Breast Implant Replacement After Surgeon Retired - What Info Do I Need?

I had implants about 14 years ago. One of them is starting to change shape, and they look less natural than before, and a little harder. The doctor has retired and no one has taken over his practice. I was a small B cup before. My body shape has changed so much over the last 14 years. I also thought that the implants were saline and that they were placed under the muscle. The scars are under my breasts in the crease. But I don't know anything for sure. How can I proceed?

Doctor Answers 21

Further breast implant surgery

It si always helpful to have the prior surgeon's notes if that is possible. Most likely at 14 years they are not available. Find a good plastic surgeon who will do a thorough exam and review the options with you.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Revision after breast implants.


If your original breast implants were done in the hospital, the records are available. If they were done in the doctor's office, probably not. But an expert plastic surgeon with an inventory of breast implants available in his operating room can take care of you without the records.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Breast implant replacement after surgeon retired

Great question. I would try to obtain ANY records from the previous surgery. If that is not possible than you need a 'leap of faith' and chose another, younger plastic surgeon to take over your care.

Regards from MIAMI

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

Need Revisionary Breast Surgery

It is nice to have previous surgical information but it is not necessary. Go see a board certified plastic surgeon who has experience with revisionary breast surgery and most likely they can discuss options with you even without your previous  surgical information.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Breast Revision Surgery When Surgeon has Retired

From looking at the photo and reading your description you most likely have a capsular contracture which is changing the shape of your breast and making it harder. What I recommend is to find a board-certified plastic surgeon in your community and go in for a consultation. You may even want to get several opinions. The key is to feel comfortable with your surgeon as you want a good long term relationship in case you need more surgery down the line. Hope that helps and good luck! Dr. Babak Dadvand

Babak Dadvand, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Information necessary to change your breast implants

When receiving a breast implant exchange by another plastic surgeon, ideally you should have the operative report of the original plastic surgeon as well as the model and serial number of your implants. At the time of your original breast augmentation, you should have received a card that listed the model number and serial number of your implants. If it is still available you should contact your original plastic surgeon and see if you can obtain an operative report of this surgery. Although it is not critical it will provide helpful information to your second plastic surgeon

Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Retired surgeon


Thank you for your question.

It would be best if you could get the operative report with all of you information about the procedure on it or if you still have the stickers from the manufacturer of the implants. This will give you the size and type of implant. You can also contact the two breast implant.

Most states only require physicians to keep medical records for 10 years so this may be a little difficult. If you can't remember and can’t get the information, be sure to choose a surgeon who has a great level of experience. It also sounds as if you are developing capsular contracture. This will need to be addressed as well. Find a surgeon you feel comfortable with and that is board certified.

Best regards,

Dr. Speron

Sam Speron, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Breast Implant Revision after prior surgeon's retirement

Hi there-

Because I do a great deal of Breast Implant Revision surgery, I come across your problem often...Ideally, we would be able to obtain the records of your implants from your surgeon's office, the facility the procedure was performed in, or the manufacturer of the implants.

In many cases, this is not possible.

With a careful examination, the critical factors can be understood even in the abscence of these records.

The most important thing to realize here is that we as plastic surgeons are NOT all created equal, nor is our training, experience, and practice style....

You need to find a surgeon certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery who has a LOT of experience doing complicated and revision breast surgery and can show you lots of photos of beautiful outcomes.

In cases like yours, I believe 99% of surgeons could successfully complete the operation you need, but only a much smaller fraction could reliably achieve beautiful breasts that were consistent with your goal.

Please choose carefully.

For help finding a surgeon you like and can trust, read this:

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Getting records for implant exchange

From what you described, it sounds like you are developing scar tissue around your implants making them change shape and become hard (called capsular contraction). If you implants are saline that is the most likely contracture. If you have silicone implants that maybe one has leaked.

Nevertheless, you would need and implant exchange and most likely a capsulectomy (scar tissue removal). It would be great if you have records, but if you don't this would not change your surgery. A surgeon will be able to see your old scar and if it around the nipple or under the breasts, the same scar can be used. The surgeon would need different size implants available to best match the size and shape that you want.

Kari L. Colen, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Breast augmentation replacement

If you can obtain your old records, this will be very helpful for the next surgeon involved in your care. If not, you could also try calling the implant companies, Allergan and Mentor, to see if they have your implant information on file. They generally do not record information for women with saline implants, but all silicone implants have been tracked using the patient's social security number. Finally, you should have been given a small card with your implant information on it at the time of your surgery. If you no longer have this, and are unable to get any other information, then you just need to see a board-certified surgeon who will have to gauge your implant size based on your measurements. It's not optimal, but we all end up doing this for many of our patients at one point or another. Good luck, /nsn.

Nina S. Naidu, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 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.