For many women, choosing to get breast implants means bringing to life a longstanding vision they have for their bodies. Recent technological advancements have made implants safer and more durable than ever, but that doesn’t mean they’ll last forever.

We’ve created this guide to help you better understand how long you can expect breast implants to last, why they fail, and how to identify problems.

What Is the Life Expectancy for Breast Implants?

Although there is no precise “expiration date” for breast implants, patients need to understand that they will not last a lifetime. The expectation laid out by most manufacturers is around ten years before an implant will need to be removed or replaced. In reality, an implant’s lifespan will vary by individual and can extend upwards of twenty years under the right conditions.

Why Breast Implants Fail

Breast implants can deteriorate for a variety of reasons including general wear and tear, weight fluctuations, aging, and secondary traumas.

In choosing between saline and silicone implants, you can rest assured that each is as reliable as the other. The exterior shells of both types are made of durable silicone, regardless of the substance inside.

Choosing the right cosmetic surgeon is a crucial part of the process, as the accuracy of the procedure impacts the durability of the implants. Each implant must be precisely filled since under or overfilling can cause it to warp and make it more prone to leaking. It must also be the correct size to prevent it moving, wrinkling, or rippling.

Identifying Signs of Trouble

  • Rupture:

How to detect a rupture depends on the type of breast implant you have.

With saline, it’s usually relatively obvious as you’ll actually notice your breast deflate.

Recognizing a problem with silicone is more difficult. When a silicone implant breaks, the gel tends to stay in the same area and maintain a constant volume. The first symptom of trouble will often be the thickening and hardening of the tissue around the implant. An MRI is the most reliable way to confirm whether or not a silicone breast implant has failed.

If a rupture occurs, you should have the implant removed or replaced as soon as possible.

  • Rippling:

This is especially a risk for more slender women who have implants put in over their chest muscle but under their mammary gland. The implants become more likely to fold under pressure, causing a rippling effect. Saline implants are more prone to warping than silicone.

  • Hardening:

A potential side effect of a breast implant is capsular contracture, a response of your immune system to detecting a foreign object in your body. It results in the creation of excessive scar tissue that tightens around and squeezes the implant, sometimes causing it to rupture and its contents to leak. Leaving a capsular contracture untreated can result in bacterial infections and hematomas.

When Should Breast Implants Be Replaced?

As long as you’re happy with your breast implants and they’re in good condition, there is no reason to remove or replace them. It is important to monitor your breasts regularly and contact your doctor if you notice any abnormal, discomforting, or painful changes. Choosing an experienced cosmetic surgeon to carefully perform your augmentation procedure and provide post-operative care will ensure you’ll be satisfied with the results for years to come.

The Brampton Cosmetic Surgery and Medical Spa has been performing breast augmentations, lifts, and reductions since 1994, consistently meeting and exceeding our clients’ expectations. We serve the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), including Brampton and Mississauga. Book a consultation now!

Visit our Breast Augmentation Before & After Gallery to see our results.

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About Dr. Robert Sleightholm

Dr. Robert Sleightholm is one of the founders of the Brampton Cosmetic Surgery Center and Medical Spa. He is the clinic’s Director of Surgery and, since its opening in 1994, has safely and successfully completed more than 200 cosmetic surgery procedures each year. An Ontario plastic surgery veteran, he is a board-certified Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada (FRCSC).

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