Breast implants have the potential to last many years. However, they are not intended to be permanent medical devices. Many doctors tell their patients they can expect their breast implants to last about 10 years, but implants can last even longer than that. In this blog post, Sacramento plastic surgeon Dr. Donald Hause discusses the factors that affect the lifespan of breast implants.
Complications with the Breast Implant
One reason for having to remove a breast implant is because of a complication that develops with the implant itself. Complications are rare but all breast augmentation patients should be aware of them before surgery. Types of complications that require breast implant removal include ruptures, leaks, and capsular contracture, a painful condition that occurs when internal scar tissue tightens and constricts around an implant, causing it to become hard and misshapen.
Sometimes women opt to remove or change their breast implants simply because they want a different breast size. You may want to increase or decrease your implant size during different stages of your life. Even after plastic surgery, the body changes with age. Weight gain and loss of elasticity can cause the breasts to sag or become asymmetrical over time. Other natural changes to your body, such as pregnancy and breastfeeding, may inspire you to switch to a bigger implant down the road. Alternatively, you may increase your athletic activities and decide that large breasts are not conducive to your new lifestyle. These types of lifestyle changes often inspire women to remove or switch out their implants, even when their existing implants are still viable.
Other Reasons to Remove Implants
While less common than rupture or contracture, there are a few other ways that implants can reach the end of their lifespan. Implant malposition can occur following an injury or trauma to the breast. This results in a shift in the implant, so it is no longer positioned correctly within the body.
The lifespan of breast implants varies based on several factors. A discussion with a plastic surgeon will help you decide whether implants are right for you. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Donald Hause, please contact Sacramento Aesthetic Surgery at (916) 646-6869.