How long do breast implants last? Does having the impact over vs under the muscle make a difference in implant life span?

Do implants last forever or after a certain amount of time do you have to get them replaced? 

Doctor Answers 11

How long do breast implants last? Does having the impact over vs under the muscle make a difference in implant life span?

Thank you for your question. This is a common question for women seeking breast augmentation. Although there have been significant advances in breast implant production and quality over the years they are still not considered to be implants for life. General recommendations are that implant lifespan is around 10 years although they may last even longer. Therefore if you are considering implants you need to be aware that you need to be proactive in looking after them just as you would be proactive in looking after your own health. If you notice a change or something out of the ordinary you should consult your plastic surgeon for a review. If you are approaching the 10 year mark after your augmentation you should consider imaging the implants to look for signs of rupture. Remember that the implants only need to be changed if there is a problem identified. There is no evidence indicating that implant placement over or under the muscle will impact of the lifespan of the implant.
I hope that helps.
Dr Guy Watts

Implant longevity

I know of several women who received implants and have never had to change them. 

Generally, if you don't have a problem with your implants and haven't noticed any pain or a change in appearance, then there is no need to replace them. But it is important to note that while changes tend to be more obvious with saline implants, silicone implants that rupture may not be as noticeable and remain undetected for a longer time.
You should visit your surgeon or doctor regularly so that they may also examine you to make sure your implants are in good condition. Implant placement does not affect implant lifespan.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Only diamonds last forever

I have been an active, practicing plastic surgeon with an expertise in breast surgery for over fifteen years. I have been amazed at the advances in breast implant manufacturing over this time. Implants may not be lifetime devices, but most patients should expect to enjoy good health and the figure they desire over extended period of 10 years+, especially if the new fifth-generation, highly cohesive silicone gel implant is the choice (also known as the Gummy Bear).

Peter J. Capizzi, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Breast implants how long do they last

Implants are a well constructed mechanical device, but like any device they may eventually fail.
In saline implants the rate of rupture has been quoted somewhere between 1%-4% per year. Basically the older the implant the higher the risk of rupture.
With a saline implant, If your happy and you look good my philosopy is if "it's not broke don't fix it" If the shell of the lmplant leaks it just releases salt water which is what your body is made of. You'll know if you leak because the breast will get rapidly smaller. I have patients that have gone more than 20 years with intact saline implants.
With respect to silicone implants the new generation of cohesive implants have a thicker shell and a thicker silicone. All early indications are that they should last longer and behave better than the older generation of gel implants and may even last longer than saline. This longevity is still being evaluated.
Because you can't always tell if a silicone implant is leaking on physical examination (the gel just stays inside you) the FDA currently recommends women with gel implants get an MRI to look at the implants 3 years after surgery and every 2 years thereafter.
Because the rate of capsular can go up if an implant leaks I would rather see my own patients change a gel implant before they find a leak on the MRI. Exchanging an intact gel implant is a short procedure with little down time. Removing a tight contracted and leaking implant is much more involved. I use the conservative estimate of 10 years presently but I expect to increase this as we get more information on the lonevity of our new generation of silicone gel implants.

Antoine A. Hallak, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

How long do breast implants last

Thank you for an excellent question. All implants eventually rupture, though the time for this to happen is quite variable. Typically, studies quote a 10-15 year time before rupture rates start to increase, though we all have patients that have had their implants for much longer, even twice that long. We do not replace the implants unless there is a problem, so there is no reason to exchange the implants in anticipation of a rupture.
As for the positioning of the implant below or above the muscle, this has not been shown to affect the life span of the implant.
Best of luck with your breasts.
Jeff Rockmore

Jeffrey Rockmore, MD
Albany Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Breast Implant Longevity

Although the resilience of breast implants continues to improve, they are not marketed as "lifetime" devices. Patients are cautioned by manufacturers and plastic surgeons alike that implants should not be expected to last forever.

With that said, most patients find that their implants last for many years. Ten years is not at all unusual, and many patients find their implants remain intact much longer than that. While you may wish to have a periodic MRI to check for integrity--in the case of silicone gel implants--there's really no reason to consider replacing breast implants unless some kind of problem arises.

There's no evidence that size, placement and other aspects of your implant choices have much, if any, impact on longevity. Choose a well-qualified, board certified plastic surgeon and make decisions about what's best for you and your body.

Elliot Jacobs, M.D.
New York Plastic Surgeon

Elliot W. Jacobs, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

How long do breast implants last?

Neither saline nor silicone gel breast implants are life time devices. Both types of implants can “fail”. Also, automatic removal/replacement of these implants at the ten year mark ( either saline or silicone gel) is not necessary.  One common saying in the business: “if they're not broken, we don't fix them”. In other words, if patients are doing well and are pleased with the breast implant size, positioning etc., there is no need to remove/replace. There is no evidence that the position of the breast implants affects their longevity. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Breast implants can last for a very long time

Thank you for your question.  FDA guidelines state that a significant number of breast implant patients will need some form of revision within 10 years.  However I would never recommend that breast implants be removed or changed at 10 years simply because 10 years has elapsed.  If your breast implants do not have problems, do not develop firmness or other complications breast implants can lasta very long time.  I have seen breast implant patients who have had implants in for 40 or 50 years without complications.

How long do Breast Implants last

As has been pointed out, there is no fixed time frame for the life of implants and 10 - 15 years would be a conservative estimate.
However while the implants stay largely unchanged, the reaction of the tissues (around the implant, muscles, skin, capsule), your body weight, pregnancy, and generalised ageing will change the relationship between your body frame and the implant, to some extent (which is different for each individual)
This might call for an implant exchange.
hope this helps
warm regards

Prashant Murugkar, MD
India Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Implant longevity

Thanks for your email.
Like all prosthetic material, such as hip and knee replacements. Breast implants also have a shelf life.
Now it can vary how long they last, especially with the quality of implants in use today.
A safe estimate would be 10-15years.

Here is a little video and short article on it.

Pouria Moradi, MBBS, FRACS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 89 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.