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Is Breast Augmentation Surgery Permanent?


Posted May 15, 2020 in Breast Augmentation

3 Minute Read: 

One of the most common questions asked by women who want breast implants is, “How long do they last?”

Woman getting breast implant consultation with doctor.

Breast implants can be a positive solution for women who experience dissatisfaction with their naturally small breasts or feel that age, weight, and childbearing has negatively affected the shape and size of their breasts. Breast augmentation can encourage and empower a woman’s self-image for years, making satisfaction rates very high.

While there has never been a specific shelf life given for breast implants, they are typically expected to last at least 10 to 15 years. The longevity of breast implants can change due to physiological responses, such as capsule contracture, or failure with an implant itself. Alternatively, some women experience no issues with their implants after 20 years, so there is no real need to have their breast implants revised or replaced

Still, breast implant devices are not designed to last a lifetime. Below are a few reasons why breast implant replacement or breast revision may be right for you. 

What Reasons Might Cause Me to Need Breast Revision?

Capsular Contracture 

Different concerns may arise that would prompt a breast revision. As time transpires, implants age and become more fragile, causing an increased likelihood of failure. The body’s immune system may also have a negative response to the breast implant. It is natural for a layer of scar tissue to form around the implant (just as it would any foreign object in the body. What’s not natural is the tightening and constructing of that scar tissue around that implant. This is known as capsular contracture, and it results in the tightening or hardening of the breast implant. 

Implant Rupture

Realistically, the risk of rupture is relatively low within the first 10 years of getting a breast implant. However, as time progresses, the shell that makes up the silicone or saline implant becomes fragile. Ruptures occur when the shell fails to be malleable, allowing the implant’s inner contents to escape from the silicone shell. 

New implants are strong enough to withstand the pressure of daily activities. 

What Are My Breast Revision Options? 

Much like the personalized nature of the breast augmentation process, breast revisions are uniquely designed according to each patient’s needs. Breast revision options include: 

    • Implant removal and exchange: Performed when an implant ruptures, this technique allows you to adjust the size, type, and shape. The damaged or unwanted implant is removed, and a new, healthy implant is replaced during the same procedure.
  • Implant removal: Permanent implant removal without replacement eliminates the unwanted or damaged implant before the breast pocket is tightened. This technique is sometimes performed alongside breast lift surgery to elevate sagging breasts.
  • Implant placement: This technique is performed when there is dissatisfaction with the implant location (below the muscle vs. over the muscle). The implant is removed and repositioned to the desired area.
    • Capsulectomy: In response to capsular contracture or other implant complications, capsulectomy removes the thickened capsule to improve the appearance of the breasts. 
  • En bloc capsulectomy: En bloc capsulectomy is a form of capsulectomy that removes the implant and the surrounding capsule in one piece. This is particularly important when the implant has ruptured.

Want to Know More About Breast Augmentation in Miami, FL?

Modern implants are meant to last for several years but not a lifetime. If you would like to learn more about our breast replacement or breast revision procedures, call our Miami office at (305) 860-0717 or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mendieta.