It is a common belief that breast implants need to be replaced every 10 years. The need to replace breast implants occurs when an implant ruptures and/ or the implants become firm, known as capsular contracture.
The rupture rate is higher with Saline implants than 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 such as fish oils, Aspirin, NSAIDs and vitamin E containing supplements.
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 and implant(s).
The most common reason patients elect to exchange their breast implants is to exchange from saline to silicone or to change size. Patients elect to exchange to Silicone cohesive gel implants to obtain a more natural feel and reduce the feel and sometimes visibility of ripples. As time goes by the breast can change due to a number of factors: weight gain, weight loss, pregnancy etc. When these changes occur the size of the breasts can change resulting in the desire for a smaller or larger implant size.