What Happens If You Don’t Replace Breast Implants?
If you are considering undergoing either a breast augmentation or reconstruction surgery, you are probably wondering whether breast implants are lasting. You may wonder whether they can rip, decompress, or maybe even cause health complications. These are all questions that you should definitely ask your surgeon prior to surgery.
One simple answer is that it varies on a case to case basis. The sustainability of your breast implants depends largely on your lifestyle and the patient’s body. In some cases, the implant type as well as how carefully the surgery was done may also have an effect. Most women typically have the wrong idea of how long breast implants last.
Debunking the Myth
One common myth is that breast implants have to be replaced every 10 years. The idea of possibly having to spend a large sum, as well as make time for recovery, again in the somewhat near future leads many women to reconsider their procedure. However, the idea that breast implants must be replaced every 10 years is false.
How long your implants last depends on your body and the type of implant. Each implant has its own life span and it is important to note that these are only estimates. It is not guaranteed to last for, for example, 20 years. However, it is not uncommon for women to choose to replace or remove their implants in order to achieve an updated look.
It is estimated that the average life span of your typical breast implant will last 10-20 years without having any complications. The FDA reports that only a mere 20% of women had complications before reaching the 10-year mark.
Why Would I Need to Replace My Implant?
Leaks and Ruptures
There are risks for all surgeries and procedures. With breast augmentation or reconstruction comes the risk of implant ruptures and leaks. However, if this does occur, surgery is not needed right away for medicinal reasons. These leaks are potentially harmless, however, you may want to have your implant replaced for cosmetic purposes.
The most common reason for the implant to rupture is time, although mammograms and trauma to the breasts have been known causes as well. With saline implants, any leaking fluids are automatically absorbed by the body, however, silicone implants have more durability. Even if the silicone implants rupture, the silicone will stay inside the implant.
If your saline implant has ruptured, you may notice an obvious change in the appearance of your breasts. With silicone implants, this may be trickier and it is recommended to undergo an MRI every few years. This will show if your silicone implants have ruptured.
Capsular contracture is another common reason for having your implants replaced. Because your implants are a foreign body, your body may form scar tissues around them. If the scar tissue becomes extremely thick, the implant may become painful.
The case of this condition depends on your body. For instance, one case of capsular contracture could have a slight effect on the implants, whereas the other could result in swollen, painful breasts.
This is treated by removing the implants and scar tissue and possibly replacing them if you still wish to have implants. Your surgeon will place the implants into a new pocket of your breasts.
The last reason for undergoing an implant replacement is age. Aging has natural effects onn the breasts. They may sag and the implant may become noticeable. This is due to hormonal changes within the body.
In addition, pregnancy and breastfeeding can also alter the appearance of the breasts. These reasons may have women undergoing the procedure in order to restore their breasts.
Schedule a Consultation
Dr. Lorraine Golosow, MD is located in Florida and specializes in female plastic surgery. Whether you are looking to undergo breast augmentation or implant replacement surgery, contact us today for a consultation. We will go over your options and discuss the best plan for you.