How Long Do Breast Implants Last?


How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

Breast augmentation or breast reconstruction is an effective way to enhance the appearance of your breasts by providing long lasting improvement in shape and size. However, nothing lasts forever, including breast implants. Although breast implants are designed to last at least a decade, typically between 10 to 15 years, many patients have found their breast implants to remain in good shape for up to 20 years.

Breasts naturally change over time regardless of implants due to a variety of reasons including pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight gain and aging. Changes in skin elasticity and shrinking of tissue over time can affect breast implants. As skin stretches, the implant may become visible, producing a rippling effect. Other reasons breast implants may not last as long as intended include breast implant rupture and capsular contracture, when scar tissue forms around the implant causing tightness and pain. Saline implants have been known to deflate over several years; the more popular silicone implants have lower rupture and capsular contracture rates. In addition, as medical advances are made and materials improved upon, patients may desire a different choice of implant from saline or silicone, such as the newer “gummy bear” implants which offer thicker silicone gel than traditional silicone implants and are firmer, hold their shape better and feel more natural to the touch. Patients may also opt for new implants to change to a smaller or bigger cup size. 

As with any post-operative care, best results are determined by following the directions of your surgeon. To improve the longevity of breast implants, proper care begins during your breast augmentation recovery. Following instructions to wear a support garment or surgical bra can aid against premature sagging and the need to replace breast implants sooner. Annual checkups, regular self-examinations and mammograms to screen for cancer are necessary for optimal breast health. An MRI should be scheduled at the 3-year mark of implant surgery as well. During these exams, your doctor can advise you on implant care and review any concerns. Breast implants are durable and, barring any health complications, should last for 1 to 2 decades before needing replacement. If you are eager to learn more about how to accentuate your feminine curves by way of breast implants, our renowned team at David W. Allison, MD is here to guide you through the process. Call 703-754-8228 or visit WEBSITE to set up your consultation.

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