When Is Breast Implant Replacement Necessary?

This week, we have a guest blogger – Michelle in Denver, Colorado – who had breast augmentation years ago from another surgeon and is now considering a revision procedure. This article includes her research and discussion on the topic.

Do my breast implants need to be replaced?

Breast implants do not have an expiration date and there is no definitive requirement to have them replaced periodically. However, according to the Institute of Medicine, the average life expectancy of a breast implant is 16 years. FDA studies of silicone breast implants suggest that most implants last 7-12 years. However, some breast implants clearly last much longer. So, there really is no absolute answer to the question . Speaking for myself, I am at 25 years and counting. My breast implants have far outlasted my marriage!

According to an article by the FDA, “breast implants do not last forever. If you decide to get breast implants, you will likely need additional surgeries on your breasts over your lifetime due to rupture, other complications or unacceptable cosmetic outcomes. According to The National Research Center for Women & Families, “the likelihood of rupture increases every year.”

But as long as the breast implant is intact and you are not experiencing any complications, there is no real need to have a breast implant revision.

After 25 years, I am not experiencing any major complications or significant positioning problems, even after two pregnancies and breastfeeding, however I am considering breast implant replacement. I want to be proactive and avoid any complications, but I also want to benefit from new technology and use this opportunity to achieve a new look.

What is breast implant revision surgery?

Breast implant revision involves the removal or replacement of your current breast implants. Surgeons recommend an evaluation and possibly replacement of breast implants around 15 years after breast augmentation. Evidence shows that somewhere between10 and 20 years after surgery, most women will either be experiencing some type of complication or desire an improved appearance of the breast. Over time, positioning changes may occur due to accidents or natural causes. Breast implant revision surgery can resolve these concerns and provide a more satisfactory breast appearance.

Some of the common reasons one might consider a breast implant revision surgery are as follows:

  • Encapsulation, i.e. capsular contracture, which consists of excessive scar tissue development that can place pressure on the implant
  • Implant wrinkling
  • Improper implant positioning
  • Implant rupture or leakage
  • Desire to improve breast appearance
  • Desire to use improved implant technology
  • Aging and potential weakening of the breast implants

A revision surgery offers the chance to alter shape and size; after all, it is a whole new decade and your lifestyle is quite likely different than when you originally chose to get breast implants.

Do you have questions or advice for Michelle as she seeks a cosmetic surgeon for her breast implant revision? Email Her