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Breast Implants in Breast Augmentation: How Long Do They Last?

If you have breast implants, don’t you wish that they would last forever? Although this would be wonderful, they are not lifetime devices and will probably need to be replaced sometime in the future. Many of my patients here in the Scottsdale, Glendale and the Phoenix area are under the impression that breast implants need to be replaced every ten years. Fortunately, this is not the case. The silicone gel implants manufactured today are much better than previous generations. There have been many technological and manufacturing improvements including a thicker and more durable outer shell that is virtually impermeable to any silicone migration.

They also are filled with a much more cohesive silicone gel. As a consequence, it is possible for many silicone gel breast implants to last 20 to 30 years or more. In an ongoing prospective scientific study overseen by one of the silicone implant manufacturers, Allergan, it was noted that there is a rupture rate of 2.7% at 4 years after breast enlargement surgery.

Saline breast implants deflate, on average, much earlier and at a significantly higher rate as compared to silicone implants. This has been borne out by my personal experience of over twenty years at the Arizona Center for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Textured saline implants do not fare nearly as well as the smooth surfaced ones.

There are many other factors that can influence the lifespan of the implants aside from whether they are silicone or saline. Some of these include the presence or absence of surface texturing, size of the implant, manufacturer of the implant, size and location of the incision for insertion, surgical technique, mammograms and trauma. Each one of these issues can be discussed in more detail during your consultation.

Breast enlargement is extremely rewarding for the vast majority of women who have had the procedure. Just realize that although the breast implants are generally quite durable, they typically will not last forever.

For much more information or to schedule a thorough consultation for a breast augmentation, breast lift with implants or other cosmetic procedures, you can contact Dr. Turkeltaub at 480-451-3000.

Smooth(left) and a textured(right) silicone implants

Smooth(left) and textured(right) silicone implants