We know when it comes to breast implants, aesthetics usually take the front seat. But one crucial aspect that often slips patients’ minds? Breast implant lifespans.
While breast implants are a transformative and confidence-boosting investment, many are surprised to learn they require long-term commitment and care. Part of preserving the look and feel you adore is knowing when it’s time for a refresh.
At Dr. Cat Plastic Surgery, our expertise extends beyond creating beautiful transformations—we specialize in all aspects of breast implant care, including the lifespan and maintenance of your new assets.
Join us as we share everything you need to know about maintenance and care for breast implants—from longevity and considerations to breast implant warranty, cost, and more.
General Breast Implant Lifespan
Breast implants aren’t like a carton of milk with a definitive expiration date, but they’re not made to last forever, either. Now, don’t get us wrong—they’re certainly designed to be durable. However, they’re just not immune to wear and tear over time.
The good news? Many breast implant manufacturers offer warranty coverage for a certain period, which includes implant replacement in many cases (but more on that in a bit).
There are two main types of breast implants: saline and silicone. According to the FDA, the lifespan of different types of breast implants is as follows:
- Saline implants(filled with a sterile saltwater solution) tend to last around 10 years before requiring replacement.
- Silicone implants (filled with a silicone gel) generally have a lifespan of about 10 years.
While most breast implant lifespans range between 10 to 20 years, these aren’t necessarily rigid rules. Many patients safely exceed these time frames, only opting for one to two replacements in their lifetime.
When it comes to the duration between breast implant replacements, various factors come into play—let’s explore these a little closer.
Factors Determining Breast Implant Replacement
Apart from your implant type, several other factors could influence the lifespan of breast implants and the need for replacement, such as:
- Dissatisfaction with initial results – Some patients are unhappy with the final results of their breast augmentation, opting for revision or replacement to achieve the look they initially sought.
- Implant quality – Higher-quality implants (manufactured by reputable companies with rigorous safety and quality standards) tend to last longer and encounter fewer issues than lower-quality ones (produced by less reputable manufacturers).
- Physiology – Every patient is unique. Individual differences in healing, tissue characteristics, and body response to implants can impact their longevity.
- Aging – As your body changes with age, your implants may also be affected. This could lead to changes in breast shape or position, warranting a replacement.
- Weight fluctuations – Significant weight gain or loss can affect the appearance and integrity of your breast implants.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding – These life events can alter breast volume and shape, potentially demanding a need for a replacement.
- Complications – Rarely, complications like capsular contracture or implant rupture may necessitate early replacement.
- Personal preference – Many patients replace their implants to achieve a different size or shape, even if their current implants are in good condition.
- Changing trends – Over time, aesthetic preferences and fashion trends may evolve, prompting some patients to seek replacements for updated looks.
- Surgeon’s recommendations – Regular check-ups with your plastic surgeon will ensure they monitor the condition of your implants and advise you on the best course of action.
As you can see, your breast implant replacement path can be as distinctive as you are.
Ready to dive into the procedure itself?
How Breast Implant Replacement Works
Breast implant replacement is a surgical procedure that involves removing your existing breast implants and replacing them with new ones.
After receiving general and local anesthesia, surgeons like Dr. Cat starts with a precisely calculated incision overlapping your previous one to prevent additional scarring. She then gently removes your old implants and replaces them with your carefully chosen new ones.
Throughout the procedure, the surgeon evaluates your breast tissue and chest wall to determine if any adjustments or modifications are necessary. Dr. Cat meticulously ensures a nearly natural outcome and aesthetic improvement.
Depending on the complexity of your procedure, breast implant replacement typically takes around one to three hours.
As for the cost of breast implant replacement, it ranges between $5,000 to $10,000 or more. This varies according to your surgeon’s expertise, geographical location, and other associated fees.
More importantly, we value your peace of mind at Dr. Cat Plastic Surgery. That’s why we ensure every patient has a comprehensive understanding of their breast implant warranty and the associated costs of future replacements.
Curious to know when it might be time for an upgrade?
Signs of Breast Implant Damage or Rupture
Understanding the symptoms of breast implant rupture or damage can help you determine when it’s time for a replacement.
Keep an eye out for these potential warning signs:
- Noticeable changes in breast shape or size
- Lumps, tightness, or increased firmness around one or both implants may suggest capsular contracture (hardened scar tissue)
- Deflation or asymmetry
- Visible rippling or wrinkling
- Unexplained changes in skin texture or color
- Sudden changes in nipple sensitivity
- Persistent pain or discomfort without any apparent cause
Your proactive approach helps ensure the longevity of your breast implants and your peace of mind.
On that note, can you do anything to prolong the lifespan of breast implants?
Maintenance and Care for Breast Implants
Caring for your breast implants is an essential aspect of maintaining their health and aesthetics.
Here are some best practices to help maintain your breast augmentation results so you enjoy your new curves for years to come:
- Choose a surgeon who specializes in breast procedures
- Adhere to pre-op and post-op guidelines
- Regularly attend follow-up appointments
- Protect your breasts from trauma
- Wear supportive bras to minimize implant strain
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet
- Conduct self-exams to check for any changes
Learning how to care for breast implants can make all the difference in extending their lifespan and safeguarding your silhouette. That said, even with perfect care, the need for eventual replacement is a possibility for most patients.
In addition to your commitment to caring for your breasts, the expertise and skill of your surgeon can truly be the defining factor.
Embrace Lifelong Confidence with Dr. Cat Plastic Surgery
Breast implants may have an expiration date, but your confidence is timeless.
At Dr. Cat Plastic Surgery, we understand breast implant replacement is a natural part of your transformative journey. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be seamless and empowering.
Dr. Cat’s years of experience and legion of happy patients make her a natural choice for your breast transformation journey. With her skill and artistry at the helm, you can rest assured that you’re in capable hands as you embark on the path to your desired breast goals.
Your self-love deserves to stand the test of time. Why let the lifespan of your breast implants hinder that journey?