How long do breast implants last?
Breast Implant Warranties and Replacement Info
It’s not just the brand of Breast Implants that matters when it comes to how long your breast augmentation surgery results will last. It’s also how well you take care of yourself, and your augmentation results, that impacts how long your breasts will continue to look aesthetically appealing or firm. So how long do breast implants last? Find out why most manufacturers only guarantee the integrity of their prosthesis for 10 year timeframes.
What is the “lifetime warranty breast implant” time span according to Mentor or Motiva?
The answer is that most manufacturers of quality implant brands used for Breast Augmentation in Australia, such as Motiva and Mentor, only warranty their prosthesis for a 10 year period. This warranty means that if the breast implant itself fails, then a set of implants to replace those failed implants is covered, so long as certain patient criteria is met. That does not mean all your surgery expenses are covered, only that you can get a replacement set of implants if you follow protocols and meet the warranty and breast implant replacement criteria.
Find out more about the lifetime warranty of breast implants and what to expect, including:
- how to protect your breast surgery results as time goes by and
- when to expect a future removal or replacement
- how to know if your implants need replacing
- whether or not you need to replace them every 10 years
Read a blog by Dr Rubinstein as to why some of the world’s best loved Plastic Surgeons use Motiva Breast Implants.
Do you need to replace your breast implants every 10 years?
- Data sets can vary from region to region, surgeon to surgeon and brand to brand.
- Average statistics indicate that when it comes to the expected duration of breast implants and augmentation duration results, about 3 to 4 women in 10 have surgery BEFORE 10 years.
- It is important to have annual check ups, however, to be sure everything is going well.
- So don’t miss your follow up appointments after having breast augmentation surgery.
Notify your Surgeon of any concerns – do not delay seeking medical advice or getting a scan
It’s also a good idea to notify your Plastic Surgeon should you have any concerns about your breast surgery results. If you have a suspected rupture, for example, or a capsular contracture, an ultrasound or MRI may be required to assess the situation. This would occur before re-operation or removal and replacement of your implants.
Future surgery needs after breast implants / breast augmentation
In terms of future surgeries, plan on future surgery at some stage within 10 years, on average. However, some patients may need surgery earlier, and sometimes some patients choose to NOT remove, or replace them, at all.
In fact, many women have gone for many years – even decades – with no concerns about their implants.
Duration and Longevity of Breast Implants: Manufacturers “Lifetime” Warranty – what you need to know.
But every patient is different and some women either NEED or CHOOSE to have removal OR replacement of their breast implants at a particular juncture in time.
- Some breast augmentation patients don’t have future surgery for a lifetime.
- However, most quality manufacturers of breast prosthesis only guarantee their product duration for 10 years.
- They call this a ‘lifetime warranty’ and will often replace the implants (the product itself, not the surgery) if they should fail for any manufacturer-related reasons before the 10 year mark.
Quality breast implants such as Motiva or Mentor tend to be long lasting and stable.
- Nothing lasts forever, and breast implants have a limited guaranteed lifetime warranty.
- The recommendation – and warranty – is based on the view that silicone breast implants are intended to last up to 10 years.
- It’s also known that some stay in place far longer than that, without any problems or concerns.
- And for some unlucky patients, they have a complication and want revision surgery to correct it.
Other women sometimes choose to change their implant size, or to remove or replace them due to lifestyle changes or preference changes as they age.
It’s a good idea to ask your Surgeon about their experiences with implant longevity and the reputation of quality breast implants such as Motiva and Mentor. These brands are very popular in Australia.
New technologies are being explored for implants, but it’s usually best to choose ones that have known reputations for reliability, consistency and longevity.
How many women need Revision Breast Surgery after having a Breast Augmentation using Breast Implants?
- It’s a bit difficult to fully assess the rates of revision surgery, after getting implants, across the globe.
- Not all countries keep track of cosmetic surgeries and not all doctors report revision surgery rates.
- But surveys and studies suggest the average rate of revision surgery after breast augmentation, across the globe. is somewhere between 20 and 40 percent.
That does not take into account the different types of surgeons performing these surgeries, and how well they have been trained (e.g., non-FRACS Surgeons do a lot of breast augmentation procedures).
The implants you choose in 2018 should last 10 years, but there is variability – and lifestyle factors – including traumas, weight changes and childbirth – that can have an impact on how long your breast implant results will last.
So, revision surgery is NOT uncommon. But there are some choices you make that can reduce your risks. One of these choices is in WHO you select to perform your Surgery. Remember, not all Surgeons are alike. Even Plastic Surgeons have differences in how they approach a procedure. Choose one who individualises the surgery and takes into consideration the SIZE of the implant in terms of your overall physique AND your skin health.
Choosing a Specialist Plastic Surgeon who prioritises sanitation and proper hospital settings for surgery (as opposed to awake surgery in the back room of a strip-shopping centre clinic) may help reduce your risks, especially if they plan carefully, use good Anaesthetists and follow the 14 point safety enhancement tips for Surgeons). Look for a genuine FRACS and ISAPS/ASPS or ASAPS Plastic Surgeon as recognised by APHRA.
What causes higher revision rates for Breast Augmentation?
It’s entirely possible that high revision rates are the result of junior surgeons “having a go” at performing breast augmentations, or of cheap overseas surgery clinics using questionably-trained doctors and production-style (versus bespoke) approaches to implantation of breast prosthesis.
It’s also sometimes related to people choosing implants that are TOO LARGE or HEAVY for their skin’s capacity. There’s also concern about over-handling of breast implants during surgery, which can result in risks of bacterial concerns (the Keller Funnel insertion option might help reduce some risks).
The “10 Year” Lifetime Warranty of A Breast Implant – what does this actually mean?
The “lifetime warranty of breast implants” often needs clarity for patients as it’s not covering the lifetime of the patient, but of the expected lifetime of the breast implant itself.
- Manufacturers indicate a patient can expect 10 years for an implant to remain to maintain it’s quality and purpose.
- They call this a “lifetime warranty” of a breast implant.
- But they actually mean the expected lifetime of the Breast Implant (Mentor or Motiva brands, for example), not the lifetime of YOU, the patient.
- If the implant fails before the 10 year mark, they often will cover the replacement of the IMPLANT (But not the Surgery or Surgeon’s fees); so you will be responsible for those.
We sometimes see patients who have sustained their quality brand breast implants and surgery results, with no concerns, for decades.
Others wanted an exchange or removal, or a change in size when they got older. And others needed corrective surgery due to complications such as capsular contracture, or if they chose a cheap brand that wasn’t of the quality of the reputable brands such as Mentor and Motiva.
So Revision surgery is not uncommon, but despite this, many women successfully maintain their surgery results for many years and even decades.
Get our FREE Guide to Cosmetic Surgery and Breast Augmentation. Or phone (03) 8849 1444 to book for a no-obligation consult with an expert Breast Augmentation surgeon (a genuine FRACS Specialist Plastic Surgeon) in our Melbourne or Berwick locations.
Perfect Cleavage: Breast Augmentation Results Change over Time
- Your breasts WILL change over time, just like every body else’s breasts change over time.
- Having implants may – or may not – change that somewhat.
- But many life events can impact how your breasts look – whether or not you chose breast implants to augment your breast shape and bra cup size.
Everyone goes into surgery expecting a perfect result. There’s actually no such thing, as humans – by nature – are never fully symmetrical. Plus, time CHANGES the appearance of the breasts even if you have firm looking augmentation results at first.
There’s actually no such thing as perfection, even if you and your Surgeon are aiming for that result.
- The truth is that your breasts – and your body – aren’t perfect before surgery.
- So it’s foolish to think they will be perfect after surgery.
- And it’s good to know that over time, your body – and breasts – DO change.
- So expect changes over time, especially if your weight changes or you get pregnant, so you won’t be surprised or disappointed when this occurs.
It’s also important to anticipate that NO surgery result will be absolutely perfect.
Even if the Surgeon performs the operation perfectly, your body might not respond or heal in a perfect way. So there’s no such thing as perfection, and this applies to everything involving humans.
Keep your expectations realistic about your breast augmentation surgery results and how they’ll change over time.
You can aim for excellence, but don’t expect perfection.
DO, however, discuss your expectations with your Surgeon so you can assess whether or not you have realistic expectations.
- Size choices can be a challenge.
- Be sure you try on different sizers and/or try the 3D imaging with Vectra or Crysalix to assess what the changes MIGHT look like after having an augmentation of the breasts.
- Ask your Surgeon for their opinion – they’ve performed thousands of these surgeries and have followed up with patients for decades.
- They KNOW what different implant size choices (and breast implant brands) means for patients over time.
Expect Asymmetry before and after – although additional methods can correct for differences in nipples or breast sizes or shapes.
- Firstly, there will never be perfect symmetry between a left and right breast and a left and right nipple.
- It can be close, but never perfect.
Read more about asymmetric nipples and breasts in our next blog.
Will my breast implants look great forever?
No. Things WILL change, and the timing can be impacted by numerous factors.
There’s a variety of factors that will effect your surgery outcomes over time.
Some of these factors include, but are not limited to:
- your existing skin strength or skin thickness and firmness (the breast envelope)
- skin ageing processes and rates of collagen depletion
- changes in your body weight or your body fat distribution
- whether or not you wear the right bra
- how consistently you wear the right supportive bras versus going topless
- your body’s scar healing capacity
- nutritional habits and other lifestyle factors
- menopause or other hormonal changes
- breast feeding
- injury or trauma
Those are just some of the items that can either help – or hinder – maintaining an aesthetically pleasing breast augmentation result.
