How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

Breast implants are an extremely popular form of cosmetic surgery, and are one of the most common procedures performed in both North America and around the world.

Breast Implants

Saline or silicone implants are used to increase the size of the breasts and help improve a woman’s self-esteem, letting her feel sexier with a more flattering, proportionate figure.

Silicone implants

More solid than previous offerings, silicone rubber shells filled with silicone gel offer a tighter molecular bonding which prevents rippling and provides a more natural tactile sensation.

With many sizes and projections available, they can be easily tailored to each patient for a flattering and natural looking enhancement. These implants tend to maintain their shape better than implants with liquid fills, and some studies have indicated that the appearance of scar tissue is less common with this type of implant.

Because silicone gel is inert, it will not be absorbed into the body even in the case of failure and there are no signs or symptoms. The breast will look and feel the same following failure as it did before.

This is because silicone gel implants do not rupture the same way that liquid silicone implants can. When these implants rupture, the liquid inside can leak into the fibrous capsule around the implant, leading to concerns over the consequences of failing implants.

These implants have a lifetime warranty ensuring that they will be replaced for free if there are any defects.

Many women many choose to replace their implants sooner than later, but this is due to ongoing cosmetic procedures and not necessity. They only reason for most patients to change their implants is to alter the size or shape of their breasts.

Saline implants

Saline implants are made of silicone shells with liquid saline inside. Because they do contain a liquid, they are slightly more prone to certain issues such as rippling, ruptures, and hardening.

Because these issues are so rare, lifetime warranties are still offered by most manufacturers.


As the material inside the implant begins to shift around, the shell can sometimes form ripples which show through the breast tissue.

This problem, while rare, occurs most commonly in slender women whose implants have been placed over the muscle and under the mammary gland. In some cases, gummy bear implants may be a better choice for these women.


Ruptures are more likely to occur the older the implant, but they may also occur as a result of direct trauma or injury to the area.

Most commonly there are no symptoms when the implant begins to leak. As the implant continues to decrease in the size, there can be pain, numbness, tingling, burning, or edges of the implant that can be felt in the breast.


In rare cases, scar tissue may build up around an implant causing pain and a hardening of the surrounding tissues. Known as capsular contracture, this occurs as a reaction of the patient’s immune system to the foreign tissue.

Women experiencing any of these symptoms should consult with their doctor immediately.

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