Dr Livingston’s Blog

How Often Do Breast Implants Need to Be Replaced?

If you’ve been considering breast implants, we’re sure you have a lot of questions. Questions like “How often do breast implants need to be replaced?” along with “How often do breast implants leak?” and “What will my breast implants look like when I’m older?” are more common than you might think. And they are questions every woman considering implants should ask her surgeon.

For all of those questions, the short answer is: It varies. Breast implant longevity depends somewhat on the patient’s body and lifestyle, somewhat on the surgeon and implant type, and somewhat on chance. Here we’ve compiled more detailed answers that may help bring to light any uncertainties faced in the decision-making process of implants.

When Do Breast Implants Need to Be Replaced?

A common misconception is that breast implants need to be replaced or lifted every few years. This idea keeps many women from getting a procedure they want because they are worried about long-term costs and future surgeries. However, breast implants last longer than you may think. Which means: There is no reason to plan on having major surgery every few years for the rest of your life!

The reality of implants is that you should be aware that you may have one or two follow-up surgeries in your lifetime. It’s not a given, but it is better to be prepared for the possibility than to be surprised when you experience a complication or dissatisfaction with your implants.

When it comes to the “average lifespan” of implants, there are no guarantees. Some will last a lifetime, while others have complications within seven years. On average, the majority of implants last 10-20 years without complications. Recent FDA reports indicate that about 20% of women will have their breast implants repaired or replaced within 10 years of the original surgery.

How Often Do Breast Implants Leak?

As with all types of surgery, complications from breast implants vary widely. A common complication is a leaky or ruptured implant. When this happens, reparative surgery is not medically urgent or even necessary, but is performed for obvious cosmetic reasons.

Whether you are considering saline or silicone implants, the difference for how noticeable a leak is varies. Learn more about the difference between silicone and saline implants.

What Happens to Breast Implants As You Age?

Many patients choose to replace their implants because of the natural effects of aging. All breasts, whether natural or implanted, are subject to gravity, sun damage, lost tissue connectivity and the physical effects of motherhood.

Time-related changes often include breast sagging, size change due to hormonal fluctuations, or visible rippling of the implants. Women who received implants before motherhood may discover that pregnancy and breastfeeding change the original appearance of their breast implants. Thus, a number of patients voluntarily return after they are through having children, wanting to restore their breasts to the look and feel of the original implants.

As with any other type of surgery, patients can mitigate some of the risk of complications by selecting a surgeon who is board-certified, well-experienced and has a respected presence in the medical community. Make sure you put your beauty in hands you can trust: Request a consultation with Livingston Plastic Surgery today.

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