Breast Augmentation: How long does it last?

Breast implants are extremely durable, contrary to popular belief.  The myth that they will automatically “expire” after 10 years gets passed around a lot as a truth.  This creates unneeded confusion and stress for those with breast implants. The real truth is that breast implants can last decades, even a lifetime.  To debunk this myth, we will explain why breast implants don’t “expire” in any set timeframe.  And although follow-up breast procedures are likely after breast augmentation, breast implant expiration will not be the reason. 

What you need to know

  • There is no real scientific evidence behind the 10-year myth. It originally stems from statistics in the 1990s and focuses on how often women were having revision surgeries.
  • Implants themselves do not have a pre-programmed lifespan or expiration date. They are meant to last a very long time. 
  • Your implants could last well beyond 10 years if you have no issues with them. There’s no mandate to replace them in a decade, if all is well.
  • On the flip side, you will likely need a revision procedure in your lifetime after breast augmentation surgery. Capsular contracture, implant failure, breast droopiness and deflation from pregnancy, weight loss/gain, and aging often require further surgeries. 
  • If your breast implants still feel soft and natural after breast augmentation there’s no reason to remove or replace your implants, especially at an arbitrary date.  In other words, don’t mess with them if they look and feel fine.
  • Listen to your body and the advice of your board-certified plastic surgeon. Schedule the recommended checkups to monitor your breast health.  Do regular self-breast exams. Follow the FDA regarding surveillance with breast MRIs. But there is no reason to be concerned when you are near the decade mark after having this procedure.
  • Revision and refresh surgeries over your lifetime of having implants are possible and in most cases likley.  This is probably one of the most important truths to understand about breast augmentation surgery and should be factored into your decision to have this surgery. 

So how long will it last?

The notion that breast implants expire after 10 years is a myth. While ongoing checkups are important, including the FDA-recommended screening with breast MRIs, implants themselves have no predetermined expiration date or lifespan. The real truth is that breast implants are extremely durable and implant failure is one of the least likely reasons you will need a revision procedure after breast augmentation surgery. However, revision surgeries and procedures follow no timetable and can occur within months, years, and even decades from your original surgery.  Therefore, you must factor this into your decision to undergo this surgery. In other words, you should expect breast augmentation surgery to last a long time, but not forever.  Those of you considering breast augmentation surgery or those of you who have breast implants should assume that a revision, touch-up, or a refresh procedure will be needed ‘some time’ down the road.