How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

are breast implants forever?

Breast augmentation surgery (with implants) can increase your breast size and eliminate asymmetry. Over the year, it has helped millions of women improve their self-esteem.

If you’ve been considering breast augmentation surgery, one of your first questions may be “How long do breast implants last?” While many believe that breast implants last forever, the fact is—although they do have a long lifespan—they are not considered lifetime devices

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons: “You will likely [have to] undergo implant removal with or without replacement over the course of your life. Whether you are undergoing augmentation or reconstruction, be aware that breast implantation may not be a one-time surgery.”

Why Don’t Breast Implants Last Forever?

Women with breast implants usually have surgery again to correct changes due to aging, to reflect a lifestyle change, or to insert a different size or type of implant.

Some women experience complications—such as capsular contracture or infection—that require implant replacement or removal.

Another possible reason for a second operation is unacceptable appearance. Cosmetic issues can include asymmetry, unnatural shape, unsatisfactory size, or rippling of the breast implants. This highlights how important it is to choose a fully qualified, experienced plastic surgeon. We stand by the past results, testimonials, and artistry of our surgeons.

How Long Do Implants Last?

No one can predict how long an implant will last because of the many factors involved, but plastic surgeons expect a 10– to 15–year lifespan. Some implants have been reported to last as long as 31 years. The older they get, the more likely that at least one will develop a problem.

It’s easy to tell if a saline implant has leaked—your body absorbs the saline solution, leaving the breast noticeably smaller. The newest generation of silicone gel implants, often called “cohesive gel” or “gummy bear” implants, are designed to withstand damage without leaking. They hold their shape and eliminate any risk of silicone leakage.

Be sure to read Wondering About Replacing Your Breast Implants? for detailed information about knowing when to replace breast implants. 

How Can I Keep My Breast Implants Healthy?

You should have annual check-ups. Mammograms are recommended for women with older silicone implants. If you discover an implant has a problem, you have the option of replacing it or removing it. 

Fortunately, implant manufacturers like Mentor (the implants we use at La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre) offer warranty programs. In the event that a saline implant deflates or a silicone implant ruptures, the manufacturer will replace the implant free of charge for the rest of your life.

To improve your chances for a favorable outcome, find a plastic surgeon whose past work inspires confidence—looking at the surgeon’s breast augmentation patients’ before-and-after pictures is a good place to start. Get to know the surgeon and talk frankly about your goals. The time to do all this is at your consultation when you can also “test-drive” different implant sizes with LJC’s Curves Connection™.

Get Started

If you’re ready to talk with a plastic surgeon about your breast augmentation goals, give our San Diego plastic surgery practice a call at (858) 452-1981. Or use our online form to request a consultation today. We can’t wait to help you achieve the body of your dreams!