How Do I Know When My Breast Implants Need Replacing?

Breast augmentation with implants is one of the most popular plastic surgeries in the United States. Many women want larger, more attractive breasts, and breast augmentation – sometimes combined with a breast lift – offers a more feminine look that can boost a woman’s self-confidence.

However, as good as breast implants are, they often need to be replaced after 10 or 20 years. It’s hard to say if your breast implants will need to be removed and replaced down the road, but it is possible.

Before breast augmentation, learn more about breast implants and when they may need replacing.

How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

Most patients’ breast implants can last 10 years or more without problems. However, you should remember that both silicone and saline implants are not designed to last forever. Most patients eventually require follow-up surgery to remove or replace the implants.

Many patients have several breast surgeries to put in new implants during their lives. And some women may later decide they simply want the breast implants removed. Either way, you will likely undergo another breast surgery 10 years or more after the initial procedure.

Why Do Breast Implants Need Replacing?

As stated above, breast implants often need to be replaced after 10 or 15 years simply because they don’t last forever. But there are other reasons you may need to have them replaced:

  • Implant rupture
  • Capsular contracture
  • Implant movement
  • Implant malfunction
  • Surgical error
  • Lifestyle change
  • Want a different size or shape

Breast implants do wear out after years and need replacing. But there are occasional problems with implants that could require follow-up surgery.

One of the most common issues is capsular contracture. The scar capsule around the implant squeezes the device and distorts the breast.

Some patients may decide they don’t want large breasts as they age and replace them with smaller ones.

How You Know Implants Need Replacing

Every few years after having implants, you should see your plastic surgeon to see if the devices are performing well. They may need to be replaced after being in the body for many years.

Also, several signs indicate that a breast implant has an issue and needs to be removed and replaced. If you have breast augmentation, keep an eye out for these signs:

Saline Implant Deflated

Saline breast implants are inserted into the chest empty. Once the surgeon has placed the implant shell in the correct position, it is inflated with saline solution.

Occasionally, a saline implant will develop a leak and deflate. This is easy to see because one breast will be noticeably smaller than the other. The surgeon will need to operate and replace the saline implant if this happens.

You can have the implant replaced with a saline or silicone implant.

Silicone Implant Ruptured

It’s easy to see if a saline implant leaks, but it’s more challenging to know if a silicone implant has a problem. Modern silicone implants usually have solid gel silicone, and it usually stays inside the shell even if there is a rupture.

That is why the FDA recommends everyone with silicone implants have a breast MRI every three years to check if there is a leak. However, insurance rarely pays for it.

Even if the silicone doesn’t go anywhere in the event of a rupture, it should be replaced when the problem is discovered.

Capsular Contracture

The scar tissue around the breast implant may occasionally harden and squeeze the implant. If you notice the breast seems firmer or has a different shape, call your surgeon as soon as you can.

The good news is this problem can be fixed by putting in a new implant. However, if you have capsular contracture once, it’s more likely to happen again.

Implant Moved

Occasionally, the breast implant may not be put in the correct position or move. This could make one breast look different from the other. If this happens, your surgeon may need to go in, take out the old implant, and put in a new one in the correct position.

Rippling

A significant sign that a breast implant needs to be replaced is if you see rippling in the breast. This can happen as the implant settles into the skin and the natural breast tissue recedes.

The implant also can fold in on itself as the implant shell gets weaker and the body squeezes it.

Saline implants may ripple more often than silicone.

Asymmetrical Breasts

Most breast augmentations go well, but a few patients may have subpar results. If your breast augmentation results in breasts of different sizes, a breast surgery revision can give you the results you want.

Change Implant Size

Women usually have breast implants for many years. However, as we age, our needs and desires change. For example, a woman in her 30s may want larger breasts, but the same person in her 50s may want a more subtle look.

Your surgeon can put in a new, smaller implant if you like. Or you can even try fat transfer breast augmentation using liposuction.

Breast augmentation is usually a fantastic choice for women who want larger, more attractive breasts. However, you may need a revision procedure sooner or later because of implant age or another issue.

Talk to your plastic surgeon if you have additional questions about the possibility of replacing your breast implants.

Request A Breast Augmentation Consultation Today

Interested in breast augmentation in Dallas? Dr. Raja Mohan can help you obtain the results and look you want. He will go over the procedure with you and determine if breast augmentation fits your aesthetic and personal goals.

References

How Long Do Implants Last? (2019). Accessed at https://www.healthline.com/health/how-long-do-implants-last

Here’s What You Need To Know About Replacing Breast Implants. (2020). Accessed at https://aedit.com/aedition/guide-to-replacing-breast-implants

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