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What Is The Average Lifespan Of Breast Implants?

By: Austin-Weston


When it comes to having cosmetic surgery, it is only natural for patients to wonder how long they’ll be able to enjoy their newly enhanced look. Before undergoing any procedure, it is important to have realistic expectations about the longevity of your results and whether or not you may need a revision at some point in the future. The caring team of plastic surgeons at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery in Northern Virginia fully understands the significant investment that goes into having cosmetic surgery and is committed to helping patients maintain their gorgeous results for as long as possible. To learn more about one of the most popular procedures, breast augmentation, including what results are possible and how long they may last, read on or schedule an appointment at Austin-Weston today.

What kind of breast implants should I get?

If you are considering breast augmentation surgery in Northern Virginia, there are a variety of exciting decisions you will need to make throughout the preoperative process. One of the first, and arguably most significant, is what kind of breast implants you prefer. The two most commonly used synthetic breast implants today are saline implants and silicone gel implants. Another option, fat transfer to the breast, offers a more natural alternative to artificial breast implants. Each choice has its own set of unique characteristics and benefits to offer patients, including:

  • Saline implants: Saline breast implants have been around for many years and continue to be the preferred choice for many patients and surgeons. Because they are filled with a sterile saline solution, there are few health risks in the event of a ruptured saline breast implant. If a rupture does occur, the saline solution will be safely absorbed by the body. However, the ruptured implant will deflate, leaving the patient with a noticeable asymmetry and the need for a fairly immediate implant replacement procedure.
  • Silicone gel implants: Silicone gel implants are often described as having a more natural look and feel than saline implants, leading many women to choose this option. Furthermore, silicone gel implants are less likely to show rippling, making them particularly advantageous for thinner women or those with less native breast tissue. Because silicone implants are not filled with a fluid-like solution, nothing will leak out or deflate in the case of implant rupture. In fact, it can be difficult or even impossible to detect a ruptured gel implant without the use of MRI. However, ruptured silicone implants should still be replaced as soon as the defect is found.
  • Fat transfer to the breast: For women who are interested in a more natural alternative to synthetic breast implants, fat transfer to the breast – also called fat grafting – can be a wonderful option. This advanced technique involves harvesting a patient’s own fat from elsewhere on the body and transferring it to the breast. While the risk of adverse reaction is exceedingly low with fat transfer to the breast, this option is more limited in its ability to dramatically alter the size of the breast. For patients interested in a significant size increase, silicone or saline implants may be more appropriate.

How long do breast implants last?

Another factor to consider when deciding which type of breast implant best meets your needs is how long the implants may last. Regardless of whether you choose saline or silicone gel, it is important to understand that breast implants are not designed to be lifelong devices, and it is highly likely that you will need an implant replacement procedure at some point in the future. Some of the most common reasons that women undergo breast implant replacement or revision surgery include:

  • Implant rupture
  • Capsular contracture
  • Surgical error
  • Implant displacement (bottoming out)
  • Change in personal preferences

When breast augmentation is performed by a highly qualified surgeon, and when patients adhere to their postoperative guidelines, most women can enjoy their saline or silicone gel breast implants for up to 10 years before a replacement may be needed. While some women may experience a complication that requires implant replacement, such as capsular contracture or implant rupture, others may simply desire a change in the size or type of breast implant over time.

For patients who undergo fat transfer to the breast, the longevity of results can depend on future weight fluctuations, including those associated with pregnancy and aging. Weight loss or gain can cause the transferred fat cells in the breasts to shrink or swell in the same way they do on other parts of the body and severely compromise a patient’s results.

Regardless of which breast augmentation method you choose, the knowledgeable and experienced team at Austin-Weston is dedicated to helping you achieve your ideal outcome and maintain your stunning new look for as long as possible. To learn more about the life-changing results that are possible with breast augmentation, schedule a one-on-one consultation with one of the exceptional plastic surgeons at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery in Reston, VA today, or take advantage of our convenient online consultation option from the comfort and privacy of your own home. We look forward to helping you realize your dreams through the exciting and innovative offerings of cosmetic surgery!


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