develop and is caused by scar tissue (the capsule) tightening around the implant over time. You could choose implants with a polyurethane foam coating, which have a very low rate of capsular contracture, although you will need to discuss this with your plastic surgeon as they are not widely used in this country (assuming you are based in the UK).  The equivalent of a board certified plastic surgeon in the UK, is one with the FRCS(Plast) qualification. You can find a list of surgeons in your area on the BAPRAS and BAAPS websites.

Jonathan J. Staiano, FRCS (Plast)
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Breast augmentation and further surgery

The average patient will need at least one more operation in their lifetime. That is according to the statistics.  However, some may never have further surgery, and siome may need more than one.  It is difficult to predict.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

What Are the Chances of Follow Up Surgeries After Breast Implants?

I am looking at the Allergan A95 study that the manufacturers did following the implant "scare"in the 1990's, and recall that both manufacturers had similar data. The 7 year re-operation rate in the study was 30%. Some of these were for what I would call complications, but others were size change, switch to silicone, breast lift done later for changes that occurred later, and other causes. As I look over the data, probably slightly over half of the operations were for complications, the rest either elective changes or things that would have happened independent of implants.

I have patients who request a size change within a year of surgery. I have patients with the same implants for 25 years who come back for a tummy tuck. 

There are risks, there are benefits, and the trick is to assure that the benefits outweigh the risks. The best approach is to set up a consultation with a plastic surgeon to review your options.When you are ready for an in person consultation, RealSelf has listings of surgeons in your area. You should consider cross referencing the listings from the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery dot org). A listing in the ASPS website assures you that your surgeon is not only board certified,  but also is a member in good standing of the major plastic surgery organization in the U. S. Thank you for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Followup Surgeries after Breast Implants

     Breast augmentation does not by necessity warrant continued operations every 5 years.  However, implants can rupture, and women can get capsular contracture.  Some women may want a lift later.  All of these things may account for additional operations, and you should be aware of these.  Please find the board certified plastic surgeon with elite credentials for consultation.

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Follow Up Surgeries After Breast Implants

Thank you for the question. It is not necessary to have surgery every 5-10 years. As with any surgical procedure there are risks associated with each intervention. However as long as you are doing well and there are no problems with your breasts or your breast implants no surgery would be indicated.

I suggest you consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon as they will be able to sit down one on one with you and address any question or concerns you may have. Best wishes.

Pedro M. Soler, Jr., MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

What Are the Chances of Follow Up Surgeries After Breast Implants?

Many thanks for the question.It has been very well answered already but i think your intention is how frequently one needs to do seconday correction since first surgery did not yield wanted results.If this is the intention of you quesion that revision surgery rate varies form surgeon to surgeon.I can mention mine that its about 3%.Wish you all the best.

Ashok Govila, FRCS, MCh, MS
Dubai Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Follow-Up Surgeries after Breast Implants

I understand your concern with the statistics regarding follow-up surgery  required following breast augmentation.  However, the rate of additional surgery following breast augmentation can vary greatly depending upon the age of the patient, the type of implant and the expertise of the plastic surgeon.  The rate of re-operation for silicone implants is reported to be over 15%.  This includes women who develop capsular contracture, ruptures to the implant, and subsequent size changes.  In my experience, particularly with saline breast implants, the rate of re-operation tends to be much lower, typically about 3-5%.  Though not required, many surgeons are recommending that silicone gel implants be replaced every ten years.  This is not an FDA or manufacturers requirement.  Regardless, any implant is not considered a lifetime device, and there is a possibility you will require one subsequent operation in your lifetime if you decide to have breast implants.  I hope this is helpful in making your decision.  Please discuss with a board certified plastic surgeon your concerns regarding breast implant safety and benefits.  Good luck to you. 

Steven L. Ringler, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 70 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.