Patient Questions

QUESTION

How Long Can Breast Implants Last?

I have had breast implants for 14 years and I am now developing a large rash under my left breast, and it hurts and I feel alot of air pockets. One doctor told me to replace them every 10 years and another told me that you never have to replace them

ANSWER

Generally there is no expiration date.

Implants do not necessarily need to be changed out at any interval. The numbers you hear people talk about are based on averages of people that have had the implants replaced. The most often cited number is (again... on average) every 10-15 years people will need an additional operation for their breast augmentation. Now that number is based on surgeries for all reasons - ruptured implants, want larger implants, have capsular contracture, just don't want the implants in anymore. In addition that 10-15 year number is based on the older implant shells. The new formulations are more resistant to rupture and as the science of how to avoid capsular contracture gets better you will probably see that number increase. In your situation however, it is never normal to feel air pockets or have redness associated with your implants and you should see a board certified plastic surgeon today. If you can't get to your plastic surgeon you should probably go to the emergency room. The situation you are describing is possibly that serious.

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