This Article Has Been Medically Reviewed By

Dr. Jennifer Emmett, M.D.

Home Breast Enhancements How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

September 27, 2021

If you’ve been considering breast augmentation surgery, then you may have questions on which type of implant is best for your needs and desires.

And you may also be wondering how long breast implants last. 

Breast implant technology has come a long way since the 60’s when they were first invented. 

Plastic surgeons used to advise patients to revise or update their implants every 10 years, but that’s no longer the case.

Today’s breast implants use better and safer materials that last around 10 years longer than previous models made before 2000. This ensures they’re also safer in the event of rupturing.

If you’ve been researching breast enhancement procedures and are curious about how long breast implants last, then continue reading to learn more about the various models available, their lifespans, and tips on how to prolong your breast implants.

Check out: Everything You Need to Know About Breast Augmentation Surgery

What is the Average Lifespan of Breast Implants?

So, how long do breast implants last? 

Well, today’s breast implants last on average anywhere between 10 to 20 years, with some women having their implants beyond 20 years.

It’s important to note that breast implants do not come with an expiration date or a shelf life. The FDA does not consider breast implants to be lifetime devices. However, there’s anecdotal evidence of women keeping their implants longer than 25 years. Implants can last indefinitely if the patient is still satisfied.

What are the Different Types of Implants?

There are two main kinds of implants available today: silicone and saline.

Each type of implant has its advantages and disadvantages. When choosing the right implant for your body, you’ll need to consider each one. During your initial breast augmentation consultation Dr. Emmett will advise you on which type of implant is best suited for you.

Silicone implants are considered to look and feel more natural than saline implants. However, saline implants require smaller incisions than silicone implants, because they can be inserted uninflated, and then filled once inside the body.

Both saline and silicone breast implants are extremely safe. Today’s silicone implants are referred to as “gummy bear implants,” because they contain a self-adhesive gel that doesn’t leak into the body if it ruptures. This is a significant improvement over silicone implants of the past that could be harmful if they ruptured into the breast tissue.

What are Signs that Implants Might Need to be Replaced?

As long as implants don’t rupture, women can keep their implants as long as they would like. However, several potential complications can affect the longevity of breast implants.

Capsular Contracture

Also known as “breast hardening,” capsular contracture occurs when scar tissue forms around the implant(s). This results in breast pain, asymmetry, firmness, and/or around or ball-shaped breast.

Implant rupture

Both saline and silicone implants can rupture, causing the breasts to deflate. When a saline implant ruptures, the harmless saline solution is safely absorbed into the breast tissue, although it can lead to a quick deflation of the breast tissue. When silicone implants rupture, their deflation isn’t as immediately noticeable but results in a burning or tingling sensation in the breast.

A desire to change their breast size again

Some women wish to adjust their implant size years after receiving breast augmentation. They can either elect to go up or down an implant size or to replace saline implants with silicone or vice versa.


Sometimes implants can visibly ripple or wrinkle underneath the skin. This can be caused by weight loss after surgery, saline implants losing their volume, or scar tissue.

Implant Malposition

Breast implants can shift over time, gradually moving out of their desired position.

Changes in Breast Tissue

Natural aging, including hormone changes related to pregnancy and weight gain, can cause the breasts to sag and lose their initial results. 

Proper Care to Prolong the Lifespan of Implants

Every woman’s breast augmentation long-term results will vary based on her choices and overall health.

The first step in prolonging the lifespan of implants is by following the surgeon’s post-op instructions to ensure a healthy recovery. If a patient doesn’t follow their post-op instructions, there’s a stronger likelihood the breasts won’t heal properly, which will result in revisional surgery sooner than is required.

During recovery, it’s imperative that a patient wears a post-op surgical bra that will eliminate swelling and bruising, and help stabilize the implants while they’re healing.

It’s also important that the patient does not exert themselves while their sutures are still healing. This means you shouldn’t raise your arms above your head, sleep on your stomach, or exercise too vigorously during the recovery period. 

Once the breasts have fully recovered after surgery, it’s up to the patient to take care of herself to ensure her breast implants last as long as possible. 

Here are some tips to prolong the lifespan of implants:

  • Wear properly fitted bras.
  • Sleep on your back if possible.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Extreme changes in weight can cause premature breast sagging.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking is not only bad for your overall health, but it’s also bad for your skin and its ability to heal itself.
  • Attend follow-up appointments and screenings.
  • Avoid strong impacts to the breast area.
  • Get regular massages after your fuller recovery to reduce stress and scar tissue.

Schedule Your Initial Breast Implant Consultation Today

Dr. Jennifer Emmett is a Colorado-based Double-Board certified plastic surgeon serving the greater Denver and Centennial area.

Considered a Top Doctor by Castle Connolly, Dr. Emmett has over 20 years of experience in cosmetic and enhancement surgery.

Dr. Emmett’s staff at Emmett Plastic Surgery is made up of a staff of high-level RNs, surgical assistants, and clinical specialists. Our overall focus is to ensure that you get the best quality care, in a warm and welcoming environment.

Dr. Emmett and her staff specialize in breast augmentation, facial surgery, and body contouring procedures.If you’ve been considering breast augmentation surgery and have more questions about breast implants, then schedule a consultation with Dr. Emmett here or call us at (303) 955-7545 today!

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels