How Often Do You Have to Replace Silicone Gel Implants?

Most women who have breast implants know that they won’t last forever and will need periodic replacements. Many even believe there’s a built-in expiration date on these medical devices. Fortunately, this is not true.


Here are answers to some of the most frequent questions we get about breast implant revision.

When performed by the team of professionals at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg, breast augmentation surgery allows women to regain lost breast volume due to pregnancy and breastfeeding. Other women might consider breast reconstruction to create full-contour breasts that suit their bodies after a full or partial mastectomy.


How Often Should You Get Breast Implants Replaced?

If you’re still satisfied with your breast implants and they are functioning well, there’s no need to replace them merely because you’ve had them for a specific amount of time.


The FDA has approved most silicone breast implants for 10 to 20 years; however, that doesn’t mean you must get them replaced at these intervals. If you are not experiencing any problems related to your breast implants, you can safely go beyond these time frames depending on your physiology and the type of implant you received. Your surgeons at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg will discuss your implants’ life expectancy with you before your procedure. You’ll be pleased to learn that you may only need to have one to two replacements in your lifetime.


How Do I Know If I Need to Get My Implants?

Though the FDA has approved your implants to last for at least a decade, remember that they may need attention before that time is up. Depending on how early in life you have implants inserted, you could need to replace them due to leakage, rupture, migration, unevenness, or because your body and needs have changed.


Here are a few signs that your implants may need revision or replacement.


  • Your breasts feel hard: Some women develop a rare condition known as capsular contracture, or hardened scar tissue, around one or both implants. Hard lumps under the skin may form around the implant, and your surgeon should address either of these conditions.
  • Implant rupture: Another unusual occurrence is when patients with silicone implants experience what’s known as a “silent” rupture. While the filling will leak out of saline implants, causing your breast to look deflated, ruptured silicone implants tend to keep their shape and stay in place.
  • Implants may shift: As you age, your implants may shift position, especially if you have had children. If they do, we suggest having them replaced. Your breast implants can also shift if you lose or gain significant amounts of weight.
  • Want to change the size: Over time, you may want to trade your current implants for larger or smaller ones.


What Happens to Breast Implants as You Age?

Many women choose to replace their implants due to the natural effects of aging. All breasts, whether natural or enhanced with implants, are subject to gravity, lost tissue connectivity, sun damage, and the physical effects of motherhood.


These time-related changes could include breast sagging, size change due to hormonal fluctuations, or visible rippling of the implants. Women who received implants before becoming pregnant may discover that motherhood changes their implants’ appearance. As a result, some patients voluntarily return to their plastic surgeon after completing their family to restore their breasts to the young and perky shape they had with the original implants.


But that’s not all. To optimize time spent in downtime, many women may also elect to have separate additional procedures — like liposuction, tummy tuck, or even a mommy makeover.


Schedule Your Breast Consultation in Fredericksburg, VA, Today!

If you’re considering getting implants for the first time or would like to have your implants revised, reach out to the experts at Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg with your questions, and schedule an appointment either online or by calling us at (540) 371-7730.

Breast Augmentation Myths vs. Reality

Are you thinking about breast augmentation? Make sure you know the truth about the procedure. There are many breast augmentation myths out there that tend to confuse potential patients. Today, let’s debunk some of these common myths. Have heard any of the myths on our list?

Breast Augmentation Myth #1 – Breast Implants Must Be Replaced Every Ten Years

It is a common misconception that implants need to be replaced every ten years.  There is no exact expiration date when it comes to breast implants. If you are happy with your Breast Implants at 10 years and there are no problems with them then there is no reason to replace them.

Breast Augmentation Myth #2 – Silicone Implants Are Always Better than Saline

Many women have heard that silicone implants are the best. In reality, both saline and silicone implants can be a good choice. Each implant type has its unique advantages. Saline implants are available for cosmetic enhancement at a younger age (18+), while silicone implants are only recommended for women who are 22 and older. Saline implants may be able to be placed endoscopically for a smaller incision. Additionally, it is easier to spot a rupture with a saline implant. Silicone implants are lighter and, in some cases, more natural feeling. They may be more expensive than saline. We’ll help you determine which implant type best meets your needs.

Breast Augmentation Myth #3 – Breast Augmentation Can Fix Saggy Breasts

Breast augmentation increases breast size but, if you have sagging, it isn’t the complete solution. We often recommend pairing a breast lift with breast augmentation for women who have advanced breast sagging. By pairing these procedures together, we can simultaneously address size, shape, and breast position. These two procedures can be performed together to reduce downtime.

Breast Augmentation Myth #4 – You Can’t Breastfeed After Breast Augmentation

If you’re planning future children and want to breastfeed, you may be able to—even with implants. Many women go on to successfully breastfeed after breast augmentation. If you’re thinking about future breastfeeding, tell us before your surgery. Certain incision types and implant placements are more conducive to breastfeeding success.

Breast Augmentation Myth #5 – You Can Easily Spot Women with Implants

Think you can easily spot women with implants? You’re probably wrong. Odds are you know many women with breast implants … the checker at the grocery store, your child’s teacher, your aunt, your best friend! Many women have implants and you often can’t tell unless they tell you.

The key to natural looking results is choosing the right implant. During your consultation, we’ll take your anatomy (including your build, the size of your chest wall, and the amount of breast tissue you already have) into consideration to create your ideal breasts. We’ll even let you “test drive” your new implants so you can be sure you have it right.

Call us today at 540-371-7730 to schedule your breast augmentation consultation.

Breast Augmentation Frequently Asked Questions

1. Breast Lift vs Breast Augmentation: How to tell which is needed?

Usually this requires an examination, but if the nipple is below the Inframammary fold a lift is likely.

2. How to choose the right breast implant size?

We utilize sizers at the consultation so the patient can see the actual volume in her clothes.

3. Do breast implants lift slightly sagging breasts?

Yes, but significant sagging requires a breast lift.

4. Can I have breast implants under local anesthesia?

It is possible, but our total intravenous anesthesia provides significantly more comfort with the patient completely asleep, and breathing on their own.

5. Can I have breast implants if I’m planning to have kids in the future?


6. Can I breast feed if I have breast implants?


7. What is the best shape of implants to achieve more natural looking results?

All implants have pros & cons. Round implants under the muscle provide excellent results in the majority of patients.

8. Do silicone implants harden over time?

Implants do not harden, but scar tissue can develop around either saline or gel implants. Our incidence is <1%.

9. Do breast implants need to be replaced overtime?

Only if they rupture. There is no need to replace implants @ 10yrs which seems to be a common misconception.

10. How long is the downtime for breast augmentation surgery?

Three days, in addition we have a long acting local anesthesia that last 72 hrs. and dramatically reduces initial discomfort.

11. Silicone vs. Saline: Which breast implant is safer?

Neither is unsafe, but it may be difficult to know when a gel implant is ruptured.

12. What are the risks of breast implant?

No specific risk of the implants other than rupture, however surgery has risks of bleeding, infection, and scarring, There is also a risk of possible loss of nipple sensation and implants could make mammography more difficult.

To view our Breast Augmentation procedure page, click here.