How long will my breast implant last?
The question: “Do I need to change my implant and when is the right time?” is probably one of the most frequently asked questions by my patients.
The answer is: “Yes”.
There are different opinions on the period when an exchange is necessary:
From “lifetime guarantee” (guarantee does not mean that the implant cannot break) to “after 5 years”, or “after 10 years” the opinions differ.
Reasons for an implant change can be manifold:
Often there are health issues involved, and health comes first, of course. After pregnancies/weight changes, a rupture or capsular fibrosis, should the implant have slipped or be of an older generation, one needs to change an implant.
Blog posts on these topics:
Why can an implant break down in the first place?
The following has changed with the latest generation of modern implants: Gel and the shell are relatively stable. They are no longer as soft as they used to be and do not collapse. If you squeeze the implant, a wrinkling occurs – a so-called weak spot, the implant becomes defective. The older generation implants are particularly soft, they have a very good shell, but the disadvantage is that chafing/weak spots can form and in the worst case the gel can detach from the shell. Rupture due to this wrinkling is possible. These implants were used 10 years ago by many plastic surgeons, including myself. It makes sense to replace these implants.
Tip: I recommend having an ultrasound or MRI done every 2-3 years to see if the shell is intact.
What generation of implants do I have?
Check with your plastic surgeon. The latest generation implants are more difficult to kink and therefore less likely to have a defect. We use implants from Motiva and Polytech, the cost of an implant exchange is from €3.900,-.
There are guarantee programmes of various implant companies that replace implants free of charge in case of rupture or capsular fibrosis of the Baker 3 and 4 classes. The costs of the operation, such as anaesthesia or doctor, must still be borne by the patient.
Motiva’s latest warranty programme “JOY” not only insures the implants, but offers:
- Lifetime implant replacement in case of rupture
- 10 years implant replacement in case of Baker 3 and Baker 4 capsular fibrosis
- 500 USD reimbursement per affected implant for the surgical intervention up to 5 years after surgery
- 500 USD reimbursement if implant removal is desired up to 5 years after surgery
JOY blog post: https://www.theaesthetics.at/all-in-one-joy-programm/
Conclusion: My personal opinion is to examine every implant, no matter which manufacturer, every 2-3 years by ultrasound or MRI and change it after 15 years due to its durability.
Are you unsure whether you should change your implant? Then it is best to come by with a current ultrasound image and we can look at it together.