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September 04, 2023 | Breast Implant Recall

Do Breast Implants Need To Be Replaced? Yes. Here’s Why

woman holding breast implant

Breast implants have become increasingly popular in recent years, with many women opting for the procedure to enhance their appearance and boost their confidence. 

Breast implants are not designed to last a lifetime. In fact, the FDA recommends that women with breast implants have regular check-ups and consider replacing their implants after 10 to 15 years, or sooner if they experience any complications.

If you have breast implants, it is important to pay attention to any changes or discomfort you may experience. 

There are various reasons why you may need to get your breast implants replaced, ranging from cosmetic concerns to health issues. 

Is it necessary to replace breast implants?

Dr. holding breast implant illustrating it's form

It is a common misconception that breast implants must be replaced every 10 years, but there is no set timeline for when implants need to be replaced. 

It is recommended that women with implants have regular check-ups with their doctor to ensure the implants are still in good condition and have not ruptured or caused any complications.

In some cases, implants may need to be replaced due to complications, but this does not necessarily occur every 10 years. Ultimately, the decision to replace implants should be made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with a qualified medical professional.

What happens to breast implants over time?

Breast implants, whether filled with saline or silicone, are not intended to last forever. Over time, the implants can experience changes such as ruptures or leaks, hardening, or shifting within the breast pocket.

These changes can lead to discomfort, changes in breast appearance, or even health problems like infection or migration of the implant. 

It is recommended to regularly monitor breast implants through self-examination and periodic check-ups from a healthcare provider to ensure their health and longevity. If problems arise, the implants may need to be replaced or removed entirely. 

What is the reason for the replacement of breast implants?

Women choose to get breast implants for a variety of reasons: to enhance their appearance, after a mastectomy, to restore breast volume lost after pregnancy, or to lose weight. However, breast implants are not a lifetime commitment. It’s important to know when to get them replaced. Here are some reasons to consider a breast implant replacement:

1.  Breast Implant Rupture

Breast implants that were put in a woman’s body can rupture or break down over time. Implants can be damaged through physical trauma, normal wear, and tear, or even just after a number of years of being in place.

There is also a possibility that a leak can develop slowly over time, leaving foreign substances in the body.

Saline breast implants are less likely to cause problems when they leak, as the body will absorb the saline solution. On the other hand, silicone gel-filled implants can make it challenging to detect ruptures and are known to cause health problems after they leak.

Symptoms of Breast Implant Rupture

There is no way to predict when a breast implant rupture might occur. However, the following are some of the symptoms that may indicate that an implant is leaking:

  • Swollen or painful breasts
  • Hard lump in the breast or armpit
  • Redness or warmth over the breast
  • Changes in the shape or size of the breast
  • Breast pain or sensitivity

If you develop any of these symptoms or feel like something isn’t quite right with your implants, it is essential that you speak to your doctor right away.

Replacing Breast Implants Following Rupture

If a breast implant ruptures, it needs to be replaced immediately. The replacement procedure is similar to the original breast augmentation surgery, but with a few differences.

First, the surgeon will need to remove the old implant before replacing it with a new one. The surgeon may also take the opportunity to make changes to the shape, size, or position of the implants.

What percentage of breast implants rupture?

Breast implant rupture is a potential complication with breast augmentation surgery. While it is not common, the incidence of implant rupture varies depending on the type of implant and the length of time since the surgery.

Textured Implants - different types of breast implants - Sadeghi Plastic Surgery

According to a study by the FDA, the risk of rupture for silicone gel implants is around 7-8% at 10 years after surgery, while for saline implants it is around 10% at 10 years.

It is important to note that implant rupture can cause discomfort or changes in appearance that require surgical intervention to correct.

It is therefore important for patients to carefully consider the risks and benefits of breast augmentation surgery before making a decision.

Breast implant rupture is a serious problem that should never be ignored. It is important to have regular checks to determine the status of the implant and to speak to your surgeon if you notice any changes or problems with your implants. 

If a rupture occurs, in most cases, it is necessary to have the implant replaced immediately. Women who have breast implants should be aware of the risks involved and know when it is time to seek help from a medical professional.

2.  Capsular Contracture

Capsular contracture is a condition that occurs when the tissue surrounding a breast implant begins to harden and tighten. This results in discomfort, distorted breast shape, and even pain.

Capsular contracture can impact one or both breasts and can occur at any time, even years after the initial surgery.

Though capsular contracture is one of the most common complications associated with breast implants, there are a variety of surgical techniques that can be used to manage the symptoms of this condition. 

However, if you are experiencing discomfort or other symptoms related to capsular contracture, the best solution may be to simply remove the implants and have them replaced.

Early Detection

If you suspect that you’re experiencing capsular contracture, it’s important to see a doctor for an examination as soon as possible.

Early detection can help ensure that you receive the proper care and treatment, and could even save you from experiencing more severe symptoms or surgery. 

Your doctor can help you determine the most effective course of action and help you feel more comfortable and confident with your body.

What happens if you don’t replace breast implants?

Breast implants are commonly used to enhance the size, shape, and symmetry of the breasts. However, like any other medical device, breast implants are not designed to last forever. 

In some cases, they may require replacement due to various reasons. But what happens if you don’t replace breast implants? 

Let’s explore this in detail.

Change in Breast Shape

As breast implants age, they can shift or harden, leading to a change in breast shape. This can result in asymmetrical or sagging breasts, which can ultimately affect your confidence and self-esteem.

Breast implants are designed to mimic natural breast tissue and may require periodic replacement to maintain their appropriate shape.

