Is It Time to Replace Your Breast Implants?


If you had breast augmentation in the past ten years, you may be wondering if it’s time to replace your breast implants.

The truth is, the vast majority of breast implants will never need replacing because of medical reasons. Especially after a decade. Today’s advanced techniques and improved manufacturing practices have allowed for this.

Even so, you may have other reasons for not wanting your breast implants any longer.

How Long Breast Implants Last

Breast implants come with no guarantees. But what in life does, really? Most of the current available implants are very safe and last a bare minimum of ten years – as long as there are no complications.

Of course, how much longer your implant will last after that initial ten years is based on a number of factors. These include your health, the size and shape of your chosen implant, and your surgeon’s expertise.

One of the biggest determining factors, though, is the type of implant you chose.


Of the two different types, silicone implants are the more resilient. They have only a .5% rupture rate per year so it’s not unusual for these to last for decades. In some cases, they may even last for a woman’s lifetime.

One of the major drawbacks of silicone, however, is that it’s more difficult to detect ruptures or other damage if they do occur. So while the implants can last a long time, patients need to stay up-to-date on checkups and stay in touch with their board-certified plastic surgeon.


By contrast, saline implants have a 1% rupture rate per year. Still quite minimal, but they are also more prone to shifting and rippling than silicone implants are. So while it’s possible for them to last for decades, it’s likely they will need some sort of maintenance every ten to fifteen years.

The benefit of a saline implant rupturing is that the body can absorb saline so the rupture is less serious.

So Is It Ever Really Time to Replace Your Breast Implants?

Outside of car accidents, trauma, or needle biopsies, it’s rare for a rupture to occur many years out from the initial surgery. So you likely won’t feel a medical need for replacing them. That said, there are still other reasons you may choose replacement surgery.

Perhaps you’re feeling like the size of the implant you chose is no longer a good fit. You may want to go bigger or smaller.

It’s also possible that as you’ve aged, your skin has become looser, your hormones have changed, and your body weight fluctuated. This can result in your breasts changing as well and the implants may no longer look natural.

Finally, tissue stretching and good ole’ gravity can cause breasts and implants to malposition in a variety of ways. They may be shifting sideways, bottoming out, or moving closer together.

All of these may warrant breast implant replacement surgery.


What Happens During Breast Implant Replacement Surgery?

Unless a longstanding rupture is involved, the replacement surgery is relatively simple and straightforward. And the recovery time will be minimal; usually only a couple of days.

A rupture that’s gone undetected, however, can result in capsular contracture.

Part of the healing process for the body is to form a capsule of fibrous scar tissue around any implanted device. The capsule not only creates a protective barrier, but it also assists in keeping the implant in place so as to avoid slippage.

But when the body goes into overdrive to protect itself from the “foreign” body – in this case, the ruptured implant – the scar tissue tightens around the implant and then constricts it. This is known as capsular contracture.

To treat the capsular contracture, the surgeon would need to perform a capsulectomy. And if there’s already too much inflammation to replace the implant, you may have to wait up to six months before you can get a new one. Recovery will also take longer.

The Choice Is Yours!

If you’ve had implants for more than a few years without complications, the chances are minuscule that you’ll need to replace them for medical reasons.

By the same token, if your current implants are no longer serving you or even making you feel self-conscious, then THAT’S the time to replace breast implants.

Contact us today to talk to our board-certified plastic surgeons. We’ll help you  We can answer any questions, address concerns, and put an action plan into place for you.