Do my breast implants need to be replaced every 10 years?
I am frequently asked by patients if their breast implants need to be replaced every 10 years. This is actually an old and outdated recommendation based in the past when silicone gel implants were made with a more liquid type of silicone. When these implants ruptured, there was possibly an increased chance of capsular contracture. Even then, however, the recommendation was loose, and not necessarily based in science.
Nowadays, silicone gel implants are made with cohesive silicone gel, meaning that if you cut the implant in half, it maintains its shape and doesn’t “leak.” Therefore, a ruptured cohesive gel implant is not going to significantly increase the chance of capsular contracture. For this reason, a number of years ago, the recommendation for implant exchange every 10 years was dropped. An implant only needs to be considered for replacement if there is an issue, such as bothersome contracture, or a symptomatic rupture that has affected the breast shape or appearance. There is not a safety risk with a ruptured silicone gel implant.
Breast implants should be considered lifetime devices, and with proper follow up, can provide long term aesthetic improvements to the breast, with a more youthful, fuller appearance. For more information, schedule a consultation with one of the top plastic surgeons in Houston, Dr. Thomas Wiener, to find out how breast augmentation can benefit you.