Do Breast Implants Really Need To Be Replaced Every 10 Years?

The FDA has been credited with starting a weird rumor a few years back that breast implants need to be changed every 10 years to prevent rupturing.

It definitely couldn't hurt to have your breast implants examined by a plastic surgeon at the 10-year mark, but having your breast augmentation redone is probably over the top and unnecessary.

Hopefully it's not news for you that the older an breast implants gets, the more likely it is to rupture.

(Just think about all the abuse they often take!)

Fortunately, most breast implant manufacturers offer a warranty that lasts somewhere between 6-10 years, granting financial assistance if a breast implant ruptures within this time. If I remember correctly, I was even given the option to purchase an extended warranty for the breast implants themselves.

Why The Breast Implant Stats Are Skewed

A lot of statistics show that as many as 60 out of 100 of women are having follow-up breast surgery within the first 5 years of having their first breast augmentation. But here's the thing...

It's not because of breast implant complications.

Statistically, using numbers from multiple Mentor and Allergan studies, only 7 of those 100 women had a follow-up breast surgery because of a capsular contracture and 5 because of breast implant deflation/rupture or other complication.

The remaining 82% of women had a breast implant exchange procedure to increase or decrease their breast implant size—in the vast majority of cases, to increase. This is why it's so important that you find your Boobie Guide when you're considering a breast augmentation!

But Just How Durable Are Breast Implants?

Breast implants go through a lot! Think about how much they endure just in your everyday activities, including exercise, sex, and stomach sleeping. It's amazing how durable they are.

In fact, a few years back my friend’s mom tripped over a doggy gate in her house and flew breast implant first onto the hard tile. “My boob!” is the first thing she called out. Her breast implants were much older than 10 years and so she was concerned she had damaged one. Immediately she made an appointment with her plastic surgeon, who found nothing wrong with her breast implants at all. He even gave her the okay to continue her life with her same breast implants.

One more fun fact... of all the women in the U.S. with breast implants...

75% of them have had their same set of breast implants for more than 10 years (!!)

Thoughts from Dr. Jeremy Pyle

So, breast implants are considered "Medical Devices" by the FDA. When the FDA approves medical devices, they tend to do so according to how long the studies were to prove that they were safe and reliable. For breast implants, these studies were 10 years long.

But that doesn't mean your implants go bad. In fact, the vast majority of implants are fine at a decade and beyond. With saline implants, it's easy to know if your implants are still good: If they feel and look good, they are good.

With gel implants it's a little trickier and so an imaging study like an MRI may be needed to be relatively certain that things are still good.