Silicone breast implants made their first appearance in cosmetic surgery back in 1962. Some improvements have occurred since the first silicone forms were used to enhance women’s shapes. The objective of innovations in breast augmentation has been to consistently improve patient outcomes. Many of the issues that plagued early patients are no longer reported. What still exists, though, are misperceptions about various aspects of breast augmentation. We’d like to address one of them here.
How long do breast implants last?
This is a question that many patients have because they have read in their research, or heard from a well-meaning friend, that breast implants must be replaced after 10 years. Well, if you’re in your twenties and desire shapelier breasts, the idea of routine replacement every 10 years can feel overwhelming. It is important to know where this idea came from, and why it may not be true.
Breast implant surgery is one of the most extensively-studied procedures in aesthetic medicine. Several years ago, the findings from one FDA study revealed that 1 in 5 women required revision or replacement of silicone breast implants approximately 10 years after the original surgery. If we stopped here, we might be somewhat alarmed at that “high” number; but there is more to take in.
That study that caused many women to believe their silicone implants had a 10-year expiration date could have been misinterpreted. Looking closer, it can be seen that, with only 100 cases observed in that study, the 1 in 5 number adds up to only 20% of patients. From this standpoint, we can see that a larger percentage of breast augmentation patients may not require revisional surgery at a pre-determined time. In fact, some patients have never had implants replaced.
The general details that you need to know are:
- There is a manufacturer warranty to breast implants of all kinds. That does not mean the replacement is mandatory once that warranty ends.
- The implants that are used today contain cohesive, form-stable silicone that is much more durable than previous silicone substances used for this purpose.
- It is important to routinely examine the breasts and to obtain medical exams and diagnostic imaging to observe any changes in breast tissue or implants.
Learn facts about breast implants from your board-certified, NYC plastic surgeon. Call (212) 472-2900.