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While breast implants are durable and long lasting, nothing lasts forever. Often, implant manufacturers estimate that implants last between 10 and 15 years before requiring replacement; however, this is a ballpark estimate.
The truth is that your implants will very likely need to be replaced at some point, especially if you underwent a breast augmentation when you were in your 20s or 30s. But no one can tell you when that will be. It may be a couple of years, or it may be after a couple of decades.
Fortunately, when that time comes, you have options. You can choose to remove the implants permanently (without replacement); however, most women choose to replace their implants. Depending on your choice, you can undergo a secondary breast surgery like a breast explant surgery or a breast revision.
How Long Should My Implants Last?
How long breast implants last varies based on several factors. These can include (but are not limited to):
- The types of implants chosen
- The size of the implant
- The care the breast tissues get post-operation
- And general health
No two women’s bodies are the same, and no two breast implants last the same amount of time based on these factors.
If you’re concerned about timing for explant surgery, it’s best to have regular checkups with your plastic surgeon so they can monitor any changes before they become problematic. If you have silicone implants (which many women do), you will need to undergo an MRI screening every two years to verify the health of the implants.
Why Do Women Remove Their Implants?
Implant removal often comes down to two sides: a different aesthetic desire and physical complications.
Most women replace their implants to change their breast aesthetic.
It can be challenging for women to choose the right implant during their initial consultation. Because of this, many women (particularly in the Miami area) wish that they had chosen a larger implant initially. Here, breast explant surgery and replacement are performed to swap the existing implant for a larger one.
Alternatively, some women who choose larger implants initially find that any additional weight gain (or pregnancy) changes the look of their breasts. Here, breast revision is sometimes performed to swap the implant for a smaller one.
Additionally, it is not uncommon for breast aesthetics to change.
“Ideal” breast contours and sizes have varied significantly over the years. Some women choose to change their implants to keep up with the times.
For example, in the early two-thousands, large saline implants were popular, and many patients loved the look they provided. These days, smaller silicone implants are more popular among many women, so some patients have come back to switch their implants over.
What Are the Physical Signs You May Need Breast Explant Surgery Soon?
While many women choose to undergo a secondary surgery for cosmetic reasons, some women face real complications with their implants. These complications require the implant to be removed or replaced.
The following are some signs that you might need to have a breast explant surgery soon:
- Your breasts have changed shape since the surgery due to capsular contracture
- You are experiencing breast pain
- You have experienced rippling of your skin when you move
- You have experienced complications with your nipple sensation
- You are experiencing pain and discomfort in your upper back and shoulders due to large implants
- Breasts appear uneven or not symmetrical
- Signs of infection, such as redness around the implant area
When you’re deciding whether or not to have a breast implant removed, it’s always best to seek the help of a skilled plastic surgeon.
What Does a Breast Implant Revision Look Like?
To learn more about breast implant removal, visit our breast revision before and after gallery.
What’s Involved in Getting Breast Implants Removed?
During explant surgery, your surgeon will remove your breast implants and any excess scar tissue around the implant site.
If implants are not being replaced, the breast pocket will be tightened and the incisions closed; however, many women opt to replace their implants at this time.
Additionally, a breast lift is commonly performed to address any breast sagging.
After Implant Removal, Can I Get Breast Implants Again?
If you were on the fence about replacing your implants during your breast explant surgery, you could still choose to replace them down the line. However, you will need to heal from your explant surgery, which can take about six months.
Get Breast Explant Surgery Today
Explant surgery does not have to occur just because your breast implants are old or damaged; it may be a cosmetic choice at a time of your choosing.
If you’re looking for a reliable breast explant procedure in Miami, Florida, Dr. Hochstein is the one for you. His experience in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery gives him the expertise to provide you with the results you want.
Call (305) 931-3338 to speak with our staff or fill out an online contact form for more information.