Is it necessary to change breast implants?

It used to be considered the norm to replace breast implants after about 10 years. But what about today? Do you still have to change breast implants at all? And what is the latest news on breast augmentation? We talked about this in the PODCAST interview with a proven expert, Professor Thilo Schenck is Medical Director of the Women’s Clinic Dr. Geisenhofer as well as Chief Physician of the Department of Breast Surgery, Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery.

One thing right away: today, there is usually a lifetime guarantee on the durability of modern, high-quality implants. Are there nevertheless reasons why a breast implant needs to be changed?

Breast augmentations are still booming and are one of the most performed surgeries within plastic surgery. The reasons for this are so varied that a detailed consultation is particularly important. The question always comes up: Is it necessary to change breast implants?

“For us, all around the subject of breasts, it is not just about breast augmentation or reduction, but always also about breast shaping. What is the overall harmony of the breast, what is the skin texture. Breast shaping is much more individualized today than it was a few years ago,” says Professor Schenck.

When do you need to change breast implants?

Most of the time, there are medical reasons why you need to change breast implants, for example, because of capsular fibrosis, a painful hardening of the breast tissue. And then the decision to change implants should be prepared as thoroughly as the first operation. This includes, above all, the selection of the suitable doctor, the extensive consultation as well as the necessary preliminary examinations and finally the decision for a specific implant.

“With young patients, I always point out that the breast will change, for example, after pregnancy and also during life. Therefore, sometimes it is advisable to perform the procedure only after pregnancy and breastfeeding,” says the plastic surgeon.

Durability of implants

There is no shelf life or expiration date for breast implants. Whether a breast implant needs to be changed always depends on what the body does with it. “Sometimes it is an optical desire when patients want to change their implant. But medical reasons are still mainly capsular fibrosis. Especially in social media, the term ‘Brest Implant Illness’ appears. What is meant by this is that those affected feel worn out and ill. However, the scientific data on this is very thin. And the complaints can have completely different causes,” emphasizes Professor Schenck.

Risks and costs

If a change of the breast implant is necessary or desired then the procedure is performed under general anesthesia, as with breast augmentation. The surgery itself is more complex, as the capsule must also be removed very carefully. To the Risks include wound healing as well as sensory disturbances and pain, in addition to the usual surgical risks. A special bandage is applied on the day of surgery. “Afterwards, a compression bra must be worn for six weeks. Sports and sauna are not allowed, and for the first week the patient must sleep only on her back.” And the Cost? “Including hospital stay and aftercare, the costs for a breast augmentationunh are between 6000 and 7000 euros and for an implant change between 6,500 and 8,000 euros.”