How will my breasts change as I age after a breast reconstructive surgery?

Your doctor will be able to anticipate the long-term effects of this surgery and tell you more about how the breast’s aspect will change over time.

After a mastectomy, using a breast implant is one option for reconstructing the shape of your breast, especially if you have enough healthy skin and tissue to cover and support a breast implant. Depending on the technique deployed during the surgery, you might have different outcomes. Over time, the breasts that have been reconstructed won’t sag like natural breasts. If you want to achieve a balance, you can reduce or lift the other breast through surgery. Your doctor will tell you what your options are in case you’ve had reconstructive surgery only for one breast and you want to preserve a balanced aspect over time.

"There is no hard and fast rule, no set expiration date, no firm 'shelf life' for breast implants - meaning, they can last indefinitely. On the other hand, although they could last a lifetime, it doesn’t mean that your breast implants will last forever", says Dr. Ali A. Qureshi, a plastic surgeon affiliated with Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital.

While implant reconstruction offers an effective way to restore shape to your breast after mastectomy, it’s possible to have trouble with your implants years later due to:

  • Structural damage - Most women will not experience a leak or rupture of a breast implant in the first 10 years following breast reconstruction, however, if this should happen soon after reconstruction or any other time, the good news is that there are a number of options to fix the problem.
  • Discomfort - After radiation treatment, scar tissue can build up and thicken around an implant over time. Too much scar tissue becomes so tight it causes pain.
  • Anatomy changes, loosening skin, and muscle contraction can make an implant shift - Over time, skin and support tissues lose their elasticity and increase asymmetry.

Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.