Patients always ask if they need to replace their breast implants every ten years. Here’s the real answer, and my thoughts on the origins of this conventional ‘wisdom’.
The Answer- NO
The short answer is NO- you don’t have to change your breast implants every 10 years if there is nothing wrong with your breast implants. This goes for breast implants used in both cosmetic breast augmentation, as well as those used in reconstructive surgery for breast cancer and congenital defects.
Longer Answer- Why Not?
If there’s nothing wrong, don’t fix it.
If you’re happy with your breast augmentation or breast reconstruction results, and you have not noticed any differences in appearance or symmetry with your breasts, then you needn’t have your breast implants changed.
Where did this Urban Legend Originate?
I think this belief comes from confusion of breast implant defect, versus breast implant warranty.
If you have a problem with your breast implant, you will notice it. Your breast will appear to be a completely different shape, smaller, and much more flat than the breast with an intact implant. Usually this change is not painful, but is quite sudden or fast. Rarely do problems arise over a long period of time.
However, most breast implant companies offer a 10 year limited warranty on their products. This does not mean that the breast implants need to be changed every 10 years. Rather, it means that your breast implant has a warranty for 10 years, and possibly longer, along with operating room and anesthesia costs.
If you feel that you have any changes in your breasts or breast implants, consult your family doctor or plastic surgeon (NOT Dr. Google) about what exactly is going on. If everything is fine, then you probably do not have to exchange your breast implants for different ones every 10 years.
So there you go. Common sense once again, as applied to plastic surgery.
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