There is a common misconception that breast implants need to be replaced every ten years. While some women will want to replace their implants during the first ten years after their initial breast augmentation, these breast revision surgeries are typically performed for aesthetic reasons. Another reason for breast revision surgery is to replace a deflated or ruptured implant; however, this need for surgery is not too common. In fact, there is only about a 1% chance of rupture per year. In other words, after ten years, there is still 90% chance that your original breast implants will still look and feel exactly the same.
Breast implants have the ability to last a lifetime, but because they are man-made devices, the implant manufacturers must state that they are not designed to last forever. Ruptures and implant deflations do occur, and in these cases a board-certified plastic surgeon experienced in breast revision surgery can swap out the damaged implant with a new one. For patients with saline implants, a rupture in the silicone shell will be immediately obvious. It is not dangerous, but for cosmetic reasons you should seek the help of a plastic surgeon as soon as possible. Ruptures in silicone implants, on the other hand, can take awhile to notice, as the gel that composes the implant is form-stable, that is, it does not leak. Dr. Miller recommends that patients with silicone implants consider an MRI to screen for any possible ruptures. 10 years after their initial breast augmentation, and once every 5-10 years afterward to help ensure they retain a youthful, beautiful appearance.