woman kneeling on beach looking out contemplatively

With increasing frequency, women who were once very satisfied with their decision to get implants are coming to see me because they are no longer completely happy with their breasts.

In many ways, this is expected. While breast implants can look great for many years, they are not intended to be lifetime devices, and they will not stop breasts from changing with time, pregnancy, weight changes, or the natural aging process.

Breasts that once made a patient feel more attractive may look “matronly” years later. Many women also want a breast lift to counteract the effects of aging and gravity. As the years go by after breast augmentation, your tastes and lifestyle may change too. For any or all of these reasons, patients choose to have their implants removed, reduced in size, or replaced.

There is no set time frame for replacing breast implants. There is also no set list of right or wrong reasons to have your implants replaced or removed—it’s a personal decision and totally up to you.

More recently, I am also seeing women who are concerned about potential health issues related to their implants. There has been a lot in the news lately about breast implants, and the media buzz is prompting many women to think about whether or not to keep their own breast implants. (If you feel your implants are causing health problems, see my earlier blog posts on BIA-ALCL and BII; they may answer your own questions about breast implants and health.)

When should I have my breast implants replaced?

There is no set time frame for replacing breast implants. There is also no set list of right or wrong reasons to have your implants replaced or removed—it’s a personal decision and totally up to you.

There’s a common misconception that implants should be changed every ten years, but there is no medical evidence to support this; I have removed implants that were 38 years old (not that you should wait that long) and have now had my own breast implants for over 28 years. If you are happy with your breasts and implants, you don’t need to do anything—simply continue having regular breast check ups and enjoying your life.

Ultimately, the decision making process with breast implant replacement is one that needs to be considered step by step, starting with how you currently feel about your implants and moving toward the outcome you seek. Below, I’ve shared with you an infographic I have prepared for my own patients. I hope it helps you as you consider your options.

In all instances, I recommend coming in for a consultation. I’ll listen carefully and offer nuanced recommendations based on my 29+ years of experience in breast surgery.

breast implant removal replacement chart

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