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Do you really need to replace your breast implants after ten years?

Do you really need to replace your breast implants after ten years?

Breast implant surgeon greater Charlotte area

Breast augmentation with implants remains one of the most popular cosmetic procedures. This procedure has a high satisfaction rate, with the vast majority of patients (more than 98%) saying that they would repeat the procedure if they knew how it would turn out.

When women come to our office for a consultation, they’re usually very excited about the possibilities for their bodies, but they often have a bit of anxiety as well. Many women have heard that breast implants have to be replaced every ten years. Is this true? Do you really need to plan to replace your implants once a decade for the rest of your life?

Breast implants do not require routine replacement

The short answer is no, breast implants don’t necessarily have to be replaced after ten years. In fact, the FDA’s guidance on silicone breast implants states that “routine replacement is not necessary.”

If your breast implants are not causing any issues after ten years, and if you’re happy with how your body looks and feels, then there’s no reason to replace the implants at that point. In fact, the majority of women keep their original implants for longer than ten years without any issues. Doing a replacement surgery when the implants are functioning well may be likely to do more harm than good.

Why might you replace your implants?

Although routine replacement isn’t necessary, it’s important to be prepared for the possibility that your implants might need to be replaced at some point in the future. This could occur for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Rupture of the implant
  • Capsular contracture (formation of tight, painful scar tissue around the implant)
  • Deciding to change sizes or to remove the implants completely
  • Complications like rippling or asymmetry

Depending on the study, between 20 and 40 percent of breast augmentation patients have some type of revision surgery within ten years. In some cases, this is elective, while in other cases, it occurs because of a problem with the implants. One large study estimated that approximately 15% of implants ruptured within ten years. Keep in mind that this means that in 85% of cases, the implants were still doing fine at ten years. In addition, newer generations of breast implants (such as highly cohesive “gummy bear” implants) are expected to be more durable, although we will have to wait for a few more years to have enough data to be sure.

Breast implant surgeon greater Charlotte area

Breast implants don’t require routine replacement, and they can certainly last well beyond ten years. At the same time, it’s important to be prepared for the possibility that you’ll need to get your implants replaced at some point in the future. This might happen because there’s an issue with the implants, or because your desires for your body change over time.

If you’re considering breast implants, the skill of your surgeon will make a big difference in your risk for issues like capsular contracture. As a double-boarded plastic surgeon, Dr. Miles is meticulous in his surgical technique, because he’s committed to keeping his patients as safe as possible. If you’re considering implants, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Miles to talk more about your options and to get honest advice about what to expect if you choose to undergo this procedure. Please contact our office to schedule your appointment.

Dr. Erik J. Miles
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