Although the surgically treated areas of the chest might look better after getting breast implants, nothing is ever perfect on the human body.
- You and your Surgeon can, however, aim for good results that are still natural looking.
- You can also find out how to help keep your results looking good for as long as possible.
- Be sure you keep up to date by reading our blogs and following your Surgeon’s advice.
- And you can ask your Surgeon for advice as time goes on.
Be sure you follow the recommendations for having regular check ups (at least annually) and other advice from your Surgeon.
Remember – time and major events, such as having babies or getting older, are going to impact your results.
So be prepared for breast augmentation appearance changes over time.
- So in reading this blog, remember that a number of different changes may impact the longevity of your breast surgery results after getting implants.
- If certain factors occur, it may lead to a desire – or a need – to remove your breast implants entirely or to remove and replace them.
- Sometimes, you’ll need revision surgery (or secondary surgery) to get the look you’re wanting, such as a Breast Lift procedure.
- Other times you might need a corrective surgery to remedy a complication or unwanted event, such as sagging or bottoming out.
- If your breasts and nipples start to sag after having children or going through menopause – you’ll likely want a breast lift or breast lift with augmentation.
Removing breast implants: how do I know when it’s time to remove or replace my breast implants?
There’s actually NO one answer to this question at the current time.
- See your Surgeon if you have any concerns about your breast implants after surgery.
- If you have a problem, such as capsular contracture or bottoming out, you may require surgery to remove or exchange (replace) your breast implants.
- The need for corrective surgery or revision surgery can occur at any time after surgery.
- But if there are no complications after having implants put in, when you replace your implants or remove them altogether can vary.
You may even choose to remove your implants or reduce them in size as you get older or have children. What you choose in your twenties or thirties may or may not suit your forties or fifties lifestyle choices. But that’s a very individual decision.
In general, manufacturers indicate a 10 year warranty for replacing breast implants after your first (primary) augmentation operation.
- So expect to need to have a secondary operation somewhere within a range of as early as 5 years to 15 or 20 years.
- That noted, some women have gone for several decades with implants that hadn’t seemed to need replacement.
- Others have needed surgery within 3 years. It really varies.
- Some women decide to NOT have additional surgery if everything seems to be going well.
- Some women have gone 30 years with intact breast implants in place with no concerns.
That noted, the manufacturers only offer a 10 year “lifetime warranty” and prosthesis life expectancy (read Mentor’s lifetime warranty breast implants details).
- To stay within breast implant manufacturers warranty guidelines, consider the 10 year replacement parameters.
- Ask your Surgeon for their opinion and recommendations at your follow-up appointments (and be sure you keep us up to date with your address and phone so we can contact you).
Talk to your Surgeon for details and be sure you ATTEND yearly follow up appointments.
- Follow up and monitoring of your implant surgery results is crucial.
- Commit to this in your annual diary and be you’re sure to keep attending all follow-up with your Surgeon, on at least an ANNUAL basis.
- See your Surgeon more frequently if you’ve been prone to any complications or whenever you have a concern, such as a potential trauma or injury or capsular contracture or rupture.
- Alert your Surgeon IMMEDIATELY if you expect a problem or have trauma to the breast area after getting implants.
On average, expect a life time of quality breast implants to AVERAGE around the 10 year mark, in terms of manufacturer’s warranty and expectations.
But recognise that removing or replacing breast implants can vary greatly from patient to patient.
Recognise you may have a need to have breast implant removal or replacement surgery sooner than 10 years. Or maybe even later. Or, depending on your age and stage of life, maybe not at all.
- Some patients choose to leave their breast implants in place for longer than 10 years, when everything seems to be going well.
- But if you make that choice, again, be sure you’re attending regular follow up appointments with your Surgeon.
- And listen to your Surgeon’s advice.
If you make that choice, be sure you stay up to date on the latest cosmetic surgery and breast augmentation research news.
Summary of when a patient will need a Breast Implant Exchange or Ex-plantation of Breast Prosthesis
Commonly asked questions about removal and replacement of implants (or phone us on 03 8849 1444 for help).
What if my breast implants need replacement or removal shortly after my first breast augmentation surgery?
- It’s not uncommon that some women will need revision surgery earlier than the lifetime warranty of an implant.
- It can be difficult to predict who will need earlier surgery and who will not.
- If you smoke even just a few cigarettes a week, you greatly increase your risks of having complications and of needing revision surgery.
- Other factors have an effect, and sometimes it’s just the misfortune of falling into the small group of patients who have a complication requiring a revision surgery not long after the original procedure.
- Living a healthy lifestyle usually minimises your risks, but sometimes complications can occur even in healthy patients.
Remember that the lifetime warranty of a breast implant covers the implant itself, not the surgery.
