When is it time to replace my breast implants?

Breast implants are a common medical device used to augment the appearance of breasts with over 190,000 surgeries performed annually by plastic surgeons. In this article we will discuss factors that contribute to a woman’s decision to replace her breast implants, why implants may need replacing, and more about the procedure.

How do you know when your breast implants need replacing?

In general, if you experience a sudden change in breast volume, develop asymmetry or are generally unhappy with the size or appearance of your breasts, it may be time to have your implants replaced. Breast implant replacement occurs for a variety of medical or cosmetic reasons. Ultimately, each woman’s particular physical presentation, goals, and preferences are unique, so truly, no two cases are the same.

How often should breast implants be replaced?

There is not a specific timetable for breast implant replacement. In general, each woman can evaluate her specific situation in partnership with her plastic surgeon. If the cosmetic result is still satisfactory, and there are no issues, implants can remain. There are, however, common reasons for breast implant removal and replacement we will discuss below.

Do you have to replace breast implants every 10 years?

It is not absolute that a woman should replace her breast implants every 10 years, however it is important to note that most manufacturers give only a 10-year warranty on the implant. Realizing that implants are generally not lifetime devices, it makes sense to schedule a visit with a trusted plastic surgeon when implant age is approaching 10 years. While you may not need to replace implants if they are functioning properly and if you are still satisfied with your cosmetic results, a plastic surgeon can do a thorough evaluation and discuss any options to improve the look or feel of your breasts when you are ready.

Common reasons for breast implant removal and replacement

There are a few reasons why a woman may decide to have her breast implants replaced, as follows:

Implant Rupture

If an implant ruptures, the outer shell is no longer intact, and implant replacement is necessary.

Implant Rippling

In some cases, implants may develop visible rippling, and depending on the severity, a woman may choose to replace her implants to a different size or style.


Physical changes over time may cause the breasts to develop an asymmetrical appearance, even after implant placement. If a woman is self-conscious about this, or desires more symmetry, she may decide to replace her implants to restore her appearance.

Capsular Contracture

When capsular contracture occurs, the capsule may tighten and squeeze the implant creating a deformity in severe cases. Should this rare finding occur, a woman may decide to proceed with implant replacement so the surgeon can also address the contracted capsule and create a more natural contour.


A patient may no longer like the appearance of her implants and choose to either change the size or type of implant. Weight changes, pregnancy, and the natural progression of the aging body can all alter the appearance of the breasts and prompt a woman to seek implant replacement.

What is breast implant replacement cost?

The cost of breast implant replacement is dependent on many factors that are specific to each individual case. In fact, different implants themselves may have different costs, but also accompanying procedure also vary between patients. Some patients may need a breast lift or other procedures when changing implants, so the only way to estimate cost is to consult with your plastic surgeon regarding your specific case.

How is breast implant replacement surgery performed?

In most cases, breast implant replacement surgery is generally like the initial surgery. The surgeon often uses the same pocket for the implant unless there is a reason to make a change. Another factor to consider is that scarring may be present in the area from the initial surgery, and especially in cases of capsular contracture, the scarring may make the replacement surgery more complex. Also, if a woman needs an accompanying breast lift after replacement, the surgery may involve more time, cost, and surgical expertise.

What if you decide to have breast implants removed and not replaced?

Some women will decide to have their breast implant removed and not replaced. In this case, breast size and shape may change, and many factors will contribute to the result. In younger women with more elasticity in the skin, the breasts may return to their previous look, but in cases of very stretched skin due to implant size, pregnancy, or aging, the post-removal breasts may appear droopy or sagging. Depending on the woman’s preference, a plastic surgeon can create a customized plan to restore and rejuvenate the breasts after implant removal and may recommend a breast lift or other procedures for optimal cosmetic results.

Breast Implant Replacement Specialist Scottsdale

Dr. Ashley Howarth is a leading female plastic surgeon in Scottsdale Arizona recognized for her excellence in breast implant replacement. If you are considering having your breast implants replaced for any reason, the first step is to make an appointment at our office.

After a thorough physical examination and detailed discussion of your personal goals, Dr. Howarth will develop a plan of care to restore or rejuvenate your breasts with your specific case in mind. Dr. Ashley Howarth can assist you through the process of breast implant removal or replacement with kindness, compassion, and the expertise necessary to provide superior results for every patient.

Request a Consultation with Dr. Ashley Howarth

Breast Implant Replacement Specialist Scottsdale

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