Had implants 43 years now. 2 weeks ago I had the worst pain I ever had on the left side underneath my breast. Is this normal?

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Doctor Answers 7

Had implants 43 years now. 2 weeks ago I had the worst pain I ever had on the left side underneath my breast. Is this normal?

Thank you for your question. Certainly not common to have that amount of pain. It may or may not related to implant. I recommend to see a plastic surgeon for evaluation.

Breast pain in 43-year-old implants

As plastic surgeons, we are doctors first. Severe chest pain on the left side of your chest needs a full medical work up. Women have different symptoms for a heart attack.  You may have other vascular issues. It all also could be a neuritis of your rib. You should see your family physician and have a workup. Pain from the implants would actually be a diagnosis of exclusion. If it is coming from the implants this is most likely due to the scar tissue around the implant pulling on a nerve. With respect to the implants after all that time they are definitely ruptured and the scar tissue is most likely very hard and uncomfortable. You should see a board-certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in breast revision 

Andrew Kaczynski, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Old implants, new pain.

I swear, some of my colleagues would not have graduated medical school if they answered test questions like they answer these without carefully reading first! (Had to get that off my chest.)

Your implants are 43 years old, and though you did not say, presumably asymptomatic--until 2 weeks ago. Then you develop a new pain below your left breast. You do not say if there was any trauma or other inciting event. Except for being in the vicinity of your implant on that side, there is no correlation that you describe. A good physical would involve detailed questioning about activities that could have pulled a muscle, or perhaps damaged an implant, but other than location, there is nothing to suggest that your pain and your implants are related to one another. If you didn't have implants and developed this pain, what would you do?

That's what you should do right now.

However, 43 year-old implants are thin-walled and easily damaged, but leakage and development of capsular contracture would announce itself with hardening of one or both breasts. However, I have seen many women whose CC developed so gradually over years that unless they examine other women's breasts or see what normal breasts look like in a locker room, a woman with significant CC may not be aware of its severity.

Go see an ABPS-certified plastic surgeon for peace of mind (or appropriate comment on your 43 year-old implants), but do not ignore pain of unknown origin if it persists or worsens. You may need to see your regular physician first. You will be asked to answer more than "worst pain I've ever had" and its location. And be wise to look further than old breast implants. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 239 reviews

New onset breast pain

Thanks for your inquiry, and it is not normal to ever have intense breast pain. I am unsure if the pain is related to your implant having issues or something else.  I suggest you visit your primary care doctor first and if needed he/she can refer you to a plastic surgeon--good luck.  

Breast pain after Augmentation

No. Full exam by your internist and plastic surgeon recommended. If your implants are 43 years old and silicone gel from the era, implant integrity is probably lost and those implants need to be removed/replaced, but your pain is not necessarily from that cause.

Jay B. Fine, MD
Pembroke Pines Plastic Surgeon

43 year old implants, now with intense pain

Thank you for your question and I am sorry to hear of your painful breast symptoms.  As this is a new development at the site of your previous surgery I would advocate seeing your plastic surgeon for an in-person evaluation to diagnose the cause of the discomfort.  Once the problem has been determined, the appropriate treatment can be performed.  Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

2 weeks post op, some advices:

Thanks for the question.In my practice, after performing a BA I recommend to my patients to limit the movement of the arms for two weeks. After that, you can move your arms taking care and always with common sense. 
In this regard, it's not advisable to carry heavy weights to prevent the implant out of position, and allow the formation of the physiological capsule around the implant, also to avoid pain and breast swelling. Kind regards,Dr. Emmanuel Mallol.-

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 175 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.