How Long Can Breast Implants Last After Breast Reconstruction?

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When you have a breast cancer diagnosis, one of the possible treatments is a mastectomy, which involves removing the breast tissue. This can leave women feeling self-conscious about their appearance. Breast reconstruction at Plastic Surgery of Houston can help restore your breasts and give you back a sense of confidence.

While breast reconstruction is incredibly common, many women have concerns about how long their implants will last. Below, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jay Shenaq reviews some of the most common questions women in Houston have about breast implant lifespan.

While implants generally last 10 – 20 years, this timeline varies based on the individual. Learn how our team produces safe and natural results by calling for a breast surgery consultation today.

What are breast implants made from?

Breast implants are typically made from silicone or saline materials. While saline implants are less common, they do have the advantage of being easier to replace down the line. Alternatively, silicone implants feel more like natural breasts and are less likely to ripple or cause cosmetic problems.

How does breast reconstruction work with implants?

During breast reconstruction, Dr. Shenaq uses a tissue expander to slowly create a pocket in the breast area. The process usually begins 2 – 4 weeks after a mastectomy, and it may take a period of 2 – 3 months for the breast skin and muscle to stretch enough to accommodate a full-sized implant.

It does take two small separate procedures to complete breast reconstruction. However, our patients appreciate that this process is less invasive than other breast surgeries and has relatively fast recovery times. Our trained team in Houston can review the process in more detail during a comprehensive consultation.

How long do breast implants last?

Breast implants are not permanent or lifelong devices. These devices have a lifespan of 10 – 20 years, though this varies depending on the individual and their implants. Factors that affect the lifespan of your implants:

  • Implant rupture: Rupture occurs when the implant shell breaks, and the saline or silicone material leaks out. If this happens, the implant should be removed and replaced. Rest assured that breast implant rupture is uncommon and is usually caused by trauma to the chest.

  • Age: Skin becomes thinner and less elastic as we get older. This can lead to the implants sagging down or becoming visible through the skin. Implant removal or replacement may preserve the appearance of the breast tissue.

  • Weight fluctuations: Significant weight gain or loss can cause the breasts to change in size and shape. Women who experience significant fluctuations in weight may need to adjust their implants with our help.

  • Personal preference: Some women choose to have their implants removed or replaced with a smaller or larger implant purely for cosmetic reasons. Patients should discuss their implant replacement options with Dr. Shenaq.

Discover the benefits of breast implants

Breast implants are not permanent devices but can last anywhere from 10 – 20 years. If you are interested in breast surgery and want to know your options regarding reconstruction after mastectomy, meet with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jay Shenaq at Plastic Surgery of Houston. Our team educates patients on all their options and provides natural-looking results. Call to schedule a consultation in Houston.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.