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Breast Implant Lifespan

By The Landings Surgical Centre on September 25, 2018


Photo of gloved hand holding breast implantPatients seeking a more voluptuous, shapely figure can benefit from breast implants at our Halifax, NS plastic surgery practice. Before undergoing any type of procedure, patients should have a full understanding of the treatment process as well as realistic expectations for results.

Here, our team at The Landings Surgical Centre discusses the average breast implant lifespan and explains how patients can properly care for their implants.

What Is the Average Breast Implant Lifespan?

On average, breast implants last approximately ten years. However, this can vary significantly for each patient. While some patients will need to have their implants replaced after the first couple of years, others will enjoy their implants for upwards of 25 years.

Signs Your Breast Implants Need to Be Replaced

Since the lifespan of breast implants can vary, how can you know if it is time to replace them? In the sections below, we will explore the most common signs and symptoms indicating breast implant replacement.

Rupture

Ruptures are easier to detect in saline breast implants. When a tear develops, the implant usually flattens out rather quickly. The saline is simply absorbed into the body.

When a silicone breast implant ruptures, it may not be as noticeable since the gel inside is viscous. Although there may be symptoms such as burning, tingling, numbness, or swelling, some women do not experience any of these. Therefore, routine MRIs are recommended so your surgeon can ensure your implants are intact and healthy.

Ruptures are more common in older breast implants. Some implants rupture because they are defective, while others are damaged due to trauma or other complications.

Hardening

If your breasts are distorted or hard to the touch, you may have capsular contracture. This condition can occur if the scar tissue around the implants becomes excessive. Anytime a foreign object is introduced to the body, scar tissue forms around it; this is normal. However, in some cases, the scar tissue hardens and begins to contract around the breast implant.

While some cases of capsular contracture are caused by bacteria in the breast cavity, other cases seem to develop for no known reason. Treatment for this condition can vary. However, the only way to truly eliminate the problem is to remove and replace the breast implants.

Rippling

Over time, your breast implants can move and shift around inside the breast pocket. As a result, rippling may occur. This condition creates a noticeable ripple effect on the breasts, and most frequently develops when the implants are placed above the pectoral muscle.

Rippling may also occur because the weight of the breast tissue causes them to fold over on themselves. Statistically, thinner women are more likely to develop rippling.

How to Properly Care for Your Breast Implants

To maintain and care for your breast implants, we recommend routine evaluations with your surgeon. Typically, patients will be seen every one to two years after implant placement to ensure everything is working properly. It is important to attend these visits to avoid complications and identify any potential problems.

Contact The Landings Surgical Centre

If you have had your breast implants for 10 years or more, you may require breast implant replacement in the near future. To learn more about your options, schedule a consultation at our practice. Contact us online or give us a call at (902) 492-2007.

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JoAnne Reid, Nursing Director, The Landings Surgical Centre

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1477 Lower Water St
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