This is a question that many patients who come to a plastic surgery consultation try to ask themselves. Furthermore, when you ask the patient herself, what do you think about this issue?, most of them think that implants are for life. Fake.
Implant material and fatigue
Most of the implants are made by silicone, all their pieces, the cover and the filling. Implants that have other products in their manufacturing process will also have short-lived products or that will suffer fatigue over the years.
The problem, therefore, is material fatigue, which ends up causing breaking implant. A broken implant must be replaced. This is the important fact.
Surgeons do not know how long an implant will last, but we have an idea. The better their quality, the longer they will last, but this is not always true. A common idea in many patients is that implants will last around 10 years, but there are implants that have broken at 6 years and others that are replaced 25 years after the implantation and they are perfect.
For us, the important thing will not be, therefore, how long they will last, but rather than they must be monitored annually or biannually. This control is very simple with ultrasound. In our offices we perform ultrasound checks every 2 years during the first 5 years after surgery and every year thereafter. With this control we are able to detect early ruptures and therefore prevent patients from carrying broken implants and, what is more, without knowing that they are carrying them, because no pain or any abnormality in the chest is usually noticed.
In the event of an implant rupture, the doctor will always advise replacement in a short period of time, between 3 and 6 months, to avoid silicone leakage through the lymphatics to the axillary nodes.
Unfortunately, some patients come to our clinic with leaks for several years causing large axillary nodes which must be removed at the time of implants replacement.