How Long Will My Saline Breast Implants Last?

Q:  Dr. Eppley, I have saline breast implants placed under the muscle now 11 years ago. I have been very happy with them and have had no problems at all. I was originally told by my plastic surgeon that they will last anywhere from ten to twenty years. Now that I am past the ten year mark, I am wondering if I should just have them replaced now since a deflation could happen anytime now.

A: It is important to realize that breast implants are not life-long devices. They will eventually fail, which means the containment bag will develop a leak. With saline this means the fluid is coming out and the implant will deflate with an external flattening of the involved breast. How long saline breast implants will last and when they will deflate can not be accurately determined. While your breast implants are living on borrowed time, I see no reason to preemptively just replace them. You might as well get the value out of them for as long as you can. While this will someday result in a breast implant ‘emergency’, it can be replaced within a matter of days with no significant recovery. (unlike the first time)  

Dr.  Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana