I'm wondering when you should get new implants without having any issues with them. I had my second surgery for augmentation in 2005 and I think it may be time to get new ones. What is the general rule?
No implant lasts forever. The FDA advises ultrasound or MRI surveillance of silicone implants after 5 years and every 2-3 years afterwards.
If implants are intact and there are no issues, there is no reason to replace them. A few years back I asked a Vice President of Allergan (one of 3 US implant manufacturers) where the myth of replacing implants every 10 years originated. He said although they would love to sell women new implants every ten years, there is no evidence to support that. He guessed that since the FDA required the manufacturers to follow their implants for 10 years, some people misinterpreted that to mean they were only good for 10 years.
Breast implants are not forever, They need follow up and according to the manufacturers and the FDA need a sonogram and or MRI.
A consult with your Plastic surgeon or a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon is needed along with imaging, Then a full discussion if any thing need to be done.
Breast implant patients should never be discharged, a yearly follow up and as needed follow up is needed.
You can keep your implants as long as you are not having any problems with them. Gel implants require MRI of ultrasound surveillance every two years. Saline implants do not require any surveillance. Breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma is very rare and is usually indicated by gradual swelling or enlargement of the breast years after augmentation, and requires prompt investigation.
Breasts still age even with implants. If you are ready for a change then you should have them evaluated for an exchange
Some may recommend replacing every ten years but my personal opinion is that this is not needed if your are not having any problems, you like what you look like and your yearly exams with x rays are negative. Consult a nearby plastic surgeon.
Thanks for this excellent question.
There really is no rule.
If you are happy with the appearance of your breasts and if there is nothing wrong ( no rupture, no capsular contracture) then no need to change the implants.
If you are concerned please consult with a board certified plastic surgeon
the rule most often is 10 years to change. But its not a compulsion. If you notice any change in the breast, whenever it occurs, consult your operating plastic surgeon and seek his advice.