Many women who come to us for breast augmentation ask if their breast implants will last forever. Breast implants are not immortal devices, and it is likely that you will have to replace them at least once.
Breast implants are very durable and resilient, however, there’s no way of avoiding the wear and tear that happens over time. Regardless of the brand, type, and size of your breast implants, they will likely survive for between 10-20 years before you need to replace them.
The good news is that most breast implant manufacturers offer very generous warranty programs to put your mind to ease. These warranties include free implant replacement and financial aid that sometimes extend for life. This helps you feel safe and protected long after your surgery.
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What do breast implant warranties usually cover?
All breast implant manufacturers provide comprehensive warranties that cover major events related to breast implants. In general, these include:
All breast implants are prone to rupture after 10-20 years have passed on your breast augmentation surgery. An implant rupture is when the implant’s shell (outer casing) breaks and the implant material leaks into the surrounding breast tissue. Symptoms usually include;
- A change in breast size
- Breast asymmetry
- Or, deformation.
Almost all major breast implant manufacturers provide a lifetime replacement policy. This is normally free of charge in cases of implant rupture. Moreover, some provide a certain amount of financial coverage to help with the fees of surgery.
After breast enhancement surgery, your body forms a capsule of tissue around the implant as part of the normal healing process. As time passes, this capsule tightens and may occasionally cause a change in your breast size or feel.
Plastic surgeons use the Baker grading system to classify the severity of capsular contracture.
- Grade I is when your breast looks and feels normal
- Grade II is when it feels firmer but looks normal
- Whilst, Grade III is when the breast feels firmer than normal and looks a little abnormal
- And, Grade IV is when the breast is hard, painful, and looks noticeably deformed.
Implant manufacturers usually cover capsular contracture for the first 10 years after surgery.
Seroma is a fluid collection that develops around your implant. This usually happens right after surgery and goes away spontaneously. However, if it happens after some time has passed, some manufacturers might offer replacement implants. Some may even offer financial coverage to rule out Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).
This is a type of immune cell cancer. Mainly found to be associated with textured breast implants. Several implicated and non-implicated brands offer free replacement implants as well as financial support for those suspected to have BIA-ALCL.
Depending on your implant brand, the manufacturer might also cover complications such as double capsule formation, breast implant rotation or displacement.
What things are not covered by your breast implant warranty?
It is important to know that breast implant manufacturers only cover the complications listed above. Breast implant warranty usually does not cover:
- Patient dissatisfaction with their implant size or shape
- Wrinkling or rippling of the implants
- Damage sustained during revision surgery or any other surgical intervention
- Any complications other than the ones specified by the producer
- Implants implanted by non-certified or non-accredited plastic surgeons
It is important that you fully read and understand the warranty agreement for the implants you’re getting. Make sure you discuss this in detail with your surgeon, as it plays an important role in choosing the right breast implant for you.
How to file a claim?
If you’ve developed any concerning symptoms, (for example; loss of breast volume, asymmetry, deformity, fluid leakage, pain, or redness) you should organise a consultation with your plastic surgeon. If they suspect that you might have an implant rupture, contracture, or any other complication that’s covered by the product replacement policy of your respective implant brand, they will fill in the necessary paperwork to request replacement implants.
Implant producers also usually require documentation of the complications, such as; radiologic imaging results, as well as the defective implant once it has been removed.
How do I know if my breast implants need replacing?
Below are some symptoms that may indicate that your implants have lost their integrity and need replacing:
- Change in size of one or both breasts
- Change in breast symmetry (one breast looks noticeably different from the other)
- Breast swelling and fluid leakage
- Breast deformity
These symptoms can signify capsular contracture, implant rupture, or other breast implant-related complications. It’s very important that you visit your plastic surgeon as soon as possible if you develop any of these symptoms to make sure that everything is okay.
Do I need to replace my breast implants after 10 years?
Many of our patients ask us how often they need to change their breast implants. Breast implants usually require replacement after 10 or so years. That being said, many patients have them for longer without any real problems. If you are satisfied with how your breasts look there’s no real reason to change your breast implants strictly at the 10-year mark.
