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The Life Expectancy of Breast Implants

Last month, Dr. Arie Benchetrit blogged about important decisions breast augmentation candidates need to make about their breast implants. To follow up that piece, Dr. Benchetrit wants to talk about another chief consideration that comes up during the breast implant discussion: how long breast implants typically last. Read on to learn more. 

Implants Don’t Come with an Expiration Date

Breast implants are not manufactured with an expiration date. They are designed to last a very long time without complications and there is no time limit for how long a patient can enjoy them. If there is no problem with the implant, nothing needs to be done.

Having said that, most women don’t keep their breast implants forever. One of the reasons why is that problems (although rare) do occur. Over time, the chances that the outer shell of the implant will break or wear down start to increase. The shell can develop a leak from rubbing against itself or the breast tissue. When the shell fails, the implant filling leaks out and the implant deflates.

Some studies show that implant deflation rates increase about 1 percent every year. Therefore, at one year post-implantation, there is a 1 percent chance the implant deflates, and at 10 years, there is a 10 percent chance.

What Happens When an Implant Ruptures

Implant rupture is different for saline and silicone implants. If a saline implant ruptures, the saltwater solution leaks out of the shell completely and the breast looks flatter and smaller almost immediately. Silicone implant ruptures are often called “silent ruptures” because the silicone gel stays around the implant pocket and the breast largely retains its shape, so it is difficult to detect a silicone implant rupture with the naked eye. For this reason, women with silicone gel implants are encouraged to have MRIs or imaging tests performed every few years to check the integrity of their implants.

Most Women Replace Their Implants Every 10 Years

The majority of women replace their implants every 10 years. Some of these women have developed a rupture or other complication, but many simply no longer like the way their augmented breasts look. After 10 years, a woman may desire an increase or decrease in her bust size, or she may want her breasts lifted. Implants can be replaced with a new pair or simply removed altogether.

Learn More about Breast Implants

If you would like more information about breast implants or the surgery to place them, please contact our Montreal plastic surgery practice and request a consultation with Dr. Benchetrit. Call (514)-695-7450 or email us today.