How Often Should Breast Implants be Replaced?
Breast implants are prosthetic devices that are surgically implanted into the breasts to increase their size and improve their shape. Breast implants come in different shapes, sizes, and materials. They can be filled with saline solution or silicone gel. Saline implants have a silicone shell and are filled with sterile saltwater. On the other hand, silicone implants have a silicone shell and are filled with a silicone gel.
How Durable are Breast Implants?
In general, breast implants are designed to be durable and long-lasting. Most implants are made from high-quality materials that are designed to withstand the stresses and strains of everyday life. Silicone implants are generally considered to be more durable than saline implants. They are less likely to rupture or leak, and they can maintain their shape and feel over time. However, if a silicone implant does rupture or leak, it may be more difficult to detect than a saline implant.
When Should Breast Implants Be Replaced?
There is no set timeline for breast implant replacement. However, breast implants are not lifelong devices. Some surgeons recommend that women should have their implants replaced every ten years, while others suggest that implants can last up to 20 years or more. The general rule of thumb is that if there are no complications with the implants or your breasts, it does not have to be replaced.
Signs That Your Breast Implants Need to Be Replaced
It is essential to be aware of the signs that your breast implants need to be replaced. If you suspect an implant leakage or rupture, an MRI can help you detect it. Some of the signs that your implants may need to be replaced include:
Rupture or Leakage: If your breast implant ruptures or leaks, you may experience pain, swelling, or changes in the breast’s shape or size.
Capsular Contracture : Capsular contracture occurs when the scar tissue around the implant tightens and squeezes the implant. This can cause pain, discomfort, and changes in the breast’s appearance.
Implants Bottomed Out: Breast implants “bottom out” when the skin and tissue cannot adequately support the breast implant, and the implant gradually falls below the breast crease.
Implant Shifting: Implant shifting can cause asymmetry or a lopsided appearance. This can occur due to trauma, weight changes, or the natural aging process.
Risks of Not Replacing Breast Implants
Not replacing breast implants when required can increase the risk of complications. Ruptured or leaking implants can cause pain, swelling, and infection. Capsular contracture can cause pain, discomfort, and changes in the breast’s appearance. Implant shifting can cause asymmetry or a lopsided appearance.
Breast Implant Replacement Surgery
Breast implant replacement surgery, also known as Breast Revision Surgery, is a surgical procedure that involves removing the old implants and replacing them with new ones. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and takes about 1-3 hours to complete, depending on the extent of correction needed. The recovery time varies depending on the individual and the extent of the surgery. Most patients can return to work and normal activities within a week or two.
Breast Implant Removal Surgery
Some women may experience persistent complications after implant placement and decide to have their implants removed rather than replacing them with new ones. There are some women who may simply choose to revert back to their natural breast size and shape. Breast Implant Removal Surgery, also known as Explant Surgery, usually takes about 1-2 hours, depending on the complexity of the case. A breast lift may also be required to remove excess, sagging skin and restore the breasts to their pre-implant condition.
Breast implants are extremely durable, however, they are not designed to last a lifetime and may need to be replaced due to complications or changes in the patient’s body. It’s important to monitor your breast implants regularly and consult with your plastic surgeon if you notice any changes in your breast size, shape, or texture.
Breast Revision Surgery is a safe and effective procedure that can restore the appearance of the breasts. If you’re considering breast implant replacement, book a consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options and the associated costs.