Breast Implant Replacement: Separating Fact from Fiction

Breast augmentation, also referred to as breast implants, can do wonders for a woman’s self-esteem. Women who are unhappy with the appearance, shape, size, or volume of their breasts can undergo breast implant surgery to feel like an entirely different woman. After breast implant surgery, woman universally report feeling more confident, beautiful and self-assured.

But there’s a prevailing myth or “old wives’ tale” that says that a woman must have her breast implants replaced around ten years. This is patently untrue – and is based on very old information as well as data that has been misinterpreted. The reality is that breast implants can last decades – and most women’s breast implants will last a lifetime and they will never need to have their breast implants replaced!

In this article top Detroit, MI area board certified breast implant surgeon Dr. Ali explains why this “10 year myth” is untrue – and explains how often (if ever) breast implants need to be replaced, what happens if you don’t replace them, and how you know when they’re in need of replacement.

The Facts About Breast Implant Replacement

According to the American Society Of Plastic Surgeons, the suggestion to replace saline or silicone breast implants every ten years was the advice many years ago and was based on factual data that was  misrepresented, as well as information that has changed with improvements in breast implant materials and techniques. The article points out that the study by the FDA was conducted back in 2011, and many advancements have been made in breast augmentation since then – making them more durable, longer lasting, and less prone to complications down the road.

In reality the ASPS reports that, based on FDA research conducted ten years following an initial breast augmentation, only 1 out of 5 patients will require some type of breast implant replacement or revision procedure in the future. That rounds out to only about 20% of patients that need a follow-up breast implant operation ten years later. Which means that 80% of breast implant patients do NOT need to replace their implants at ten years or later. 

That article notes that the primary causes of breast implant replacement vary but that scar tissue and broken implants being the prime culprits. 

Advancements in Breast Implants are Stronger & Safer

Today, top board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ali in Detroit use fifth-generation gummy bear breast implants. These implants are not only sturdier and safer, but they are also built to last.

Dr. Ali said, “The only reason a breast implant would need to be replaced is due to a problem with the implant itself. And, in the rare case that there is a rupture or implant displacement, most implant manufacturers will replace both saline and silicone implants at no charge to the patient, and they will sometimes cover the surgeon’s fee also.”

While Dr. Ali points out that there are always exceptions, most implants will last a lifetime. Still, it is important to perform regular self-examinations to determine if there is any loss of volume, shape or consistency.

Dr. Ali stated, “A follow-up appointment every ten years wouldn’t hurt. Advancements in plastic surgery and new breast implant technologies may pave way to an even more realistic alternative that is worthy of a follow-up procedure.”

Reasons For Breast Implant Replacement

As we’ve stated, while the vast majority of newer breast implants last a lifetime, there are some circumstances where breast implants may need to be replaced. Over time, various factors can influence the integrity of the implants, prompting the need for replacement. Here’s a comprehensive guide on when breast implants might need to be replaced:

1. Older Breast Implants:

Many older generations of breast implants did  have a lifespan of only 10 to 20 years. So, while these older breast implants may still last longer for some individuals, some women with early generations of breast implants may need to consider replacement.

2. Changes in Breast Appearance:

Significant changes in breast appearance, such as asymmetry, sagging, or a noticeable decrease in volume, can also motivate a woman to replace her breast implants. Even with the best implants, aging, dramatic weight loss or weight gain, can cause the breast tissue to no longer maintain its desired shape, so it may be advisable to consult with a top board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ali in Detroit for an assessment.

3. Breast Implant Rupture or Leakage:

Both saline and silicone implants may develop leaks or ruptures over time. Saline implant ruptures are usually much easier to detect as the breast deflates. But silicone implant ruptures might be slow and silent and require imaging techniques like an MRI for diagnosis.

Breast implant rupture or leakage can be do to older breast implant materials that were not as sturdy, but can also be the result of an impact or injury – such as an auto accident, fall or other trauma to the breast area.

4. Capsular Contracture:

Though much rarer after modern breast implant surgery, capsular contracture can occur when the scar tissue (capsule) surrounding the implant tightens and compresses the implant. This can result in discomfort, changes in breast shape, or increased firmness. If severe, it may necessitate breast implant replacement.

5. Changes in Personal Breast Implant Preferences:

Occasionally, over the years, a woman’s aesthetic preferences may change or her lifestyle may be different than it was when she originally chose her breast implants. Or she may have gained or lost weight. As a result, she might desire a different size or shape that aligns better with their current lifestyle and self-image. In such cases, opting for breast implant replacement allows for customization according to her personal preferences and appearance goals.

Some women may prefer to go down in size from “XL” breasts, when they have lost weight, or are raising children, or are simply getting older. While other women may wish to increase their breast size by replacing their implants.

Breast Implant Replacement Surgery | Detroit, MI

Regular check-ups with a board-certified plastic surgeon are recommended to ensure that breast implants are healthy and intact without complications. Top board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ali in Detroit may also recommend periodic imaging, such as mammograms or MRIs, to help detect any issues with the implants even before symptoms manifest.

Breast implant replacement is a personal choice influenced by various factors. Routine assessments, open communication with your breast implant surgeon, and staying attuned to changes in your breasts’ appearance are crucial for ensuring the longevity of breast implants. With proper care most breast implants can last a lifetime.

But, if you live in the Detroit area and any concerns arise about your breast implants, seeking professional advice promptly from top board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ali can help address issues and guide decisions on whether replacement is necessary.

If you live in the greater Detroit area and are experiencing any changes or issues with your breast implants, schedule a consultation with top board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ali today. He has performed hundreds of breast implant replacement surgeries, and will help you decide the best option for your unique situation.

Breast Implant Replacement Surgery | Detroit, MI: 248.335.7200