Like all medical devices, breast implants do not last forever. The FDA has found that after an average of 10 years, at least one of a woman’s breast implants will have ruptured or leaked. Silicone breast implant manufacturers usually advise having silicone implants replaced after 10 years to pre-emptively address this, since removing an implant that is still intact is easier than removing a leaking implant.
However, some newer types of silicone implants that use a more highly cohesive gel (also called “gummy bear” or “form-stable” implants) can remain intact for over a decade without needing replacement. Manufacturers of these newer implants no longer recommend elective implant replacement every 10 years.
In the case of saline breast implants, there is no need to replace them if you are not showing signs of a problem. It is usually far more obvious when a saline implant has ruptured or leaked; unlike cohesive gel, the liquid salt water solution will cause a significant change in the volume of your breasts as it leaks out, becoming harmlessly absorbed by your body. If you do not notice any change in your breast size or volume, and if capsular contracture has not become an issue, your saline breast implants have virtually no expiration date.
If you have further questions about the longevity of breast implants, please contact board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ankit Desai today to schedule a personal consultation. Our practice serves patients in Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Florida.