When contemplating breast augmentation surgery, many Marin County women ask Dr. Miguel Delgado how long breast implants will last. There is no way to know how long as it is different for everyone. There isn’t an expiration date on them. Implants are not biodegradable, they are designed to last forever, and technically they could. However, other factors such as the age of the woman and the condition of her skin and muscles and the ensuing sagging of the breast will determine when the implants may need to be exchanged. Some women may need a breast lift when they have breast revision surgery.
If you are not having a problem with your implants, they do not need to be replaced; however, you should be prepared to have breast revision surgery at least once in your life, and maybe more.
Basically, all breast implants have the same design. They are made up of a silicone envelope and filled with either saline or silicone gel. Breast implants can develop a tear or hole. Ruptures or deflations can happen if there is a severe blow to the chest. If implants are old, it is possible that they can rupture during a mammogram. Saline implants have a valve. If the valve is defective, or breaks, it will deflate, as pictured above.
Recent advancements for breast implants have made them safer and longer lasting than ever. Breast implant manufacturers stand behind their products and give them a lifetime replacement guarantee. They also extend a ten year warranty for reimbursement of some of the surgical costs, if breast revision surgery becomes necessary.