If you know someone who had breast augmentation years ago, you may have heard that breast implants must be replaced every 10 years. That “rule” is no longer valid. Today’s silicone breast implants can last much longer, and while they aren’t permanent, many folks will get 12 to 15 years of use before coming in for a change.
In the 1970s and ’80s, silicone implants had a 50% leak rate at 10 years, so plastic surgeons recommended replacing implants this often. Breast implant technology has evolved tremendously since then, and today the leak rate is about 5% to 10% at 10 years. So, if you aren’t experiencing any problems with your implants after 10 years, it’s okay to wait a bit longer before seeking a breast augmentation revision.
Nowadays, while replacing implants every 12 to 15 years is a general guideline, it’s important to remember that each patient’s experience is different. Let’s discuss some other reasons why you may need to replace your implants, and what to expect after the procedure.
Reasons for Replacing Your Breast Implants
You should seek a breast augmentation revision if you notice issues with your implants or experience any medical concerns such as:
Implant Rippling or Wrinkling
If you don’t have enough soft tissue to cover the implant, your implant is overly large, or your weight fluctuates, you may experience rippling or wrinkling. Most people only notice rippling on their implants well after their procedure is complete. Although this is not a serious condition, you should talk to your plastic surgeon about your options.
Hardened Scar Tissue Around the Implants (Capsular Contracture)
In some cases, the normal scar tissue around your implants hardens and constricts your breasts, distorting them. This condition can make your breasts look misshapen and cause pain or discomfort. You can remove or replace your implants if you have moderate or severe capsular contracture. This typically is done with a procedure to address the capsule, either a capsulectomy or a capsulotomy.
Implant Deflation or Rupture
Both silicone and saline implants can rupture, tear, or leak, although you may not notice it right away with silicone. If you see that your breasts look uneven or you experience discomfort, this could mean your implants have deflated or ruptured, and you will need a revision procedure.
You can also replace your implants if you are unhappy with the size, shape, placement, or material. Read this previous blog for more reasons our patients opt for breast augmentation revision.
How Soon Can I Replace My Breast Implants?
If you are dissatisfied with your implants for aesthetic reasons, it’s a good idea to wait at least 1 year before considering a revision. Your body needs time to heal, and your implants need time to settle into place and soften (“drop and fluff”). You can also remove your implants and not replace them—a procedure called explant surgery.
If you are experiencing a medical issue such as implant deflation, rupture, or capsular contracture, talk to your plastic surgeon to discuss your options.
We give our patients a satisfying and safe outcome after breast augmentation revision, as you can see in their before and after photos. To learn more about the procedure, request a consultation using our online form or call us at (702) 450-0777 to schedule an appointment.