How Long Do Breast Implants Actually Last?

Actual breast augmentation patient in blue bikini top smiling at camera

At The Wall Center, our breast augmentation patients from Shreveport, Alexandria, and Monroe, LA, communities, sometimes have questions about how long they can realistically expect breast implants to last. Like them, you may be curious about why revision surgery is necessary and what the procedure involves as you plan for your exciting next step.

The Wall Center has earned a reputation as a leader in both primary breast augmentation and revision procedures. We are committed to the long-term health and happiness of our patients. Let’s take a look at what that means in terms of breast implants.

How long do breast implants last?

Breast implants are not lifetime devices. While there is no set timeline, most women choose to replace their implants via breast augmentation revision surgery after 10 to 20 years, but many women enjoy their implants for longer than 20 years with no complications or concerns.

Reasons for revision include weight fluctuations, pregnancy, changes in implant position over time, personal preference, or, in rare cases, symptoms related to complications such as capsular contracture or BIA-ALCL (breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma). While it is not a medical diagnosis, some patient feels they have breast implant-related illness (BII) and opt to have their implants removed.

What is BIA-ALCL?

BIA-ALCL is a rare form of lymphoma associated with the use of textured implants that can typically be treated by removing the implant and the surrounding capsule.

Because the risk of BIA-ALCL is so low (99.5% of patients with textured implants will NOT develop BIA-ALCL), the FDA does not recommend implant removal unless you are experiencing symptoms such as skin rash, fluid collection, and lumpiness in the breast. However, the choice to remove your implants prophylactically is always yours.

At the Wall Center, we have never found textured implants to be especially helpful and consequently have only used them in a handful of cases. If you had breast surgery performed by Dr. Simeon Wall Sr., Dr. Holly Casey Wall, or myself, there is greater than a 99% chance you have a smooth implant, thus BIA-ALCL is not a concern.

What is BII?

BII is a collection of symptoms some women experience after breast augmentation, even with smooth implants. While there is no recognized medical diagnosis or scientific evidence for this illness, it is possible for some people to experience symptoms that may be related to the presence of a foreign body — the breast implant.

Ultimately, it is your decision whether to remove your breast implants. That conversation is best held on an individual basis between you and an experienced surgeon such as one of us at The Wall Center.

As a board member of the Aesthetic Society for Plastic Surgery, I’m actively involved in crafting current best practices not only for breast implants but for all things aesthetic. You can trust that any recommendations from me or my fellow surgeons are extensively researched and up to date.

How can I enjoy my breast implants for as long as possible?

One of the most important steps you can take is choosing a surgeon who focuses on the longevity of the implants and your results, which is always a priority for our team. Our surgeons consciously and strategically create results that will continue to look great for many years to come.

Some doctors will terminate your follow-up appointments after a matter of weeks. However, my fellow surgeons and I know we can’t completely judge the success of your surgery until we’ve monitored you for a full year. We treat each patient as a patient for life. We are committed to making sure you love your results for a lifetime.

To see real patient examples of the results you can expect after breast augmentation at The Wall Center, please visit our before-and-after photo gallery.

If you would like to learn more about the lifespan of breast implants or recommendations for revision surgery, please contact us online or call (318) 795-0801.

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