How Long do Silicone Breast Implants Last

how long do silicone breast implants last

Many people looking at breast augmentation surgery question the longevity of breast implants. What material would work best for my specific situation? What is the most comfortable? What is the most durable?

Today, let’s look at silicone and answer the question: how long do silicone breast implants last?

After careful analysis of multiple scientific studies, the general lifespan of silicone breast implants is somewhere between 10 and 20 years, with the median falling at 16 years. One study found that after 10 years 79% of silicone implants were still intact, but that after 15 years that number had dropped to 48%.

This isn’t to say that there is an expiration date on silicone breast implants like you would find on a box of crackers, but rather that other health or cosmetic problems necessitate the removal or replacement of silicone breast implants every 10-20 years. Problems that could occur with a silicone breast implant to necessitate its removal are the hardening of the scar tissue from the augmentation surgery, wrinkling of the implant, a change in the implant’s position or a rupture in the implant.     

how long do silicone breast implants last

Hardening of the scar tissue around the area where an implant is inserted can cause pain and the scar tissue will need to be removed. This can happen on neither, one or both breasts and sometimes happens multiple times on the same breast, necessitating multiple surgeries or even complete removal of the silicone implant, leading to a very short lifespan of the implant.    

The implant can also wrinkle, something that can be felt when touching the breast and sometimes be seen on the skin, requiring removal or replacement of the implant.    

Other times, the implant can shift causing an imbalance in the breasts and requiring surgery to shift, remove, or replace the silicone implant or implants.     

Lastly, the implant could rupture or leak. Silicone is more viscous than saline, another form of breast implant, and therefore does not ‘deflate’ as a saline implant would. Instead, it leaks slowly and sometimes goes unnoticed. However, some people develop pain or burning sensations or notice a change in shape. A doctor would confirm whether the implant ruptured, then remove or replace the implant.     

While silicone breast implants can last anywhere between 10 and 20 years, any of the above scenarios could happen at any point, so it is important to keep an eye on the implants if you choose to get them.

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