It has become a wide-spread myth—yes, myth—that breast implants must be replaced every ten years. While the breast augmentation procedure can be done at that rate if a patient so chooses, it is certainly not a necessity, nor will it negatively affect the health of the patient. But before we get into the nitty gritty, we should get back to basics.
A breast augmentation is a surgical procedure in which breast implants are placed either above or below the chest muscles in order to enhance the look of the breasts. There are three types of implants—silicone, saline, and form stable, also known as gummy bear. Silicone is what most breast implant patients opt for, as they provide the most natural look and feel to the chest area. Saline implants, which are second most common, are filled with sterile salt water, and form stable implants are filled with a thicker type of silicone. The most significant difference between regular silicone implants and form stable implants, is the shape. Form stable takes on a more anatomical silhouette which mimics a breast that holds the most volume at the base.
Now, what was that about getting them done every decade? Well, the belief that implants need to be replaced after that amount of time comes from a debate regarding the longevity of breast implants. The problem with this, however, is that implant longevity varies greatly, and is entirely dependent on the implant type and the body it is being placed in. Many patients go a life time without replacing their implants, while others may feel the need to do it repeatedly over time. No two patients are the same when it comes to breast augmentations, so the generalization that everyone must get new implants every ten years is inaccurate and misleading.
There are a few reasons why some might want to get their breasts re-done over time, but they may not be what you’d think:
Some patients may never experience any of these things, and therefore never need or have the desire to replace their implants. Again, it all just depends on the implants and the person.