If you are worried about your breast implants, you are not alone. Many stories exist of breast implants have ruptured or deflated, causing breast implant replacement surgery. But how long do breast implants last?

Breast implants have about 10-20 years of lifeline, but that does not mean you will need them replaced after ten years. The FDA has not placed any regulations on the time breast implants last.

Do Breast Implants Have a Lifespan?

The first question one would ask is whether breast implants can last forever. Unfortunately, the answer is no. They do not last forever and will eventually wear out. However, some factors can affect the lifespan of your breast implants, such as:

Your body’s response to the implant

  • The type of implant material used
  • An underlying medical condition that could affect the healing process
  • Smoking
  • Rupture or leakage of your implant

Signs It Is Time for a Replacement

Breast implant designs are not to last a lifetime. Although some can remain for many years, knowing what signs indicate time to replace them is essential.


When you first get your implants, your body creates a natural barrier around them known as scar tissue, the capsule. Typically, this capsule is thin and flexible, but it can thicken and harden over time, causing additional pain and discomfort. Capsular contractures can also cause your breasts to feel stiff or tight, look misshapen, or feel slightly uncomfortable.

Pain and Discomfort

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort in your breasts, it could signify that your breast implant has ruptured or shifted out of place. The earlier you detect these issues, the better your outcome is likely to be after breast implant replacement surgery.

Ruptured Implant

The outer shell can wear down over time and eventually rupture. This can happen with any implant, but is more common in older implants made with silicone gel instead of saline solutions. If your implant ruptures, you will need to have surgery as soon as possible.

Deflated Implant

If one of your breast implants has deflated, the chances are high that the second implant will follow suit within the next few years. For this reason, many plastic surgeons choose to replace both breast implants at the same time. The cost of replacing one implant is similar to that of replacing both.

Breast Tenderness

Another sign that one or both of your implants may need replacing is if you experience tenderness or pain in one or both breasts. While it could be something else entirely, it could also mean that an implant has ruptured and its contents have leaked into your body. For this reason, any tenderness or pain should be examined by a plastic surgeon as soon as possible.

What Happens During Breast Implant Removal?

The process of removing breast implants is known as breast explanation. During the surgery, your doctor will remove the implant from its pocket and drain any fluid from it. They may also remove scar tissue built up around the implant overtime if necessary.

In some cases, this scar tissue (known as capsular contracture) can be painful and uncomfortable after an extended period. Lastly, if you have implants with ruptures or leaks, these will be removed during explanation.

What to Expect after Breast Implant Replacement

Generally, breast augmentation surgery takes between one and two hours. The surgeon will incise within the natural crease beneath the breast, in the armpit, or around the nipple area (areola). Then he will place a breast implant under the breast tissue or muscle through this incision.

It’s normal for you to feel some pain after the surgery and experience some swelling and bruising around your breast and chest area. The surgical site will likely be sore and sensitive for up to four weeks. You may also need to wear a surgical bra for support during this time.

Your surgeon will prescribe medication to relieve any discomfort. After about two weeks, you should be fine.

If you’re looking for a plastic surgeon in Dayton and Miami Valley who provides both breast augmentation and breast lift surgery, contact Dr. James Apesos M.D F.A.C.S to schedule your consultation today!