Breast Implant Longevity

Breast Implants Last 10 Years?

Let me say this clearly, breast implant last forever, you don’t! So what exactly do I mean. Women come to me for breast augmentation and frequently ask how often will they have to change out their implant. This is such a common misconception that I thought a blog about it was in order. While I am not really saying they will last forever, I do truly believe for all practical purposes they will. Said another way, I have been in practice for nearly twenty years and have yet to see any implants that I put in fail. By the way I say this only about Mentor implants because I have only used their implants for my entire plastic surgery career. I suspect Allergan implants are now just as stable also. What really happens and what is a more accurate statement is that ‘the operation has a life span.’ Take for example two patients, A & B. Pt A is 5 ft tall and 100 lbs and is a very small A cup. Patient B is 5Ft 6in and weighs 145 and is a C cup. They both get a breast augmentation. They are both in their early twenties. 10 years later Pt A has not gained any weight, hasn’t experienced a pregnancy, and hasn’t had any major weight fluctuations. Chances are her breasts look as good as they did 3 months after her initial surgery. Let’s look at Ms. B. And, let’s show two different life courses. 1. She hasn’t had kids and she has maintained her weight. That C Cup breast may be looking great or maybe it’s a little less firm at 34 than it was at 24. The implant and the pocket around the implant doesn’t age. It doesn’t drop as the breast gets a wee softer and drops. So the patient might come in at 10 or 12 or 15 years and say she feels like she looks great in a bra. But out of her bra maybe the breast droops a tiny bit. Worse probably is Pt B option 2. This life course takes her into a wonderful relationship with a great partner (got to be politically correct here 🙂 and she goes through 3 pregnancies. Those C Cup breasts after having 3 kids and breast feeding them are way droopy. While even if the A cup breast woman had prenencies, my bet is she would probably still look fine. The C cup breast patient is probably coming in for a lift. There won’t be anything wrong with the implant. However, things being what they are, maybe she is now 12 lbs heavier and pretty happy at that weight. And her breast tissue is thinner and softer. So while she gets the lift maybe she and her plastic surgeon decide to put slightly larger implants in.

Mostly I think it’s fair to say that it is the operation that lasts about 12 – 15 years. And that is an average. I’ve seen plenty of women who I guarentee will have their breast augmentation looking good for 20 – 30 years because they are very petite and starting out with a cup breasts. Typical of this group would be a small Asian womean.

Interestingly, early on the very petite gal with A Cup breasts might look a little implantish because she has low body fat and small breasts that don’t really camoflage the implants completely. The C Cup lady maybe had a much more natural look though. Bottom line, there are trade offs when having a breast augmentation. The implants are technologically superb. You, my dear, will continue to get older. I’m here for you though. haha.

I always have liked what Andy Rooney once said, “I know I’m old. If you’re lucky it’ll happen to you too!”

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