Many women consider breast implants for various reasons, but did you know that breast implants don’t last forever? Although they do last a long time, they are not guaranteed to stay for the duration of your life, meaning that if you received implants, you might need revision surgery at some point in the future. The average lifespan of saline or silicone implants can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years. If you’re checking your calendar now, don’t worry, breast implants don’t expire, but many are removed sooner due to complications or cosmetic concerns.
How do I know when it’s time to replace my breast implants?
If you’re unhappy with your breast implants look or are experiencing any of the following, it might be time for revision surgery.
Some patients develop capsular contracture or hardened scar tissue around one or both implants. Unfortunately, this can cause more than just cosmetic changes; it can also cause pain, tenderness, and a feeling of tightness in the chest.
If you have saline implants, it’s possible to experience an implant rupture. If a saline implant ruptures because of a tear or a hole, it will begin to deflate. The saline in your implant will leak out and be reabsorbed by your body; this leak can happen all at once or slowly over several days. The affected breast (or breasts) will look dramatically different as it loses its size and shape.
Silicone implants can also rupture, but the gel will often stay inside the implant or surrounding scar tissue because the silicone gel is thicker than saline. Although most silicone ruptures go unnoticed, some patients notice hard knots, pain or tenderness, tingling, or an uneven appearance.
Occasionally rippling occurs when the implant wrinkles. The patient can feel these ripples when touching the breast in some cases. This is called palpability and, in extreme cases, can even be seen through the skin. If you can see or feel wrinkling in your implant, you might consider replacing it.
Rippling was remedied here by Dr Larsen using the Beautifill Fat Transfer & Liposuction System
Change of position
Breast implants don’t prevent your breasts from sagging, and gravity will affect them as you age. Weight gain or loss (such as that surrounding pregnancy) can also cause stretching of the skin over the breasts and lead to sagging.
Things to know about implant replacement surgery
One thing that is important to consider about breast surgery is choosing your surgeon wisely. Many patients don’t realize that they don’t have to work with the same surgeon for their revision surgery as they did for their original surgery (especially if they are unhappy with the results.) Dr. Larsen is a double-board certified plastic surgeon with years of experience in breast surgeries. He is extremely thorough with all of his procedures.
Once you have chosen a surgeon, they will examine the implants you’d like to have replaced and present you with your surgical options during your initial consultation. These options may include implant removal, implant removal, a breast lift, reduction of scar tissue, or implant replacement without a breast lift. You also can change the size or material of the implants used. Your doctor will walk you through all the options and help you make an educated decision based on your treatment options.