The longevity of breast implants is highly unpredictable. Some implants will last a lifetime, while others will require replacement in as little as five years. The average lifetime of breast implants is somewhere between ten and twenty years. So, it is conceivable they could last a lifetime, but it is unlikely.
Saline Implant Deflation – If your saline implant ruptures, you or your physician should be able to tell within a few hours or days. It will deflate and the saline solution will be naturally absorbed by your body. During this process, your breast will revert to its original size and shape.
Silicone Implant Rupture – If your silicone implant ruptures, it will be harder to detect. Because silicone is so cohesive (the consistency of Jell-O), the leakage is more likely to be minimal. It can take several weeks to months before you experience symptoms. For this reason, The FDA has recommended that an MRI be performed three years after the initial surgery, and then every two years thereafter to screen for leaks.
MTF breast augmentation is the most common procedure used in MTF medical transition and the vast majority of our patients are pleased with their results. It’s important to be well versed in the potential risks associated with your procedure, including the possibility of implant leakage or rupture.
Recent advancements in the science of breast implants have made them safer and more durable than ever, and it’s still possible that you will have to replace or remove your implants eventually due to leakage or deflation. Saline implants have a failure rate of 2 % per year, while silicone implants have a lower failure rate of 1/2 % per year.
There are few safety measures you can take to reduce your risk of implant rupture. Avoiding certain activities may reduce some of your risk.
Prior to surgery – Make sure that you have a thorough understanding of your surgeon’s surgical plan. Certain surgical techniques such as the trans-umbilical approach (going through the navel), or overfilling or under filling your implant may increase your risk of rupture. Some plastic surgeons also believe that sub-muscular placement (behind the chest muscle) offers additional protection for your implants.
Following surgery – The best way to protect your implants is to avoid high-contact sports or other activities that may result in physical trauma to your chest. It’s also recommended that you have an MRI every two to three years if you have silicone implants to screen for possible leaks.
If you experience a rupture or leak in the months or years following surgery, you will need revision surgery to correct the problem. The details of surgery will likely mimic that of your original procedure. Anesthesia will be required, and your surgeon will make an incision (typically in the same place as your original surgery) to remove and replace your faulty implant.
Your recovery will also be similar to that of your original procedure. You will need up to a week of rest and recuperation before resuming work and other routines. Your surgeon will be able to provide you with additional details during your consultation.