The most asked question of our international patients who are coming for breast implant to Istanbul at their consultation to our contracted plastic surgeon is: “Do I have to replace my implants after 10 years?” or “How often should I replace my implants?”
We researched why there is this 10 years perception and discovered that this is mostly related to the breast implant guarantee period, provided by breast implant manufacturers before the beginning of the 2000s. Then we decided to write an article about the lifespan of today’s breast implants and when there is a necessity for replacement. We asked our contracted plastic surgeons and we ask you to please read the summary of their opinions.
Today silicon implants are a completely different medical device than the implants that were used 20 years ago. Technology is improving every day and so are medical devices and supplies. If you have silicone implants that were inserted before the beginning of 2000, you should change them. The silicone elastomer shells of breast implants before the beginning of the 2000s was not as good as they are today. The previous breast implants were of a liquid type that was much more susceptible to gel bleed and rupture. Today, silicone implants are made of a cohesive gel. From the inside, they look like a jello and if you would cut the implant, no flow will come out.
Today’s silicone breast implant producers, such as Allergan or Mentor, provide a lifetime warranty. This was not the same 20 years ago. We would like to spend a few words on saline implants, which our contracted plastic surgeons no longer apply. Saline implants, even with today’s products, most certainly will start leaking at some point and therefore will have to be replaced eventually, whereas today’s silicone implants are incredibly durable so they will rarely need to be changed.
Based on the opinion of MCAN Health’s contracted plastic surgeons, if you have a silicone breast implant inserted today, it will no longer have to be replaced. You need to change the implant only if there is a problem related to implant itself.
When should you have your breast implants changed?
Rupture cannot always be diagnosed in a physical exam and sometimes does not cause problems for women. This is called a silent rupture. However, if you do have a diagnosed rupture in a physical exam or a mammogram or MRI, breast implants should be removed. The symptoms of rupture can be joint pain, fatigue, and fibromyalgia. But as mentioned, this is not always the case. That is why it is better to have had your breasts checked regularly.
2. Capsular Contracture
The formation of a “capsule”, a protective scar around the breast implant, is a normal part of the healing process. The body automatically reacts to any foreign object it detects and will isolate the object by creating a barrier of scar tissue around it. This is the response of our immune system to foreign materials.
In some patients, the scar capsule can be unusually hard and thicker and can start to contract around the implant. This could lead to discomfort, cause the implant to have an unnatural shape and in extreme cases, it can cause pain in the breasts. In these cases, the implant must be changed in addition to other measures that have to be taken to remove the trouble caused by the capsular contracture.
3. Your own preference: Changing The Size of the Breast Implant
You may want to go with a bigger breast implant and renew your breast augmentation surgery. Or you may want to make your breast implants smaller.
The other reason is gravity. After all, all the parts of our body will go down in time. This may lead to sagging of your breasts. However, if your breast implants are fine, a breast uplift could suffice.
Breast augmentation is the second most preferred plastic surgery by MCAN Health’s patients coming from abroad. They want breast implant surgery mostly together with other plastic surgeries, such as liposuction and tummy tuck.
If you consider having a breast implant, simply contact us to get a free consultation and a free quote.