Breast Implant Revision After 22 Years? (photo)

My breast implants are 22 years old. (silicon) under muscle. I have notice in the past 6 months that my left breast is smaller and slight rippling. I am not having any pain, and they are still soft. My question is do you think I should have them replaced now, when I am still in my 40's(46), or just keep them as is. . I was wondering if you any suggestions, or know of any specialist in breast revision in Orange County, Ca area Thank you.

Doctor Answers 14

Sudden Changes in Old Breast Implants


Thank you for sharing your photo along with your post.

It seems that the integrity of the outer shell of your implants is questioned at this point given the fact that the changes you have described are sudden.

At this point, it is not possible to provide you with a definitive solution without a physical consultation.

I would be happy to have you for a consultation as my office is located in Newport Beach, Orange County - California.

That being said, please remember that commendable results require an exceptionally skilled surgeon to perform the surgery and settling for anything less than that increases the chances of additional corrective surgeries dramatically.
I hope this helps and please feel free to check the website below.

Thank you for your inquiry.
The best of luck to you.

Dr. Sajjadian

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

Revision breast implants

In general, I do not recommend routine changing of implants if you are happy with the result and they have been trouble free, which mostly seems to be your situation.  If one implant seems smaller and rippled, there could be a leakage from the implant. also, during the time you had your surgery, double lumen implants were popular which had a separate outer shell with saline surrounding the inner silicone implant.  Younshould find out if this was your situation.  If so, the outer lumen may have lost its saline, which would explain both the smaller size and the rippling.  good luck!

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Do gel implants need to be replaced after 22 yrs?

22 yrs ago the construction of gel implants changed from egg white consistency gel to low bleed less liquid type gel.  If you got the newer type you don't need to change them just because of age. It may be that you've developed a little capsular contracture in your right breast which balls it up and makes it look a little bigger even tho it isn't. Is the right a little firmer? If so you need a revision and replacement just to fix that. An open capsulotomy with remove and replace to saline implants is roughly $4741 Dr Foster 

Lawrence Foster, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

22 year old implants

I would recommend replacing the implants after 22 yrs, even if there wasn't any outward changes.  The integrity of the implant shell degrades with time and the silicone in old implants is more liquid than what is used now.  If your implant is not ruptured now, there is almost a 100% chance that mammograms or trauma will cause a rupture and silicone leak.


Leonard Harris, MD
Burlington Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Breast Implant Revision After 22 Years?

Obtain a mammogram ASAP. Than find a boarded PSs in Orange County, CA to remove, exchange also to the UHP implants.  

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Implant issues

If your implants or results bother you( i.e rippling) then it might be a good idea to be evaluated.  There are plenty of excellent surgeons in Orange County.  Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Change in breast implant after 22 years

If a patient notices a change in the behavior of a breast with an implant quite a few years after surgery, there is a very good chance that there is a disruption of the shell of the implant.  This is not an emergency, but I think it is prudent to act within a reasonable length of time.  If the difference between the breasts bothers you, I would proceed to implant replacement.  If the difference is not a major issue an MRI will help the decision process.  The problem with MRIs is that they are very expensive.  You might be well advised to seek out a self pay MRI facility, so that you are not surprised by a ridiculous bill.  If the MRI shows evidence of disruption, replace both implants.

John Q. Cook, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Breast Implant Revision


Sudden changes to the appearance of your breast implants after a very long period indicates that something has changed, and possibly that might mean the implant has ruptured.  This is not a medical emergency, nor is it harmful to your health.  Despite this, the FDA wants all women to have an MRI, calling it the 'gold standard'.  It should really be called the the 'tin standard', as it is woefully unreliable in diagnosing rupture (with all due respect to Dr. Daniels). Too frequently it diagnoses a rupture when there isn't any at all.  This is known as a false positive result, and it is the cause for the specificity of this test to be around 50%.  A test that has low specificity leads to unnecessary surgeries.

However, since you are experiencing a cosmetic change to your breast's appearance, and your implants are relatively old, it's safe to say your implant ruptured.  Although your breasts are soft now, there might be a chance that they harden, especially the one that has changed appearance.  There is no need for an expensive MRI if you are going to have surgery anyway.

You should consult with a skilled cosmetic breast specialist to discuss these complex issues.  You can go to to find one near you.

Best of luck!


Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Silicone breast implants over 22 years

I think it's reasonable to consider implant exchange if the original silicone implants have been over 22 years. Clinically it's quite difficult to tell if your implant has any rupture. You can consider getting a MRI which is quite good at pick up implant rupture. The newer silicone gel implants have a more durable shell and have more sizes and shapes to choose from.

Best Wishes,

Stewart Wang, MD FACS, Wang Plastic Surgery 

Stewart Wang, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

You may have silicone leak left breast

Your left breast is higher and nipple seems falling off the implant. It is hard to say that you have leaked implant without examination and MRI,but based on your history of changes in your left side and picture, It need to be evaluated by your surgeon. I would not recommend MRI if you plant to remove them. If you are not ready for implant exchange and want to find out if they are leaked and make your decision based on the result of MRI, then get one.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 122 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.