Breast implants don’t actually expire but the manufacturer’s guarantee says they will last 10 to 20 years. A fair percentage of patients have their implants removed at around the 10-year mark due to complications.
If you are wondering whether it might be time to have your implants removed or replaced, this is what you need to know.
How to Know It’s Time to Replace or Remove Your Implants
Here are a few signs that it’s time to consider revision surgery.
- Implant hardening. Capsular contracture is one of the leading reasons why implants harden and need to be replaced or removed. If your breasts have become hard and painful, it’s time to see a surgeon again.
- Implant rupture. If you’ve noticed a change in the size or shape of your breasts, it could mean one of your implants has ruptured. If you have saline implants, the deflation will be very apparent. Other signs of rupture include numbness, burning, tingling and swelling.
- Again, if the shape of one or both of your breasts has changed, it could mean that your implants have started to ripple and require replacement. You should generally be able to feel this with your hands too.
- The position of your breasts will change over time, regardless of whether you have implants or not. However, if one breast is hanging lower than the other, you may want to contact your surgeon.
The Basics of Implant Removal & Replacement
Any qualified surgeon such as Dr Anh can assist you with implant removal – you don’t need to choose the same surgeon. Depending on your preferences, your surgeon can remove the implants, remove your implants and lift your breasts, remove the damaged tissue or replace your implants.
Depending on what needs to be done during your procedure, you should be able to go home on the same day, while others may require a short hospital stay. Most patients can get back to work in about a week but your normal routine will have to wait for week six.
If you choose to replace your implants, you will have the option of choosing a new size, profile and type if you want to. Again, replacing the implants can also be combined with a breast lift for the best results. Naturally, replacing your implants will cost more than just removing them.
Is It Possible to Increase the Lifespan of Implants?
The only real way to enhance the life of your implants is to choose a size and shape that you know you will be happy with for at least 10 years, if not more. Unfortunately, there is no real way to avoid certain complications such as rupture or capsular contracture – everyone has a different experience after augmentation surgery.
Choosing the right surgeon, following all of the necessary post-operative instructions and getting your breasts checked on a regular basis for ruptures will also help.