Millions of women undergo breast augmentation surgery each year. Made to enlarge and enhance the shape of the breasts, the implant forms involved in this procedure have been improved-upon over more than fifty years. The first silicone breast implants to be developed had a few disappointments, and many of the original patients ultimately had their implants removed. But what about today? Is there merit to the idea that breast implants must be replaced after 10 years? And does that mean every 10 years? That’s a lot of surgery over a woman’s lifetime! Here, we want to explore this idea further.
How long will breast implants last?
This is The Big Question. It may not matter how good breast implants look, or how much more satisfied a woman will feel with her shape once she has implants if there is a mandate that limits the lifespan of her new form. Where did this idea come from, anyway?
There are two reasons why the idea about 10-year replacement may have taken hold. First, and most importantly, the FDA had released such a recommendation several years ago. This came after a study that suggested 1 in 5 breast implant procedures would require revision after about 10 years. If we look at this ratio in context, we can see that only about 20% of cases are accounted for.
That is one point on that ratio. Another point is the timing of the study. Findings were released in 2011, and FDA recommendations have not changed since that time. However, the structure of breast implants has changed over time. It has been estimated that failure occurs in less than 3% of newer breast implant cases.
Another reason that 10-year replacement may continue to be a circulated story is that breast implant manufacturers must provide a warranty for their products, and that is often 10 years. This warranty, however, is based on that FDA study that may be somewhat outdated regarding relevance to today’s breast implants.
The bottom line is that breast implants can last less than 10 years, or they can last a lifetime. Scarring may cause tissue around the implant to harden, requiring replacement. Implants may rupture, as well. These are risks that are well-known and have no timeframe to them.
Learn more about the Natrelle breast implants used at Williamsburg Plastic Surgery. Schedule your visit with us at (757) 345-2275.