Do Breast Implants Last Forever?

Breast implants are a fairly popular and common surgery. Women receive breast implants after a doctor provides a breast exam to have their breasts appear larger and fuller for both cosmetic and medical reasons, according to WebMD. While it's difficult to estimate the number of women who have received breast implants in the United States, one estimate from FiveThirtyEight conservatively puts the number at 4%. The most popular size is between a small and large C cup (per William Bruno, MD).

Despite breast implants often being seen as a simple cosmetic procedure that lasts forever, they are technically considered prosthetic medical devices by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Many medical devices do not last indefinitely, and breast implants are no different. While breast implants can last a long time — potentially decades — they don't last forever and may eventually need to be replaced if the patient wants to maintain their appearance.

Breast implants can last 10-20 years, depending on various factors

Simply put, breast implants do not last forever. While they can last decades if the woman lives a healthy lifestyle and takes proper care of their implants, the average lifespan of breast implants is 10-20 years, according to MedicineNet. A breast implant may be replaced for many reasons, including hardening of scar tissue from the surgery, the rupturing of the saline implant, a tearing of silicone implants, or a change in position of the breast implant, explains Healthline.

Thankfully, there are things you can do to increase the lifespan of your breast implants. The best thing you can do is follow all postoperative instructions for a full recovery. The doctor will provide these instructions, but they can include wearing a surgical bra, not lifting heavy objects for a number of weeks, and getting adequate rest (via MedicineNet). After recovering, it's important to have regular follow-ups that include mammograms or MRIs to check for any ruptures of movement of the breast implant (via Healthline).