Breast Implant Warranty By Brand
Other less common types include; Sebbin, PIP or even original Dow Corning implants
Motiva Implants® warranty and product replacement policy:
What implant types are covered?
All Motiva Implants® are covered by one or more warranty programs. In addition to the standard warranties, Motiva offers a paid warranty that provides additional coverage to patients who wish to extend their warranty period.
What does the standard Motiva warranty include?
- In case of a confirmed implant rupture: The Always Confident Warranty® by Motiva provides patients with a lifetime free-of-charge replacement for ruptured implants.
- In case of capsular contracture (Baker grades III and IV): Motiva offers a Product Replacement policy if you develop capsular contracture (Baker grades III and IV) within the first 10 years following breast enhancement surgery.
- As well as The Always Confident Warranty® and Product Replacement Policy, patients with Motiva Implants® with Q Inside® Safety Technology, are also offered the First Year Free Coverage Program. This program provides these patients with replacement implants and up to $2,500 USD ($3370 AUD) in financial coverage.
- To enrol, patients must register their Motiva Implants® via the Motiva website (https://register.motivaimagine.com/) or MotivaImagine® App within 90 days following surgical implantation to be eligible for this program.
What are the extended (paid) Motiva® warranties?
In addition to the standard Motiva warranty programs mentioned above Motiva offers a paid warranty program for those patients who want the ultimate peace of mind:
- The 5Y Extended Warranty Program costs $200 USD ($270 AUD) and only applies to Motiva Implants® with Q Inside® technology. Those with eligible implants are receiving up to $2,500 USD ($3370 AUD) in financial assistance in case of rupture or capsular contracture within 60 months of surgery.
If your surgeon recommends that the remaining non-ruptured implant (Contralateral side) also needs to be replaced, Motiva will provide a second free replacement implant. Motiva requires that you register your implants via the Motiva website (https://register.motivaimagine.com/) or on the MotivaImagine® App within 90 days following surgical implantation to be eligible for the extended warranty program.
MENTOR® breast implants warranty
Mentor is a leading brand of breast implants and it provides one of the best warranty programs in the market.
What implant types are covered?
All MENTOR® MemoryGel® breast implants, Contour Profile Gel (CPG™) breast implants, and MENTOR® saline breast implants implanted in Australia on or after 1st March 2016.
What does the MENTOR® warranty include?
MENTOR® offers both a free replacement policy and financial coverage to patients for many years after surgery:
- In case of a confirmed rupture: Mentor offers a replacement implant with the same size and style as the original one free-of-charge, for your lifetime. Moreover, the company offers up to $1500 of financial assistance to cover the replacement surgery costs if your implants rupture during the first 10 years.
- In case of capsular contracture, double capsule, or late-forming seroma: If one of these complications occurs during the first 10 years after surgery, Mentor will gladly provide replacement implants, as well as up to $1500 in financial support.
Moreover, if your surgeon finds that your second implant also needs replacement, Mentor will provide a free replacement upon their request, free of charge, even if it hasn’t ruptured. In order to enrol in the warranty program, you need to register your implants online on this link within 60 days of surgery.
Allergan Natrelle® breast implants
Allergan has been producing Natrelle® breast implants for years. However, their textured BIOCELL® implants have been recently found to be associated with a certain type of cancer called Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). Thankfully, Natrelle offers free replacement for BIOCELL implants and a comprehensive warranty program for all other implants.
What does the BIOCELL® Replacement Warranty include?
If you have textured BIOCELL® then you need to be aware of the risk of BIA-ALCL. You can read our full article here.
In short, BIA-ALCL is cancer that develops from immune cells. It has been associated specifically with textured implants, especially those by Allergan (Natrelle®). This has lead to a worldwide product recall of all non-used Allergan BIOCELL® implants in 2019.
