Breast augmentation is a popular procedure for enhancing and contouring the body. Breast implants add flattering volume and feminine curves—but how long do these results last? When patients receive breast implants at our Sacramento practice, they often ask the same question: Do breast implants expire?
The short answer is no. Breast implants don’t have an “expiration date,” but many factors affect how long implants last.
What are breast implants made of?
Breast implants are made of an outer silicone shell and filled with either saline or silicone gel. As the years go by, an implant may rupture or shift, depending on the implant’s shell texture or fill material. Saline ruptures are easier to spot as the size of the breast visibly decreases. Silicone implant ruptures are not as obvious, often called “silent” ruptures, because the gel stays inside the implant or in the surrounding scar tissue.
Do breast implants actually expire?
While breast implants do not have an expiration date, they also don’t last a lifetime. Saline or silicone implants typically last for around 10 to 15 years. Up to 20% of women have their implants removed or replaced within 10 years. Some women want to upgrade to a newer model of implant and may consider revision surgery sooner. Breast implant removal is a very personal decision that should be discussed between you and your doctor.
When should I replace my breast implants?
Breast implants are usually replaced if a woman experiences complications or wishes to upgrade to a different style or size. A few physical signs that you may need to replace your implants include:
- Rupture: One of the common reasons for breast implant removal. As noted above, saline implants shrink in size when ruptured, while silicone implant issues are slightly harder to detect. A physical exam, ultrasound, or MRI can help identify silicone ruptures.
- Hardening: Some patients develop capsular contracture, a condition where thick scar tissue develops around one or both implants. This typically makes the breast feel firmer. Tightness, pain, or tenderness in the breast are less common side effects of hardening.
- Change in position: Implants occasionally move inside their scar tissue “pocket.” If one breast hangs lower than the other, or if your nipples point in different directions, your implants may be shifting.
How can I maintain my breast implant results?
All breast implants naturally age over time. However, all women have control over one important part of surgery: the appearance of their implants. From saline to silicone and from round to teardrop-shaped, implants come in many sizes, shapes, and materials. When undergoing breast augmentation, be sure to choose an implant that suits your lifestyle and your frame, and you’ll be happy with your implants—both now and for years to come.
Browse our before-and-after gallery to see examples of real patient results. If you would like to learn more about breast augmentation with implants and you’re in the Folsom or Sacramento area, please request a consultation online. You can also contact our practice by phone at (916) 929-1833.