Patient Questions

QUESTION

How Long Can Breast Implants Last?

I have had implants since 1984 and have not had any problems. Should I be concerned because of the length of time and have them replaced?

ANSWER

Implant longevity

With many of the original formulations of the implant shells (which are silicone regardless of whether you have silicone implants or saline implants) the quoted amount of time was an average of 10-15 years. This number was based on reoperation rates and it is important to remember that these re-operation rates included all reasons. Indications for reoperation for patients with breast implants include: 1. capsular contracture or scar tissue forming around the breast 2. undesireable appearance of the breast implants - patient wishes to be larger, smaller or does not want implants anymore 3. implant rupture or leak 4. implant infection Implant rupture is only one of several reasons that people have revision surgery. The new implant shell formulations probably last longer than older shells but many of the other reasons that people have surgery still contribute to that average of patients having revision surgery every 10-15 years. I hope this helps.

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