It is a common belief that breast implants need to be replaced every 10 years. As long as the implant is intact and maintains an aesthetically pleasing position, there is no medical reason to exchange the implant and have another enhancement. The medical need to replace breast implants occurs when an implant ruptures and/or the implants become firm, known as capsular contracture.
The rupture (also referred to as deflation) rate is higher with Saline implants than it is with Silicone Cohesive Gel implants. The most common reason for capsular contracture is bleeding around the implant. This could be surgical bleeding at the time of surgery, trauma to the breast at any time after surgery or from the use of blood-thinning supplements and medications.
Most implant manufacturers provide a lifetime warranty on breast implants. The warranty covers the replacement implant(s) should a rupture occur. If the rupture occurs in the first 10 years of surgery, the patient will likely receive financial assistance in conjunction with the implant(s) to use towards the surgical fees.
The most common reason patients elect to exchange their breast implants is change the size and/or to switch from saline to silicone. Patients elect to exchange to Silicone cohesive gel implants to obtain a more natural feel and reduce the feel and sometimes visibility of ripples that may be present in Saline implants. As time goes by, the breast can change due to a number of factors: weight gain, weight loss, pregnancy, etc. When these fluctuations occur, the size of the breasts can change; resulting in the desire for a smaller or larger implant size. Dr. Leverett is an expert with both primary breast augmentations and secondary implant exchanges. We welcome you to visit Body By Leverett in Phoenix for a consultation to ensure you continue to love the look and feel of your breast implants.