Calcification

Implants can also lead to calcification, which is the formation of small calcium deposits near the implant.

Calcification can cause hard lumps throughout the breast and lead to discomfort or pain. In severe cases, it can also cause changes in breast shape and even rupture.

Capsular Contracture

One of the most common issues associated with not replacing breast implants is capsular contracture.

This condition occurs when scar tissue starts forming around the implant, leading to its hardening and eventually causing discomfort or pain. 

If left untreated, the condition may worsen and lead to further complications, including bacterial infections, implant rupture, and changes in breast shape.

Implant Rupture

Breast implants can rupture, and you may not even be aware of it. If left untreated, a ruptured implant can cause severe health complications, including pain, discomfort, and inflammation. 

Moreover, the leakage of silicone or saline from the implants can spread to the surrounding tissues, leading to unusual bumps, lumps, or changes in breast shape.

In severe cases, the leaking of silicone from ruptured implants can even cause autoimmune diseases.

Breast implants require replacement after a certain period. If you don’t replace breast implants, it can lead to some severe health complications, including capsular contraction, implant rupture, a change in breast shape, and calcification. 

Regular follow-up visits with your healthcare provider and periodic replacement of implants can help prevent these complications and ensure your continued overall health and well-being.

Breast Implant Revision Surgery

different types of breast implants - Sadeghi Plastic Surgery

Breast implant revision surgery is a procedure that is done to correct or improve the results of a previous breast augmentation surgery.

It is a common procedure among women who are unhappy with the size, shape, or placement of their implants.

If you do require breast implant revision surgery, the procedure itself is typically straightforward.

Here is an outline of what happens during breast implant revision surgery.

Assessment and Consultation

Before undergoing breast implant revision surgery, you will need to schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon. 

During this consultation, your surgeon will assess your breast implants and your overall health history. They will also discuss your aesthetic goals for the revision surgery. Based on this assessment, they will create a customized treatment plan for you.

Anesthesia

During breast implant revision surgery, you will receive either general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. Your surgeon will recommend the best type of anesthesia for your specific case.

Incisions

The surgeon will make incisions around the breast area to remove the old implants. The type of incision that will be made will depend on the type and size of the implant, as well as the preference of the surgeon. 

The incisions can be made in the same location that was used for the previous breast augmentation, or in a different area.

Removal of Implants

The next step is to remove the old implants. This process may involve draining the saline from the implant or removing the silicone gel implant in its entirety.

Once the implants are removed, the surgeon will be able to assess the condition of the breast tissue and identify any issues that need to be addressed.

Implant Replacement or Adjustment

After the old implants have been removed, the surgeon will either replace them with new ones or adjust the existing ones.

The new implants will be selected based on the size, shape, and material that you have chosen during your consultation with the surgeon.

Suturing Incisions

Once the new implants have been placed, the surgeon will suture the incisions. They may use absorbable sutures that will disappear on their own or non-absorbable sutures that will need to be removed later on.

Recovery

After the surgery, you will need to wear a compression garment to help support the new implants and reduce swelling. You should avoid physical activities for at least three to four weeks to allow your body to heal.

 Breast implant revision surgery is a complex procedure that requires an experienced plastic surgeon. It is important to choose a surgeon who has extensive experience in breast implant revision surgery. 

By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you will be able to achieve the desired results and increase your self-confidence.

Improved Results From Breast Implant Replacement

Breast implants are a popular cosmetic procedure that can significantly improve the appearance of a woman’s breasts. 

However, over time, implants may need to be replaced due to a variety of reasons, including complications or changes in size and shape. Consider the benefits of a breast implant replacement.

Improved Appearance and Comfort

One of the most significant benefits of a breast implant replacement is improved appearance and increased comfort.

Over time, implants can become damaged, lose their shape, or change position, causing discomfort and dissatisfaction for the patient.

Replacing the implants can help restore the breasts’ natural contour and improve symmetry, resulting in a more pleasing appearance.

Additionally, newer implants are designed to be more comfortable and provide a more natural feel.

Increased Confidence

A breast implant replacement can also boost a woman’s confidence. When an implant becomes damaged or changes position, it can lead to self-consciousness, low self-esteem, and even anxiety.

Replacing the implant can help restore the patient’s confidence, making them feel comfortable and confident in their own skin.

Improved Health

In some cases, a breast implant replacement may be necessary for health reasons. Older implants may be more prone to rupture or leakage, which can cause health problems for the patient.

Additionally, newer implants are made from safer materials, reducing the threat of complications and the need for future replacements.

Customization

Another benefit of a breast implant replacement is the ability to customize the size and shape of the new implant.

Patients may wish to change the size of their implants or switch from saline to silicone. The procedure offers the chance to tailor the results to their specific desires and preferences.

Longevity

Breast implant replacements offer longevity, which means a patient can enjoy the results for years to come.

Most breast implants need to be replaced every 10-15 years. When considering how often breast implants need to be replaced, patients can expect the new implants to last for another 10-15 years.

A breast implant replacement can offer many benefits, including improved appearance, increased comfort, restored confidence, and better health. 

It provides an opportunity to customize and tailor the results to the patient’s preferences, which means they can enjoy the results for many years. If you’re considering a breast implant replacement, make sure to consult with a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon.

Need Help with Breast Implants?

The Sadeghi Center for Plastic Surgery can help you find the best way to remove or add breast implants. You can check out our breast revision surgery or breast augmentation to go over your options. 

Call us at 504-717-4259 today to learn more.