The short answer is no. If you are happy with your breast implants, you do not need to replace them.
The detailed answer is that the average time to removal or exchange of breast implants placed for cosmetic breast augmentation is 10 years. This is a statistical number, so some women have implants for longer than 10 years without issues while others undergo reoperation sooner. https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/breast-implants/update-safety-silicone-gel-filled-breast-implants-2011-executive-summary.
However, this “average time” does not give an accurate picture, and here’s why:
While these numbers include women who have implant failure (ie, rupture), it also includes women who have their implants removed or replaced for other reasons. A patient’s breasts may change in size and shape over time due to pregnancies, breastfeeding, weight changes, or getting older, and she may no longer like how the implants look. Or she may simply decide her lifestyle has changed and she feels smaller breasts fit better at this time in her life. Alternatively, she may want to change from saline to silicone implants or vice versa.
These statistical numbers also do not take into consideration the newer implants available today which have even stronger shells and more stable fillers, and therefore would be expected to have a longer lifespan.
This “10-year misconception” may also be a product of the manufacturer’s warranty on breast implants. For almost all breast implants, manufacturers offer a 10-year warranty on the implants in addition to offsetting some of the financial costs of additional surgery. After 10 years, manufacturers will still replace the implants if they rupture but will not provide any financial support for the cost of surgery.
In summary, breast implants do not have an expiration date at which time routine replacement is required. Indeed, it is expected that up to 80% of women who undergo cosmetic breast augmentation will not need additional operations. In fact, surveys show that 98% of women would make the same decision to undergo breast augmentation at 6 years after surgery.
If you have been thinking about breast augmentation but have remaining questions, schedule a Free Consultation with Dr.Won to get your questions answered.
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