My implants have been in for 12 years and I am worried about how long they will last for. Can they be removed without scarring?

My implants have been in for 12 years and I am worried about how long they will last for, I have also lost a lot of weight and they look too obvious on me, I am 38 years old and feel that it would be a good time to get them removed. I am also trying to get pregnant and would ideally like them removed so that I can breastfeed, I am worried about recovery time as well so would rather get them done before I have a baby. They were through the nipple, can they be removed without further scarring

Doctor Answers 6

Breast Implant Removal - before or after pregnancy?

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Our current state of knowledge is that Silicone Implants are Safe for Breast Feeding
The incision site, specifically the periareolar incision may cause blocked milk ducts and decrease your ability to breast feed though in my experience most will still be able. Therefore removing your breast implants prior to breast feeding from the same "nipple" (periareolar) incision may in fact decrease your ability to produce milk.  My recommendation is to get an ultrasound, mammogram or MRI and if they are ruptured have them removed before pregnancy (though a crease incision if breast feeding very important), if not leave them until you are finished with breast feeding, then decide what needs to be done.

Remember not all women can breast feed successfully.

Breast implant removal

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After having breast implants in your skin stretches and adapts to that new volume.  When they are removed the skin will still be stretched out and most likely appear saggy and deflated.  I would recommend meeting with your PS and see if it is possible to put in smaller implants.  Many people need some sort of lift with this procedure but your PS will be able to give you more information after an exam.  To address your breast feeding concerns, I have many patients who can still breast feed with implants and removing them will not increase your likliness of being able to. I hope this helps.

Kindest regards,

Neil J. Zemmel

Breast implant removal

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I think you question is you want them removed and not to have anything else done. The answer is you have have them taken out through the same incision. The surgery is relatively straight forward. If the is capsular contracture, then it needs to be removed. The incidence of breast feeding in women who have implants is the same as those who do not  have it. They can be removed without further scarring depending on the case. In general removal of the implants is more straight forward and less painful then putting them in. 

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

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Breast Implant Removal

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Based on your description, you seem to be an excellent candidate for implant revision or removal. Considering your weight loss, you may need to consider a mastopexy (breast lift) as well.

The existence or removal of the breast implants should not impact breast feeding.


A surgeon can commonly utilize the previous incision to remove the implants. Therefore, you should be able to avoid additional scarring.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Breast implants

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Yes, as you become thinner, the implants may be more noticeable.  They should not specifically impact breast feeding whether they are in or out.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast Implant Removal Concerns?

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Thank you for the question.

You will be best served by in person consultation with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons. Your situation is complicated;  for example, given that you have lost a significant amount of weight, breast lifting may be necessary if your breasts have “sagged".

You mention your concern about breast  feeding; removal of your breast implants do not necessarily increase the chances that you will be able to breast-feed successfully.

If you do decide to have your breast implants removed,  the procedure can be done through the previous incision. No additional scarring will be necessary.

I hope this helps.

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.