Have you asked yourself if your breast implants need to be replaced and when to do so? This is a common question among women who got a breast augmentation surgery and starts to wonder about their future with their breast implant. If you are asking yourself the same question, then you are on the right page.
I have gone through the same procedure and I also asked my surgeons and other people I know about the same concern. So, I decided to create this page to help other women like me who are also wondering if breast implants need to be replaced and if there are certain timeline when it comes to replacing it.
Do you Need To Replace Breast Implant After 10 Years?
Have you heard people say that you need to replace your breast implant after 10 years? I have some friends who said that they don’t want to get an implant because it is costly as it has to be replaced after a decade.
Well, if you have the same concern, then I tell you this, that statement should not bother you. This is one of the most common misconceptions about breast implants. It is not true and it is not correct.
The truth is, there is no “shelf life” of expiration date when it comes to your implant. While it is true that implants are not designed to last a lifetime, they are also not manufactured to only last for a decade.
Their duration could be longer or shorter. There are patients with implants for over 20 years and they don’t have any issues with it. I also heard from some patients that they had implant leakage after only a few years from surgery.
The 10-year mark is the time period in which most breast implants’ failure rate increases. Just like most things, as it ages, it tends to become more fragile with high tendency to fail.
Unfortunately, the 10-year mark is often misunderstood. It is not an expiration date and implant can last longer than that.
In general, breast implant replacement is not necessary unless you encounter a problem. If you are not having any issues with your breasts then you don’t have to replace your implant. You don’t have to spend for breast implant removal replacement.
In the next section, I will discuss the different instances when breast implant replacement is necessary. Check it out as it will surely be helpful to you.
When Do You Need Breast Implant Replacement Surgery
As mentioned, you don’t have to replace the implant unless you encounter a problem. The procedure is necessary if you encounter the following:
Rupture: This is the most common reason for implant removal or implant replacement. According to multiple studies, the chance of rupture is 1% per year. In 20 years, there is a 20% chance of rupture or the need to change your implant.
Saline implant deflates: When saline implant leaks in the lining or valve it will cause the saline implant to deflate in one to two days. This will be obvious and visible because the breast size tends to become smaller. When this happens you have a number of options.
- Remove both, though you’ll need to undergo a breast lift to correct sagging.
- Replace the failed saline implant with a new one.
- Replace both saline implants with new ones whether the same size or larger
- Replace saline implants with silicone ones
Wrinkling: Another probable reason you might need a breast implant replacement is due to wrinkling. This occurs when the textured implants settle or drop over time resulting in a crease on the breast’s surface.
Symmetry Issues: As the years pass, implants may take on a lopsided appearance and you may begin to notice a disruption of symmetry, which might prompt you to seek a correction. Of course, asymmetrical breasts are the last thing you want.
Capsular Contracture: This is another common reason for re-operation on augmentation patients. However, this may not necessarily mean an implant replacement. Capsular contracture is characterized by the abnormal response of the immune system to a foreign material in the body. This occurs when the collagen-fiber capsules tighten and squeeze the implants.
Patient Dissatisfaction: Another potential reason why patients opt to redo their implant depends on their perspective. Some feel dissatisfied due to weight loss, pregnancy or other physical issues. Thus, it may depend on your perspective whether you get a breast replacement or not. In this case, you have to take your time whether you get a replacement or not.
Desire for Bigger Size: Another probable reason why patients want a breast removal and replacement is their desire for bigger boobs. Some wanted a bigger implant, thus, the need for removal and replacement.
What Type of Implant is The Most Durable
There are two popular types of implants – saline and silicone. Between the two, silicone gel breast implants tend to be slightly less prone to rupture compared to saline implant.
A number of studies learned that saline implants have a deflation rate of approximately 1% per year among patients who have post-operative MRI scans. Similar studies indicate silicone gel implant rupture to about 0.5% with patients who have post-operative MRI scans.
Unfortunately, silicone implant rupture is difficult to detect compared to saline implant. You need to have an MRI to check and confirm it.
Breast Implant Removal Recovery
If in case you really need to undergo an implant recovery then these are the process that you need to know. You have to be familiar with these, so you will know how long it will take for you to return to your regular routine.
The implants can be removed without the use of a general anesthesia. However, most surgeons give some IV sedation to make the procedure more comfortable.
If you formed capsules or scar tissue, the surgeon will take extra time to remove it and to ensure that you will heal well without deep scars or a collection of fluids.
Although in general recovery time is short, it still depends on the actual surgical procedure, patient’s health status, and tolerance to anesthesia and surgical operations. Recovery time might take longer when there is capsulectomy or in a situation when a replacement of implant is desired or when a concurrent breast lift is required.
Breast Implant Replacement Cost
This is a common cosmetic surgery procedure. If you want an implant replacement without a lift or major revision the fee is lesser than the actual primary surgery. So, it is cheaper.
However, you should take note that when your breasts sag, a revision and probably, a breast lift, is necessary. Thus, you will be spending more.
The fee varies widely and depends on several variables. In general, the quote includes surgeon’s fee, facility fee, anesthesia charge, implant costs and pre and post-operative care.
Let’s discuss these factors in details below.
Surgeon’s fee – This depends on the surgeon’s experience and the results of his works. The more in demand he/she is the higher the fee would be.
Also, this may depend on the technique used. A sub-muscular placement of the implant is faster and takes lesser work than a sub-fascial placement that takes twice as long.
The implant – Your breast implant choices include saline, memory gel or highly cohesive implants. A pair of saline implants costs $1,000, memory gel $2,000 and highly cohesive $3,000. If you prefer a stem cell breast augmentation then there will be a fat harvest charge instead of the implant fee.
Anesthesia – If a board certified anesthesiologist is used during the procedure, the fee will be higher. A CRNA (nurse anesthetist), the price is lower. This will be cheaper if the doctor uses a non-certified anesthetist nurse or a medical assistant because the job is to only push the anesthetic drugs.
Facility fee – This also depends on where the procedure is done. If it’s in a certified surgery center, hospital or in his non-certified office.
These factors may vary widely depending on the surgeon’s practice and geography. For instance, breast augmentation procedures are more expensive when you get it in Los Angeles and New York. In fact, the prices in those states are 3-4 times more expensive compared to Montana.
Breast implants replacement is not necessary if you don’t encounter any problem. The 10-year mark you often heard is a misconception. There are implants that can last longer than a decade. This depends on how your body reacts to the implant.
If you already have a breast implant, keep an eye on it. Look for ruptures, deflation and potential problems from time to time to ensure your safety and convenience.