You’ll often need to pay for additional surgery if you need a revision (ask your Surgeon about what costs are involved if you should require or desire a revision breast surgery or prosthesis ex-plantation).
And the lifetime warranty may not cover every type of reason you might want to replace your breast implants (such as if you chose the wrong size and decide to change your breast size after your augmentation).
Do many patients replace their breast implants before the 10 year warranty expires?
Occasionally patients might be unlikely and need to replace them even sooner, such as if they develop a capsular contracture or bottoming out of the breasts. (The risk of these is reduced if you choose a moderate versus overly large implant AND if your Surgeon is dedicated to proper handling of the implants including the 14 extra safety standards for breast augmentation).
But if the breast prosthesis itself is intact, the warranty won’t cover a new pair of breast implants.
- The 10 year “lifetime warranty” only covers certain problems or defects, where a breast implant is found to ‘fail’ to last the expected 10 years.
- This is quite uncommon in quality implants such as Mentor and Motiva, which are known to be stable and long lasting.
If you have a breast surgery complication after a primary breast augmentation procedure, your Plastic Surgeon will work with you to try to remedy the situation; but you’ll need a bit of patience.
- Healing can also be delayed, and occasionally revision surgery will be required to resolve a complication.
- But most complications are minor and are healed with medication or good post-operative care.
DO choose a quality Surgeon so you know you’re in good hands should you be one of the unlucky few patients who develops a complication after a breast augmentation procedure.
Changing your Breast Implant Size (Removal and Replacement of Breast Implants)
Other times, the implant surgery results might be going really well, but the patient might want to have further surgery for aesthetic reasons OR relating to a lifestyle change.
Sometimes the patient simply wants a different shape, size or type of implant (silicone vs saline, for example).
Size change requests are not uncommon, but can be minimised if you opt for a Surgeon with a lot of experience in sizing (and try the 3D imaging such as Vectra 3D or Crysalix imaging systems).
- It is recommended that, if your results are balanced and pleasing, you think very carefully about the pros and cons of swapping out your breast implants for a bigger size.
- Wait at least 12 months if you can be patient; you might surprise yourself by deciding they’re the perfect size for your body and your lifestyle.
- Know that BIG implants can lead to BIG problems such as premature skin sagging and bottoming out.
If you carefully consider bra cup sizers AND get Vectra 3D imaging during a consultation for augmentation, you may be better to more adequately assess what size you’ll find most pleasing – before your FIRST breast augmentation procedure (rather than in a revision surgery).
A number of other factors could lead to changes in how long a breast implant(s) or breast augmentation result is expected to last.
- The type of breast enlargement procedure may impact longevity.
- So, too, might your body, including your skin health, your physique and your daily habits.
- Sleep quality and nutritional habits, can impact health and hence, the longevity of your result.
- The type and brand of breast implant that was used (such as Motiva or Mentor brands versus some cheap manufacturer), can also impact results including how long they might last.
Breast Implant Manufacturers (Breast Prosthesis) tend to give a 10 year lifetime warranty on breast implant expectancy.
It’s helpful to recognise that this “10 year lifetime warranty of an implant” figure is an estimate, and is often debated by experts in the cosmetic and plastic surgery fields of medicine.
So whatever you do, after having breast implants, aim for healthy living to help increase the longevity of your results.
It’s actually important that YOU get good rest, eat nutritious food (and enough of it), live a healthy lifestyle, and avoid taking substances that cause harm to the body, if you want your breast augmentation surgery results to last.
Also, be sure you wear the right support bra – especially while exercising (but not ONLY while exercising).
And that means, wearing a good support bra – even at night. Although sometimes debated, this can reduce sagging and help your breast skin stay firmer and less stretched over time, especially in contrast to the what happens to breasts when you go bra less for extended periods of time.
Even so, remember every person’s different.
How long YOUR breast implant surgery results will last may be different from another persons.
While you and your Surgeon will be AIMING for a great result, there is always going to be some variability in the procedure as well as how your body heals after breast implant procedures.
So although manufacturer’s state a 10 year limit on a ‘breast implant lifetime warranty’, there will be variability between patients about how long a breast augmentation will last, and how soon a patient is going to need revision surgery or removal and replacement of breast prosthesis.
Find out how to help your healing along, and optimise the longevity of your breast augmentation results. Phone us on (03) 8849 1444 and request one of our FREE GUIDES to Breast Surgery.
Knowing the differences in Surgeons and doing your research into breast augmentation surgery and cosmetic surgery is important.
Find out more by reading our Guides, attending a FREE event or visiting with a Specialist Surgeon with FRACS. Phone (03) 8849 1444 and we’ll be happy to answer your top questions about the differences between Surgeons and which one of our team of Specialist Surgeons to choose from.
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For more information about Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery options and research in Australia.