How long do breast implants last?

A patient recently asked me if you should you go and swap out your breast implants just because time has passed?

breast implantNot so much. The breast implant companies (Mentor and Allergan) advise that their implants to last about 10 years.  This doesn’t mean you need to change them at that time.

If your implants aren’t causing problems and aren’t deflated, there is no need to assume the extra cost, risks of surgery, risks of anesthesia, risks of capsular contracture, and discomfort. Who knows, your implants may last 20-30 years?

Why pay the price in dollars, risk, and pain if you don’t need to? With the saline implant, if it deflates, you will see your breast get smaller and smaller over 48-72 hours.

Often this is associated with a feeling of nausea and dizziness. If you have silicone gel implants, you should be monitoring them as the FDA recommends: An MRI 3 years after your implants were placed, and then every two years as long as you have them. Your MRI reports will let you know if your implant has been compromised and needs to be replaced.

So, the answer is no, you don’t need to replace them every 10 years.

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