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How Long Can Breast Implants Last?

With the significant emotional, financial, and physical investments that go along with having breast augmentation surgery, it is only natural for women to wonder how long they will be able to enjoy their results. Fortunately, when placed properly by an experienced and skillful surgeon, breast implants can last up to 10 years or longer before a revision or replacement may be needed. Board-certified plastic surgeons Dr. James Romanelli and Dr. John Layliev, along with the exceptional team at Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery, are dedicated to helping Long Island, NY patients achieve stunning, long-lasting results through breast augmentation with implants. Read on to find out whether breast implants may be right for you, and learn more about what you can expect from your implants, including how long they may last.

Which kind of breast implant is best?

Once you settle on getting breast augmentation surgery, there are still several decisions you will need to make – with the help of your surgeon. During your initial consultation at Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Romanelli or Dr. Layliev will introduce you to the various breast implant types and sizes and help determine which style of implant may best fit your needs.

First, patients will need to choose between saline and silicone gel implants. While both are FDA-approved for use in breast augmentation, each has its own unique set of characteristics and benefits.

Saline implants are filled with a sterile salt water solution and can be inserted filled or unfilled. The incision required for a saline implant is often slightly smaller than with a silicone implant, making it more appealing for some patients. Saline implants are also approved for use in patients under the age of 21, unlike silicone implants, making them the obvious – and only – choice for younger women seeking breast augmentation.

Silicone gel implants are filled with a gelatinous substance and inserted fully intact. Many patients and surgeons agree that silicone implants offer a more natural look and feel than saline, particularly for thinner women or those with less natural breast tissue. Another advantage of silicone implants is that they are less prone to showing ripples or wrinkles than saline implants, again making them advantageous for thinner patients.

Your surgeon will assist you in deciding which type of implant may be most appropriate for your body and help you most closely achieve your goals, but the choice between saline and silicone gel implants is ultimately a personal one. Once you have decided which kind of implant you will have placed, your surgeon will help guide you through the selection of implant size, profile, and other attributes.

How long do breast implants last?

Both saline and silicone gel implants can last a number of years – up to 10 or more – when placed by an experienced surgeon and properly cared for. However, it is important to remember that breast implants are not designed to last a lifetime, and it is likely that you will need a revision or replacement at some point. Some of the most common reasons that implant replacement surgery is needed include:

  • Implant rupture
  • Capsular contracture
  • Change in personal type or size preference
  • Effects of aging (a breast lift is needed)
  • Surgical error-related complications, such as bottoming out

While most breast implant-related complications are rare, it is important to be aware of them and understand what signs and symptoms to watch out for. Implant rupture is one of the most common situations leading to the need for implant replacement in the first 10 years after surgery.

How do you know if your implant has ruptured?

For women with saline implants, breast implant rupture symptoms are relatively obvious. When a saline implant ruptures, the saline solution will leak out of the shell and be safely absorbed by the body. However, the implant will immediately deflate, leaving the woman with a lopsided, asymmetric figure that can only be corrected through implant replacement surgery.

In the case of silicone implants, a rupture can be much more difficult to detect. In fact, it may be impossible to tell whether a silicone implant has ruptured without the use of an MRI. A few silicone implant leak symptoms that patients may experience include pain, swelling, or a change in the shape of the breast, though in many cases there are almost no recognizable symptoms of gel implant rupture.

Is there an alternative to breast implants?

While breast implants can undoubtedly give patients a dramatically beautiful new look and are widely considered safe, some women are interested in a more natural breast augmentation alternative that does not require the use of synthetic materials. Dr. Romanelli and Dr. Layliev are proud to offer fat transfer to the breast as an exciting and innovative solution for augmenting the breasts without the need for implants. This procedure involves harvesting the patient’s own fat from another area of the body and injecting it into the breast. Although fat transfer to the breast can certainly produce an increase in volume and a beautiful new contour, it is important to understand that there is a limitation on the amount of fat that can be transferred, making the procedure less ideal for patients desiring a more substantial change. Furthermore, the results of a fat grafting procedure can be significantly impacted by future weight fluctuation, unlike breast implants, which will retain their volume.

The best way to determine which breast augmentation method and which type of implant is most appropriate for you is to be evaluated by a qualified, certified, and highly experienced provider. Call Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery in Huntington, NY today to schedule your one-on-one consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons Dr. James Romanelli and Dr. John Layliev, or take advantage of one of our online consultations from the comfort and privacy of your own home. We look forward to helping you achieve – or restore – the feminine, youthful, gorgeous contour you’ve always wanted!

*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.