How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

how long do breast implants last

Written by Michelle

January 1, 2022

Contrary to popular belief, breast implants don’t expire, but they don’t last forever either.

So how long do breast implants last?

Breast enhancement has come a long way since its arrival in 1962. Although they are much safer today, implants still need replacing.

Most surgeons recommend replacing them every 10 to 20 years, but this will depend on your lifestyle and other factors related to the implant.

An average of 10,000 women undergo the procedure each year in the UK, which makes implants the most popular cosmetic surgery in the nation.

Once a taboo subject, implants are now the norm thanks to social media and safer procedures. So if you’re thinking about bumping up a couple of sizes, then you’re definitely not alone.

Read on to find out more about the different implants, how long they last, breast implant replacement and what happens if you don’t replace them.

Silicone Implants

Considered the most natural-looking type of implants, silicone implants are filled with silicone gel. Unlike saline, they come prefilled and therefore, a larger opening on the breast is needed to insert the implant.

Although implants are designed to last a minimum of 10 years, there is a risk of rupturing that increases as the implant ages. To protect from any leakages, the silicone implant is contained inside an outer capsule.

Depending on your lifestyle and how well the implants are maintained, some women have successfully kept the implants in for 20 years or more.

Silicone implants also come in a thicker gel consistency and are known as “gummy bear” implants.

They feel firmer compared to the more fluid version of silicone implants, but they have the added benefit of keeping their shape and are less likely to leak.

Saline Implants

Another type of implant is saline, which was first introduced in 1964 as an alternative to silicone. These implants are filled with sterilised saline solution, making them a very popular choice.

This is because the saline solution can be absorbed into the body if there is a leakage, therefore making this treatment safer.

What other differences are there between saline and silicone?

The procedure is very different from silicone because the implants are not prefilled. They are filled with solution after inserting the pouch inside of the breast, which allows for a smaller incision and less scarring.

However, a disadvantage is that they can ripple easily. If you don’t have enough breast tissue, then the rippling will show on your skin as folds and wrinkles.

How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

Your implants should last for at least 10 years but whether they need replacing will depend on how you take care of them.

Reasons for breast implant replacement include breast hardening which is when scar tissue forms around the implants. This creates hardening that can cause tenderness and changes to the size and shape of your breasts.

So How Long Do Silicone Breast Implants Last?

The risk of rupturing in silicone implants increases over time. Due to the gel-like consistency of silicone implants, any leaks do stay within the surrounding tissue or within the capsule.

Although silicone implants can last up to a minimum of 10 years, some do stay in good shape for much longer. However, leakages do happen, and sometimes they can occur in just a few years.

How Long Do Saline Breast Implants Last?

Due to the liquid consistency of saline implants, you can expect them to last up to 10 years. Although they are safer in the event of a leakage, they are more prone to rippling.

There are however more advanced saline implants that have a better internal structure known as “baffled” saline implants. These new implants reduce the chances of rippling and give a more natural feel to the breast.

Breast Implant Replacement

Do you have to replace breast implants?

Breast implants do eventually need to be replaced to avoid any potential problems. But when you replace them will ultimately be your choice or if you experience signs of implant problems.

You may also decide to change the size of your breast enhancement earlier than 10 years.

It’s important to remember that implants will age and can potentially erupt if they are not replaced. Trauma to the breast can also cause premature rupturing, which is why taking care of your body is extremely important.

Following the correct aftercare procedures after breast enhancement will also increase the long term success of your treatment:

  • Wearing a surgical support bra to hold the extra weight and help with healing
  • Choosing bras without underwiring to avoid injuring the incision area on the breast
  • Daily massaging your breasts can help reduce tissue scarring around the implants

Breast implants can give you excellent results, but unfortunately, you are not immune to the effects of gravity.

Over time, implants will droop as a normal breast would, so wearing the right bras can help support the breast and keep them in good shape for longer.

Are Breast Implants Right for You?

“How long do breast implants last?” remains one of the most asked questions, because implants are not a one-time treatment.

Knowing the ins and outs of implants will ensure that you make the right choice that suits your needs now and into the future.

Are you thinking about restoring your breasts volume after pregnancy and weight loss, or do you have a desire to change your breast shape?

Then get in touch with Dr Aslam for a consultation to find out more about breast implants and whether they’re suitable for you.

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