To follow up on their commitment to patient safety, Allergan has announced a BIOCELL® Replacement Warranty. This provides women who have these implants with new non-textured (smooth) implants free of charge. Even if they don’t have any problems with their implants and they don’t have any symptoms of BIA-ALCL. The company has made this option available to all its customers until July 24, 2021.
It is very important to know, however, that most health authorities (including the Australian TGA) do not recommend that you remove your textured implants if you don’t have any symptoms. You can learn more about the TGA recommendations here.
What does the Allergan Natrelle® for all other implants include?
Natrelle offers a valuable warranty package on all of its breast implants, and it’s called the Natrelle® ConfidencePlus™ Warranty Program:
- In case of implant rupture: Natrelle offers a lifetime warranty to cover any implants’ rupture.
- This means that if your implant ruptures, the company will provide free replacement implants.
- In addition, they also offer up to $3500 USD ($4717 AUD) in financial assistance.
- Although the replacement policy is for life, the monetary coverage is for the first 10 years after surgery.
- In case of capsular contracture or late seroma formation: In the event where you develop either of these complications within the first 10 years after your boob job, Natrelle promises to provide a complimentary replacement of your affected implant. Moreover, Natrelle would contribute $1000 USD ($1350 AUD) to diagnostic testing of late seromas to rule out BIA-ALCL.
- In the case of BIA-ALCL: If you receive a BIA-ALCL diagnosis, Natrelle promise to provide free replacement implants and up to $7500 USD ($10,110 AUD) in financial aid. This coverage extends for life.
The warranty activates automatically. There’s no need to register your implants online in order to benefit from coverage. Like Motiva and Mentor, Natrelle also offers free replacement of the contralateral (opposite side) implant if your plastic surgeon recommends it as well.
Eurosilicone ® and Nagor ® implants
The manufacture of these implant brands is GC Aesthetics ®, providing one of the top warranty programs for breast implants.
What implant types are covered?
All Eurosilicone and Nagor mammary implants are eligible for cover.
What does the Eurosilicone and Nagor implants warranty include?
GC Aesthetics provides a lifetime replacement policy as well as financial aid in certain situations:
- In case of rupture or capsular contracture: GC Aesthetics provides lifetime free-of-charge replacement implants in case of any proven rupture or severe capsular contracture (Grades III and IV).
- The replacement implants can be of any model, style, or size requested by the patient.
- In case of BIA-ALCL diagnosis: For all Nagor and Eurosilicone implant surgery after January 01, 2009, GC Aesthetics provides lifetime free replacement implants in case of a BIA-ALCL diagnosis.
- Moreover, up to $3,000 USD ($4043 AUD) is provided to cover the cost of diagnostic medical scans and removal surgery.
- The replacement implants can also be of any model, style, or size requested by the patient.
GC Aesthetics also promises to provide a replacement contralateral implant if your surgeon recommends it.
Sebbin is a French brand that produces silicone-filled breast implants. They offer a free replacement policy on all their implants for the first 10 years after surgery in case of rupture or capsular contracture. There’s no need to register anywhere in order for the warranty to take effect.
Silimed is a Brazilian company that designs different types of silicone-filled breast implants. The company offers a lifetime replacement policy in case of ruptured implants. In case of capsular contracture, rotation, or implant displacement (downward or sideways) within the first 10 years after surgery, the company also promises to provide replacement implants free of charge.
Further Reading – Reference Sources
- Mentor is a business unit of Johnson & Johnson Medical – Mentor Warranty Brochure
- Motiva Implants Warranty and Replacement Policy – Terms and Conditions (Motiva Warranties Program 2020)
- Allergan BIOCELL® Replacement Warranty – A Continued Commitment to Patients
- Allergan Natrelle Warranty Sheet – An enhanced Natrelle® ConfidencePlus™ Warranty Program
- Sebbin Warranty – The support you can trust
- Allergan Natrelle Confidence Plus Warranty, Terms and Conditions
- GC Aesthetics Patient Information Leaflet
- GC Aesthetics Comfort Plus Warranty – General Comfort Plus Warranty Information
- Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) on Breast Implant Associate Cancer or BIA ALCL