OK to Have Mismatched Breast Implants?

I had breast augmentation abroad and the submuscular, Mentor cohesive gel implants used are not yet available in the U.S. I now need another breast surgery (capsulectomy), but I'd rather not travel back to Costa Rica.

My question is, if I decide to have the capsulectomy done in the U.S. and the surgeon decides the implant needs to be replaced, will it be OK for me to have mismatched breast implants, as the kind I have in my left breast is not available here?

Doctor Answers 6

Consider replacing both implants

My recommendation would be to replace both implants. While the cost will be a bit more, it will not change your recovery time, and in the long run I think you would have a much nicer, more balanced result.

There are a number of excellent Board Certified Plastic Surgeons in Dallas-- I would set up a consult with a few of them and get their thoughts, but I think replacing both gives you the best chance at the results you're looking for.

Good luck!

Dr. Salemy

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 149 reviews

Mismatched implants.

If the implant needs to be removed and a new one put back in, your best bet will to replace both. 

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Keep the same breast implant

It is not possible to tell the exact condition of the implant, but it is probably still in good condition. If this is the case, then the capsulectomy can be done and the same implant put back into the pocket.

When the surgery is done, a contingency plan will need to be in place in case the implant is not good. The contingency plan can be another gel implant of similar size and shape on the one side or both sides. If you replace one implant, the different implants may not feel exactly the same but the difference will be less that the difference you currently have. If you replace both of them there will still be a little difference because of the changes in the soft tissue pocket capsule.

All of these posibilities should be considered with your surgeon. Visit with several surgeons and you can decide which plan is best for you.

Best Wishes,

Dr. Peterson

Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

I'd change them both

It would be best to change them both otherwise you will have an asymmetry just from the implant mismatch.  Best not to do this unless it is done right.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Might need to change both implants

If you have a tight capsule your plastic surgeon might advice you to change your implant in addition to the capsule work. While it could be ok to change only one implant, if you have any capsule tightness on the other side you should change both.

Hope that helps!

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Exchange both gel implants

I would most likely exchange both breast implants if one is cohesive and needs to be removed, because they both will definitely feel and perhaps look differently.

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