What’s the current breast exchange rate?


Is there a return policy?

When patients choose breast implant surgery they must understand there is no lifetime guarantee on the purchase. Unlike true love and cast iron skillets, breast implants are not designed to last forever. Think of breast implant surgery like a journey or a hike; the terrain changes as you go and you might not be climbing the same mountain for long.

The shelf life on your… shelf

Generally the lifespan of breast implants averages around 20 years. Your actual number will vary based on your health and how you take care of yourself and your implants. The type and brand of implant as well as the type of procedure you had done also have some influence.

Reasons to trade up, swap out or scale down

You may need to change your implants if you experience any of the following complications or situations:

  • Capsular contracture/breast hardening - when the tissue immediately surrounding the implant hardens, causing tightness, pain, tenderness or changes in shape and size.
  • Saline implant rupture - although uncommon, this deflation happens quickly, like a balloon. Saline leaks from the implant and is harmlessly absorbed by the body while the breast loses its shape and size rapidly.
  • Silicone implant rupture - when this happens, the silicone remains inside the implant because it’s thicker than saline. You may notice an uneven appearance, reduced size or feel tingling, swelling, bruising or numbness.
  • Rippling - implants develop creases or ripples, which eventually may be felt or even seen externally.
  • Position changes - as you age, the literal gravity of your situation will eventually set in over time and those perky implants will head south. Changing them for a new size - or just getting a breast lift - can help you defy gravity a little longer.
  • Your prerogative - do you really need a reason to change your mind? Maybe your perspective has shifted since your initial surgery and you want a different size. Maybe you’ve had your fun with the big girls and are now ready to downsize. No judgment here!

Capsular contracture

Also known as breast hardening, this condition can occur in any circumstance, even after the most skilled surgeon has taken every precaution and you have followed aftercare instructions to the letter. Any time a foreign object enters our bodies, our system’s natural defense is to isolate the object by surrounding it with scar tissue.

Occasionally this scar tissue barrier becomes unusually thick or hard and starts to squeeze the implant. It’s been reported that one in every six patients will experience capsular contracture on some level, but not necessarily to the extent where it’s a problem.

Rupture or rippling

The likelihood of your implants rupturing is low, especially in the first years of the implant. The risk of rupture increases by one percent every year. Chances of your silicone implant rupturing are between 2-12%, according to this post by healthline.com. The chances of saline implants rupturing is even lower. Studies have shown that unless your implant was manufactured incorrectly, it would take a tremendous amount of force to pop your balloons.

Rippling is a condition that occurs more frequently in saline implants due to the nature of their filling. When saline implants are inserted, they are empty. Your surgeon will then fill them to the appropriate size once they are in your body. Overfilling or underfilling can result in rippling.

Silicone implants have less of a tendency to ripple than saline. The most sturdy implant, the “gummy bear,” is made of a more cohesive silicone that’s cross-linked and therefore more stable than regular silicone. This third type of implant has the lowest risk of rippling.

Position changes

As of this blog’s publication, there is no surgery capable of completely halting or endlessly reversing gravity. Anything you’ve had sewn up will eventually come down. Solutions - that will buy you more time in suspended animation - include getting a breast lift, changing your current implants for new ones or removing them altogether.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you follow your aftercare instructions, wear supportive garments and make healthy choices regarding diet and skincare. For tips on how to best maintain your results after any surgery, read this.

Your prerogative

One factor in your healthcare journey that has little historical evidence and even less predictability is your opinion. Does your perspective need validation? That’s an answer only you can provide.

Hopefully you took an appropriate amount of time to research the style, brand and size of implant that would best suit you. Then you spent countless hours finding the perfect surgeon, had the procedure and are the proud owner of two new developments. Over time, you’ve discovered they’re not what you want. They’re too big, they’re too small, they’re too… something. And it’s completely within your control to change them. It is your body, after all.

The last stitch

While reports show only one in five women will change their implants in the first ten years after their initial surgery, a majority of patients do exchange their implants once or twice in their lives. Some patients choose to keep their implants for a lifetime with constant vigilance for symptoms of rupture. Whichever path you choose for your mountain hike, walk it well-informed and with good health.


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