Although breast implants do not actually perish, they’re not meant to last a lifetime. The typical silicone or saline implants can last for 10 years or more before a replacement is needed. But the majority are taken out earlier because of cosmetic or complication worries. So, if you’re wondering when you may require an implant replacement, continue reading to learn more the most common causes for removal.
Some women may develop capsular contracture, or hardened scarring around the implants. In addition, this may result in tightness, tenderness, and hardening. While the development of scar tissue is a natural response to the implant, hardening of this scarring will need to be addressed with a revision breast augmentation to remove the scar tissue and place fresh implants.
Saline implants essentially act as water balloons. When a tear or rupture occurs, the saline will leave the shell, resulting in an immediately noticeable deflation. This saline is completely safe to be absorbed by the body, so there is no immediate danger if you experience a rupture. However, you’ll want to address your deflated implant as soon as possible to restore the natural appearance of your breast. It is important to note that ruptures are very rare, but the risk of one happening increases the older your implants are.
While still rare, silicone implants can also rupture. Silicone gel is quite a bit thicker compared to saline. If a silicone implant ruptures, the gel will likely stay within the scar tissue formed around the implant. However, in some cases, the silicone can leak into the body and cause harm. Because a silicone implant keeps its shape during a rupture, it is known as a silent rupture. The use of silicone implants will require regular MRIs to ensure their structure and safety. Some choose to have their implants replaced after so many years to lower their risk of rupture once again.
While silicone ruptures can go undetected, if you have any of these symptoms, contact your plastic surgeon right away:
- Decreased breast size
- Hard knots
- Uneven appearance of the breasts
- Changes in sensation
Rippling occurs when the implants begin to weaken, showing visible lines in the implant shell that can even be seen through the breast skin. This cosmetic complication can occur in saline implants. Although rippling is not dangerous, you will want to have a revision at some point to restore the appearance of your breasts.
Preparing for a Revision Augmentation
It is important to see a board certified plastic surgeon for your breast implant removal or replacement. It is best to go to your original plastic surgeon if possible.
Based on the concerns you are experiencing, your surgeon may recommend:
- implant removal
- removal and breast lift
- removal of hardened scar tissue
- implant replacement
Implants are not ensured to endure a lifetime. A removal or replacement procedure may be necessary if you experience complications, or if you want to reduce your risk of complications. Whatever the reason, always make sure you are prepared for the possibility of a second procedure.