Breast implants are made from long-lasting material, but they cannot last a lifetime. Both saline and silicone implants have a safe life span of about 10 to 20 years. Depending on the patient or the rise of medical complications, the implants may be replaced earlier than the average life span. So, how long do implants last? This piece will guide you on when to remove an implant.
Reasons why implants may warrant removal
There are several factors that will influence when your breast implants need to be removed including:
Developing a hardened scar
The hardening scar is sometimes known as capsular contracture affecting the incision site in either or both of the breasts. The scar may distort the shape of the breast, cause pain, tenderness and an abnormal tenderness within the affected breast. This is a result of natural scar tissue hardening and tightening around the implant. In this care, a revision procedure can remove the scarring and refresh the implants.
Saline wrinkling or rupture
Saline implants can be prone to rippling, showing visible wrinkles through the breast. This is a result of the implant shell weakening and can be corrected with an implant refresh. It is possible, although rare, for a saline implant to rupture, resulting in saline being safely absorbed by the body and the implant deflating. This will require a replacement to restore the appearance of the breast.
These implants differ from saline implants because they are filled with silicone gel. This material’s content is ideally thicker. It makes them resistant to leakage, however, if a leakage or rupture does occur, it may go unnoticed as the implant keeps its shape. A rupture may go unnoticed for ages, but there could be more symptoms. They include:
- Arguably a decreased size in breasts.
- Pain and sensitivity
- Burning sensation
- Uneven appearance in breasts
A silicone rupture has almost next to zero chances of happening and has a low rate of about 2 to 12 percent of rupturing. However, this doesn’t eliminate the chances of a silicon rupture; it’s rare but possible and would require a replacement right away.
Change in position
Breast implants are only responsible for increasing the size of your breasts. Your breasts are still going to be vulnerable to sagging regardless of the size of the implant. Once you start to notice a droop in one of the breasts or change in the positioning of the nipples you might want to get an overall correction through new implants and breast lift.
What happens during implant removal?
You will discuss with the surgeon what you would want done on the breasts. It may consist of:
- Removal of the implant.
- Implant removal and lifting the drooping breasts.
- Replacement of the implant.
- Removing of the hardened scar.
It is important to note that an implant removal procedure doesn’t restrict you from exploring other surgeons’ services. Once you schedule an appointment with the agenda of removing the implants, the surgeon will examine the present condition of the implants.
Most of the time, removal of the implant alone causes unusual changes such as drastic reduction in breast size, significant drooping, unevenness between the two breasts and dimpling. It is therefore recommended that you couple an implant removal with another procedure to maintain well-shaped breasts. Depending on the type of procedure you choose after the implant removal, you may spend a day or two in hospital. Full recovery periods range from about four to six weeks.
What to Remember When Choosing Breast Implants
Implants don’t last a lifetime. At some point in your life, you will have them replaced or removed following particular reasons. Consistent check-ups with your doctor will ensure the safety of your implants. For more information on implants and replacement procedures, contact Dr. Hall today.