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Daniel Careaga, MD
Paul Durand, MD
Karl William Schwarz, MD

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How Does My Breast Augmentation Change Over Time?

Posted December 04, 2020 in Breast Augmentation

3 Minute Read: 

Despite breast augmentation surgery growing immensely in popularity over the last few decades, many prospective patients and women interested in seeking breast implants are hard-pressed to find accurate information. One quick search through the internet can reveal many misconceptions, myths, and misinformation about breast implants and their features. This is particularly the case when trying to find accurate information about how breast implants are expected to change or not change over time. 

woman screening her breasts

To help potential and current patients, here is a brief guide on how breast implants may change over the course of a decade or several decades and a description of various factors responsible for the wear and tear. 

How Long Will Breast Implants Last?

A large majority of implants last well beyond 10 years of use. In fact, some implants are even reported to have lasted anywhere between 15 and 20 years before needing replacement. This is particularly the case for modern silicone and saline implants intentionally designed with durability in mind. 

Even with the advancements in implant technology and design, implants are not permanent devices. At some point over the lifetime of an implant, it will need replacement or removal.

Even patients who never experience breast implant failure may experience slight sagging in their breasts over time or implant displacement. This occurs as the breast tissue is weakened from natural aging and the effects of gravity pull the implant downward. Luckily, this can easily be fixed with a breast lift with or without a breast implant removal and replacement

What Causes Implants to Rupture?

Modern saline and silicone implants have been designed to meet the physical demands of everyday use and, therefore, are designed with durability and resilience to high amounts of pressure in mind. Even so, implants become less durable and more susceptible to puncture or even rupture as time progresses.

For example, a new implant may survive a sudden impact without significant damage. However, the same impact on an older implant (such as from a fall or car accident) can puncture the implant’s shell and cause leakage. Punctures to the implant could also occur from a biopsy, surgery, or a medical procedure not related to cosmetic surgery. 

Aging or deteriorating implants may also be a cause of the rupture. Sadly, there are no methods for preventing a rupture of an implant that is faulty due to its age. Surgeons like Dr. Careaga and Dr. Durand can examine an implant for defects years after implantation to determine if they should be removed before a rupture occurs.  

What Other Causes of Breast Implant Failure Form Over Time?

Capsular contracture is one of the major causes of implant failure as time transpires. According to experts, capsular contracture is most likely to develop during the first two years of the breast implant’s lifetime. Still, late-onset capsular contractures occur many years after breast augmentation surgery and are usually the result of implant damage or rupture. A breast implant removal or replacement can eliminate the excess scar tissue that caused capsular contracture.  

Interested in Learning More?

If you are interested in learning more about how breast implants change over time or the breast enhancement surgeries offered by Careaga Plastic Surgery in Miami, Florida, or have more questions about replacing older implants, call us at (305) 960-7511 or fill out our online contact form.

Dr. Careaga and Dr. Durand are both board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS).


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