While implants have a manufacturer’s warranty of around 10 years, most of us in the plastic surgery field do not believe that there is any specific time that implants must be replaced.
Implants should be replaced when there is evidence that the implant has failed or broken. This is quite easy to tell with the saline implants since they deflate, in my experience, over a day or two. Most silicone gel implant failures are picked up by radiologic studies, as we know that the implants look the same and feel the same even when broken and seem to cause no health issues.
The other reason to change the implants is, for whatever reason, they are no longer providing the benefit that you are looking for. This could be due to a change in lifestyle or personal preference.
The final reason is that there is some issue that has arisen that may be related to the implant. One to look out for is the increase in size of one breast versus the other, which is a sign of a seroma, a collection of sterile fluid in and around the implant. When this occurs, it is not subtle – it is relatively significant. If this occurs, you should return to the plastic surgeon’s office for evaluation. If you see a small difference in the volume of your breast over time, this is most likely to be related to weight fluctuations or just changes in the natural appearance of the breast.
If you ever have questions or concerns about your implants, be sure to give Dr Alspaugh a call today.