Breast implants are used in breast augmentation to replace lost volume and improve bodily proportions. Patients have a choice of saline, standard silicone or highly cohesive silicone gel (“gummy bear”) implants. There are advantages and disadvantages to all implant types; some of the factors to consider are your anatomy, your goals and your budget.
One thing many breast augmentation patients wonder regardless of implant type is how long their breast implants will last. In this blog post, Dr. Samuel N. Pearl and Dr. Alexander Ereso of the Pearl-Ereso Plastic Surgery Center discuss how long implants last and what some factors are that might cause a need for implant replacement or revision.
Breast Implant Types
Dr. Pearl and Dr. Ereso are pleased to offer both saline and silicone gel implants. Of the latter, they offer two types: NATRELLE 410 Shaped Textured implant made by Allergan and the SIENTRA Shaped Textured implant.
- You’ll know if your saline implants rupture, as they will leak. It’s more difficult to detect a rupture with silicone implants, and an MRI might be needed in order to do so.
- They are often less expensive than silicone gel implants.
- Saline implants are filled after they are placed and, thus, they generally require a smaller incision.
- Many people feel that saline implants don’t feel quite as natural as silicone gel implants.
- Silicone implants are generally not recommended for those with very little body fat and/or breast tissue.
- The FDA recommends that only those 22 and over should get silicone breast implants.
Silicone Gel Implants:
- They generally feel more natural, especially for those who have insufficient breast tissue.
- Many also agree that the silicone gel implants have a more natural appearance when placed correctly.
- There are no age restrictions with these implants.
- It’s difficult to know if there is a rupture. If one were suspected, it might take an MRI to detect it.
- Silicone gel implants are typically more expensive than saline implants.
- They usually require a larger incision than saline implants although, with the help of The Keller Funnel™, Dr. Pearl and Dr. Ereso are now able to keep the incisions for silicone gel implants fairly small.
How Long Do These Implants Last?
In days past, the advice used to be that implants should be replaced every 10 years or so. The consensus now among the majority of board certified plastic surgeons is that implants are of such high quality that, unless you have an issue with them, you don’t need to replace them at all. Some issues that might require implant replacement or revision would be capsular contracture, rippling, rupture, or if you simply want larger implants.
Contact Dr. Pearl and Dr. Ereso