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How Long Do Breast Implants Last

How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

Many women love the idea of getting breast implants. They feel they look better with bigger boobs and are willing to pay thousands of dollars. Are breast implants safe? There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding breast implants. Some people think they’re dangerous, while others believe they are safe.

When it comes to breast implants, there are two types – silicone and saline. Both are used for cosmetic purposes. But when it comes to which type of implant is better, the answer is quite simple.

Silicone implants last longer, but saline implants are cheaper and easier to obtain. That’s why it’s essential to know precisely how long breast implants are prior.

In this post, we will look at what precisely a breast implant is, how long breast implants last, and if there are any potential side effects to consider before getting a breast augmentation.

What is the Breast Implants?

Breast Implants

Breast implants are prosthetic devices placed inside the chest and filled with saline, silicone, or gel.

The most common type of breast implant is the saline implant. This is made of sterile salt water and is inserted through a small incision on the chest wall.

If you choose silicone implants, your doctor may place a tiny pocket in your breast tissue. Then, they insert a silicone shell into this pocket. The surface is then filled with a soft, white gel similar to that used in your ears.

You may get silicone implants if you have asymmetrical breasts or scars on your breasts. If you choose gel-filled implants, your doctor will make a small incision in your abdomen to place them under your skin.

Breast implants are usually only used to improve physical appearance. But if you need surgery for other reasons, such as cancer treatment, your surgeon may use implants to make the breast look fuller.

Why do people have breast implants?

Breast implants are plastic spheres that go inside the body. They replace a part of the breast that has been removed due to cancer treatment, surgery, or congenital abnormalities. In many cases, the implants are used to help restore the appearance of the breast after it has been lost.

The implant is surgically inserted under the skin on the chest wall. After the implant is inserted, the doctor may need to put some of the breast tissue back to cover the implant. Some patients choose to remove their implants.

People get breast implants for several reasons:

  • To restore the appearance of a breast lost or damaged after a mastectomy or breast reduction surgery.
  • To enhance the appearance of the breasts, especially if there are significant gaps between them.
  • To correct problems with the nipples.
  • For women who want more breast size.
  • To enhance the shape and size of small breasts that are not naturally symmetrical.

There are numerous sizes for implants. While some implants are oblong, others are circular. Some are textured, while others are smooth. The type of material used varies from implant to implant. They come in different colors and with different numbers of holes in them.

The life expectancy of breast implants depends on several factors. They rely on the implant type, the materials’ quality, and the medical care provided. 

How to choose the best implant for you?

How Long Do Breast Implants Last

Selecting an implant that best suits your body and your lifestyle is essential. The implant size you choose will depend on your height, weight, and lifestyle. The following information can help you decide the best size for you.

Most women choose a size smaller than the one indicated on the label as they need a breast lift. A good rule of thumb is the lower the number (e.g., 10), the larger the implant. Size 12 is usually the smallest, and size 24 is the largest.

Implant surgery is performed with local anesthesia or sedation.

Women over 60 who have had prior breast augmentation surgery tend to have more complications than younger women.

If your breasts are overly big and hanging down, you might also require a breast reduction.

Other risk factors for complications include high BMI (body mass index) and smoking.

A few complications are infection, implant rupture, deflation, and capsular contracture (hardening of the soft tissues around the implant).

After the implant is placed, it will remain in place for approximately 6 months. The implant settles into the body during this time, and the wound will heal.

The implant is removed when the desired shape and volume have been achieved.

What happens if you don’t replace breast implants

When you have breast augmentation surgery, you have a choice: either choose to replace the implants every few years, or you can keep using the implants.

Breast implants can become less supportive and gradually fail over time. However, this is rare and usually occurs after you have already had surgery for several years. The good news is that the likelihood of replacement is small; most women never need to replace implants.

The most important thing to remember is that when you have breast augmentation surgery, your surgeon will place your implants directly under your skin to support them. You won’t have to worry about the implant coming out or leaking.

Breast implants last indefinitely if the surgery is done correctly. But some women, especially those who undergo additional cosmetic surgeries such as a tummy tuck or liposuction, can experience an increased risk of complications. If you are undergoing other cosmetic procedures, it is always best to discuss with your doctor the possibility of having a second surgical procedure to remove the implant, if necessary. 

Long-term Effects of Breast Implants

Long-term effects of breast implants include aching and swelling of the chest, sagging of the breasts, difficulty sleeping, breathing problems, headaches, and pain during sex.

Women with implants are more likely to suffer from pain and numbness in the hands, feet, and face than women without implants. This is because some women with implants get implant ruptures or hernias caused by the implant, which can leak fluid into the abdominal cavity.

The rupture of the implant itself may be painful and sometimes requires surgery to remove it. Teenage women who receive breast implants may find that their breasts do not develop as expected, leading to increased pain and discomfort.

Some women experience nipple discharge when the breast tissue gets irritated. This condition usually subsides within a few months.

Long-term effects of breast implants include pain, reduced breast sensation, nipple numbness, and fluid leakage. It may also lead to sagging and wrinkling of the skin.

You may also consider seeing a psychologist who could help you manage your anxiety and depression and help you understand what is causing your pain and stress. 

Can Your Body Reject Breast Implants Years Later?

Women often ask whether their bodies can reject a breast implant years later. This happens in about 0.3% of cases and usually only when you’ve had a severe complication from the surgery (e.g., infection, leaking implants, capsular contracture).

The problem is that implants look and feel much like natural breasts. So your body assumes the implants are part of your body, and your immune system starts to attack the implants as if they were bacteria or tissue from your skin.

Over time, this immune response can lead to complications such as infection, leaking implants, capsular contracture, and even cancer.

To protect yourself, ensure you get the best care from a surgeon. 

How Often Do Breast Implants Need to Be Replaced?

How long breast implants will endure and whether they require replacement are recurring queries among women who have them. Implants can have a lifespan of 20 years or more. However, several factors affect the life expectancy of your implants. The two most important ones are the age of your implant surgery and the type of implants you had.

Breast implants can last as long as 20 years if you receive them early in life. For example, women who have a first-time breast augmentation when they are 18–25 years old tend to have longer-lasting implants than those who have them later in life. This is because young patients have more muscular tissue around the implant.

What about the type of implant? Implants that are smaller in size tend to last longer than those that are larger. This is because bigger implants require more tissue to hold them in place. Younger patients also tend to have better implant maintenance. That means they take better care of their implants. If you find your implant is beginning to sag or show signs of leakage, you should schedule an appointment to check it with your doctor.

It is important to remember that there is no specific time limit on the lifespan of your implant. Many women continue to wear their implants for decades. However, some implants may wear out much sooner than others. In that case, you will want to replace your implants as quickly as possible.


Despite the risks, many women choose silicone implants because of how they look and feel and because they think they won’t last as long as silicone gel implants.

While there are no official statistics on breast implant failure rates, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks adverse events reports. It provides information on reported problems with medical devices. According to FDA data, the risk of complications following breast augmentation surgery ranges from 1 in 7,000 to 1 in 40,000.

Complications include rupture, infection, and capsular contracture. Other than these complications, implant ruptures may be challenging to detect. It is also important to note that most women who undergo breast augmentation procedures do so for cosmetic reasons, not to treat a medical problem.

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