Breast augmentation remains one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed worldwide. With advancements in implant technology, more women are enjoying the benefits of breast enhancement with natural-looking and feeling results. However, many still wonder if breast implants must be replaced after a certain period. In this article, we will address some common misconceptions surrounding breast implant lifespan and discuss when and why you may consider replacement or revision.
The Ten-Year Myth Debunked
One of the most prevalent myths about breast implants is that they must be replaced every ten years. This misconception originates from implant manufacturers providing a warranty for their products, typically lasting ten years. While the warranty offers protection against specific issues like rupture or deflation, it does not set an expiration date on the implants themselves.
In reality, breast implants do not have a predetermined lifespan and should not be replaced because a decade has passed. Many women continue to enjoy their breast implants without problems for much longer than ten years. However, some factors can increase the likelihood of requiring a revision or replacement surgery. Let us explore some of these scenarios.
Reasons for Breast Implant Replacement or Revision
1. Implant Rupture or Deflation
When it comes to implants, it is essential to remember that while they are built to last, they are not indestructible. External factors such as accidents or trauma can cause them to rupture, which can lead to the release of implant contents. Breast implants come in different types, including saline and silicone gel-filled implants. In cases where the implant is filled with saline, the body can safely absorb the solution. On the other hand, silicone implants may require surgical intervention if ruptured, as gel leakage can occur.
It is worth noting that there is also a newer type of implant, the Gummy Bear implant, which is made of a cohesive silicone gel that provides a more natural feel and a lower risk of rupture/leakage. Radiance Plastic Surgery in Canmore, Alberta specializes in this type of implant. As always, it is essential to consider all the pros and cons of each type of implant before making a decision.
2. Capsular Contracture
Capsular contracture occurs when excess scar tissue forms around the breast implant. The scar tissue tightens, causing the implant to feel stiff or appear distorted. In some cases, capsular contracture may also cause discomfort or pain. Women experiencing this complication may require surgery to remove the excess scar tissue and potentially replace the affected implant.
3. Implant Displacement or Malposition
Although rare, breast implant displacement or malposition can occur when the implants shift out of their intended position. This can result from trauma, gravity, or inadequate soft tissue support. Depending on the extent of the displacement, surgical correction may be necessary to reposition the implant and achieve a more balanced look.
4. Changes in Aesthetic Preference
As time passes, a woman’s taste in aesthetics may evolve, resulting in her wanting to have different breast implant size, shape, or type. Some women may switch from saline to silicone implants (or vice versa) to achieve a different appearance or sensation. In contrast, others may opt to increase or decrease the size of their implants to match their body proportions or lifestyle better.
5. Age-Related Changes to the Breast Tissue
As women age, they experience changes in their breast tissue, including sagging, volume loss, or shape alterations. These changes can impact the appearance of the breast implants over time. In such cases, a breast lift, fat grafitng or resizing of the implant may help to restore a more youthful and balanced aesthetic.
When to Consider a Revision or Replacement Surgery
Remembering that breast implant revision or replacement procedures should be individualized based on each patient’s unique circumstances is essential. Women considering a revision or implant replacement should start by scheduling a consultation with their plastic surgeon to discuss their concerns, goals, and available treatment options.
Throughout the years, various types of breast implants have evolved, including gummy bear breast implants, which offer numerous benefits compared to traditional implants. Gummy bear implants are made of cohesive gel, hold their shape well, and feel more natural, resembling the texture of younger women’s breasts. Thus, some women with older implant technology may benefit from switching to newer options like gummy bear breast implants.
To sum up, there is no specific time frame for breast implant replacement or revision. It is not necessary to replace implants every ten years. Instead, the decision to undergo a revision or replacement should be based on personal factors like changes in breast tissue or desired aesthetics. If you are considering breast augmentation or need advice on implant replacement, an experienced plastic surgeon can offer valuable guidance and customized recommendations based on your specific goals and circumstances.