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How long do breast implants last for?

If you are thinking about getting a breast augmentation, amongst the many things you must consider before deciding what type of breast implant is best for you, how long the breast implants of your choice will last for.

Breast implants normally last for at least 10 years but do not last forever. On top of the type of breast implant that you choose, there are many other factors that will affect how long breast implants will last.

Type of breast implant

The two main types of breast implant are saline breast implants and cohesive silicone gel implants. Saline breast implants are easier to remove should you experience any problems but have an increased rupture rate. Cohesive gel implants won't always need to be replaced after a set number of years, should you not experience any problems; common problems involve the breast implant rupturing and over time producing hardness.

It is important your surgeon chooses the best implant, not the ‘company’ choosing the cheapest, such as occurred with the PIP Implants.

Lifestyle Choices

Your breast implants are more likely to last for longer if you live a gentler lifestyle, compared with a very active physical one. If you enjoy lots of hands on hobbies, such as horse riding, martial arts and other extreme activities, then your breast implants are more likely to become damaged and need replacing sooner rather than later. Smoking and pregnancy increases the rate of hardening around the breast implant.

The Body’s Reaction To Breast Implants

The body's biological process will cause the healing process to begin when a foreign object is placed inside the body. This includes the forming of scar tissue. If too much scar tissue is created around the breast implants they will become hard, like tennis balls. This process is called capsular contracture and means that the implants may need to be replaced.

The majority of breast implants will last for 10 years at least. Potential surgery in the future to maintain, remove or replace an implant may be required. Breast implant revision surgery will also correct any unsatisfactory results from surgery such as breast pain and asymmetry or drooping of the breasts.

The use of cohesive gel implants makes later leak or rupture less important because your body makes a scar which will contain the gel and surgery may not be required as a result.

It is important you maintain routine breast screening.