Breast augmentation remains one of the most popular forms of cosmetic surgery today because it adds beautiful fullness and symmetry to the figure. Many women want to have this procedure done but are wondering how long the results may last. At REAL Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery in Moonee Ponds, Victoria, skilled plastic surgeon Mr. Stephen Salerno is able to achieve consistently long-lasting results with breast enhancement surgery.
What Outcome To Expect with Breast Implants
Compared to many other cosmetic procedures, the results achieved with breast enhancement surgery are typically very long lasting. This is to say that breast implants are extremely durable devices that may not require replacement for many years. However, breast implants are not considered “lifetime devices.” It is likely that they could require replacement at some point.
Today’s silicone and saline implants are designed to last up to 20 years, however some women do choose to have another surgery even though their implants are still fine. They may wish to adjust the size or switch to a different type of implant. Perhaps their breasts are starting to sag and they would like to have a lifting procedure, and decide to put in new implants at the same time.
Implant Durability and Lifespan
Both saline and silicone implants are designed with a thick, pliable exterior shell that is extremely resistant to normal wear. People with implants do not have to worry about engaging in vigorous exercise, participating in sports, going for mammograms, or playing with their children. Once the chest is fully healed after surgery, there could be no harm done by light impact or pressure.
Patients may want to still keep in mind, though, that implants are not indestructible. If a person receives a sudden and violent impact to the chest, this could result in a rupture. The older your implants are, the more vulnerable they may be to potential damage. This is why some women decide to replace older implants as a pre-emptive measure, to avoid the possibility of a rupture later on.
Natural Aging of the Breasts
While breast augmentation could create the full, symmetrical bust line that every woman would like to have, even the most successful procedure may not keep the breasts from aging over time. Genetics and lifestyle both play a big part in how long a patient is able to maintain their results. Patients who had their first augmentation at a very young age are also more likely to require additional procedures over the course of a lifetime.
With diet and exercise, many patients find that their breasts still look great after ten years or even longer. Wearing supportive undergarments (especially a good sports bra when being active) can significantly extend these results.
Saline vs Silicone
In terms of long-term durability, there is no difference between saline and silicone implants. A rupture in a saline implant may be more obvious, because it could deflate almost immediately, but this does not mean that they are more likely to rupture. Both implant types could hold their shape equally well over time. Remember that it is the skin and breast tissue that may eventually sag and change shape, not the implant itself.
What The Manufacturers Say
All breast implants come with a manufacturer’s warranty that is typically good for 10 years. This does not mean that your implants are only expected to last 10 years! This is simply a guarantee against defects in the device, and a promise to patients that their implants could be replaced free of charge of there is any kind of implant deficiency that presents itself within this 10-year timeframe.
If you have reached the 10-year mark and are still happy with how your breasts look, there is no requirement to replace your implants. If a patient has any concerns about the condition of older implants, they may want to schedule a visit with a plastic surgeon for an examination.
Extending Breast Augmentation Results For as Long as Possible
Patients of course want to keep their breasts looking beautiful for as long as possible following surgery. They also want to avoid having another procedure done any sooner than absolutely required. Let’s look at some basic steps that any woman can take to maintain her new bust line for many years post-surgery.
Avoid Weight Fluctuations
Avoiding extreme weight gain and weight loss is important, since this can cause the skin to lose elasticity and the breasts to lose their shape much sooner than they would otherwise. Maintaining a nutritious, balanced diet can help to mitigate the tendency for yo-yo dieting, and is also a great way to keep the skin healthy and supple.
You might be wondering how cigarettes could have any impact on your breasts, but the reality is that smoking can reduce the flow of blood and oxygen to the skin, in turn damaging fragile collagen and elastin. This could of course affect the skin all over your body, including your face and breasts.
Minimize Direct Sun Exposure
We know that the sun causes free radical damage to the skin and breaks down collagen. A woman’s décolletage, which is often partially exposed, can receive as much UV damage as the face. There is a simple solution to this problem, which is using a broad-spectrum sunscreen on the chest. People often apply sun protection to their face but forget to bring the product down across their neck and the top of their breasts.
Mind Your Drinking Habits
Consuming more water and less alcohol is not only a fail-proof way to keep one’s weight in check – it is also a great lifelong habit for maintaining healthy skin. Alcohol harms the skin on several levels, mainly through dehydration but also due to the free-radical damage it can initiate. Whether you are having a breast augmentation or any other type of cosmetic procedure, your results could last much longer if your skin is in good shape.
Choose Undergarments with Care
Whether you are wearing a bra to go out, to exercise, or even just to lounge around the house, it is adviseable for it to be a good quality undergarment that provides excellent support. Of course, the bra you wear when engaging in physical activity is particularly important, but the breasts benefit from having good support at all times, not just when you’re out for a jog! Having a professional bra fitting and investing a bit extra in high quality garments is worth it.
When It’s Time To Have Implants Replaced
While a good breast augmentation performed by a reputable plastic surgeon could look very good for many years, women with implants may decide to have them replaced eventually. Revision surgery may not be as involved as the initial augmentation, and most patients find that they recover quite quickly. Below we will review some situations where a woman may be advised to consider revision surgery.
A Change in One or Both Implants
If you notice that an implant looks or feels different, this could be caused by hardening or a rupture. While complications of this nature are not common, it is important to contact a plastic surgeon right away for advice on your next steps.
Natural Aging of the Breasts
You were thrilled with how your implants looked 15 years ago, but time has taken its toll. If you are no longer happy with how they look, a breast lift and a new set of implants can turn back the clock.
Going a Size Up or Down
A woman’s goals for physical beauty can change over time. Perhaps you were happy with the size of your implants when you were 22, but they are no longer exactly what you want. Making a change of this nature is commonly requested and can be discussed at your consultation.
Switching Implant Types
There are newer implants on the market now that were perhaps not available when you had your original surgery. Likewise, you may want to switch from saline to silicone, or from round implants to teardrop-shaped ones. Your surgeon can discuss with you what your goals are and advise you as to any newer implant options that you might not be aware of.
Finding the Best Plastic Surgeon in Victoria and Melbourne
If you are thinking about having a breast augmentation, or are considering new implants to freshen up your look, contact us today at REAL Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery in Moonee Ponds, Victoria. Our renowned plastic and cosmetic surgeon, Mr. Stephen Salerno, could help you to achieve the appearance you are hoping for.