Women have been obtaining breast augmentation with silicone breast implants for more than 50 years now. In that time, numerous safety studies have been conducted, and several changes to the composition of breast implants have improved patient outcomes. The number of breast augmentation procedures performed each year continues to grow; a reflection of women’s confidence in this procedure overall.
Still, there remains a bit of mystery around silicone breast implants. Namely, the question of longevity. What many women ask us during their consultation is “do silicone breast implants have to be replaced every ten years?” This is a wonderful question to ask because, if you were to believe what you read or hear, your perception might keep you from attaining the shape you have wanted for so long.
First, we want to say that there is no across-the-board recommendation for replacing breast implants every 10 years. Next, we want to look at where this idea came from.
Several years ago, a report from an FDA study was published, revealing that 1 in 5 women in this particular study needed breast implant replacement at around the 10-year mark. Replacement may have been necessary due to capsular contraction or tightening around the breast implant, or rupture, or some other problem. This is one detail in the study.
When we look further into the statistics of the replacement for silicone breast implants, we can see that 1 in 5 accounted for only 20% of patients in the FDA study. From this standpoint, we see that there was a larger percentage of women for whom no breast augmentation revision was needed after 10 years. This is not to say that study participants never needed to replace implants, but it suggests that there is a lower chance than may have been interpreted by the initial release of information.
Details to Consider
If you are considering breast augmentation with silicone breast implants, there are details that may set your mind at ease.
- All breast implants have a warranty from the company that manufactures them. Warranties may vary based on the form of the implant, filling (saline or silicone), and other factors. Warranties are not expiration dates; they are simply a statement of responsibility from the manufacturer of a product.
- The FDA study that led to a widespread belief regarding replacement was released in 2011, long before the development of more form-stable implants and newer insertion techniques. These advances in breast augmentation are significant, as they have improved the long-term success of treatment.
- Breast exams are an important aspect of long-term health and wellness. This includes medical checkups and mammography at the recommended intervals.