Can You Go from a Round Saline Implant to Silicone?

I have large 500 cc saline round implants and want to go smaller. I know that I would need a lift and am very interested in the CPG contoured silicone implant. I did not want to create the round shape again and wanted more natural firm look. Similar to to CPG (gummy bear) tear drop look. They make a new cohesive tall height and High profile. Would I be a candidate for this type of implant if I am going smaller and need a life?

Doctor Answers 15

Use of a shaped implant as a replacement

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The shaped implants made by Sientra, Alleragn and now Mentor require precise implant pocket dissection.  This may not be possible if you are downsizing to smaller implant.  

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Implants and Shape.

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The shape of your implants (too round) may well have occurred because the size is too big for the space that you have. Or the upper edge may show more if the implant is in front of the muscle, or you are underweight. When you stand up, ordinarily your implant would fall into a teardrop shape.  When you lie down it would fall into a dome shape, just like a real breast.  Saline implants tend to show their edges a little more than silicone as well.

Do you have capsular contractures?  That could make you breasts appear round.

The new CPG implants are new technology and problems with them that we are now not aware of (because of their limited use in the US) may only come to light some time down the road. Its also a lot more challenging to get a good result with that type of implant when it is the second time around because the pocket needs to be precise, or the implant can rotate upside down.

The choice of implant involves many factors, benefits and risks.  If you choose to change your implants, review all of them fully and have a frank discussion with your surgeon before you decide. This is a complex issue and not as easy as picking a pair of shoes out of the closet.  You will also have all the risks of surgery, again, as well, and could end up with a result that is not as pleasing as you have now, so keep that in mind.

Good luck, whatever you decide!

Deborah Ekstrom, MD
Worcester Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Shaped breast implants in revision surgery require expertise

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Hi Laily,

Thank you for your question.  It is possible to switch from a round implant to a shaped implant.  The surgery is technically challenging and you are advised to seek a plastic surgeon who has experience using these implants in revision augmentation procedures.  Plastic surgeons have been advised to use these implants in first time augmentation cases before using them in revision cases, as there is a significant learning curve.  The shaped implants are at risk of rotating in the pocket and this risk is probably increased in revision cases; the solution I usually use is to change the pocket.  However, you obviously need to be examined to determine what options are available for you.  I have experience with the Allergan and Sientra shaped implants but not the Mentor CPGs, so I cannot advise about the CPGs in particular.  In general the shaped implants I have used do not feel firm but they do produce a natural shape and they seem to help maintain the results of a lift whereas round smooth implants often seem to work against a lift.  So they can be advantageous in patients who need a lift.  In general patients who have switched from saline to silicone implants are very pleased with the results.  Please have a consultation with a plastic surgeon who has experience in this area.  Best of luck.

Tracy Pfeifer, MD, MS

Tracy Pfeifer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Gummy bear implants not useful for many women.

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1)  There is a lot of marketing of new products in plastic surgery, without much science.  The CPG implants have not even been widely approved.  So I would be careful. Remember is is not the shape of the implant that gives the shape of the breast.  The shape is determined by how the operation is done (surgeon much more important than implant), and by the tightness of your own tissues.

2)  You don't sound difficult.  Perhaps 400 cc round, SMOOTH WALLED, MODERATE PLUS PROFILE, cohesive silicone implants and a small lift around your nipples.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Switching round to shaped implants

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There are a few things to consider with shaped implants, an important one being that they need to be placed in a way that minimizes the risk of rotation. The two types of shaped implants on the market in the U.S. today - Allergan style 410, and Sientra (not CPG from Mentor yet) - have a heavily textured surface so that the scar capsule can adhere to it. When switching from smooth implants this would require removal of the capsule, called a capsulectomy, so that a new capsule forms. You would need suction drain tubes also.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Can You Go from a Round Saline Implant to Silicone?

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These implants require a precise pocket dissection, hard to achieve in the same plane as the first implant if a smaller implant is being used. However, this can be done by switching plane (above or below muscle) if that seems to be the best alternative. Discussion in the office based on an in person exam is mandatory!

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

No problem going from sailing to silicone implants

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There is no problem going from saline implants to silicone implants. Many women who have aesthetic dissatisfaction with saline choose to do this.


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whenever the shape or size of an implant is exchanged the pocket will need to revised. sometimes even replacement with the same shape and size implant will require revision of the pocket.

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon

Implant types differ

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for different situations.  Round smooth gel implants will produce a tear drop look when held vertical.  The textured anatomic implants will hold their shape and if they rotate, you will have a 'funny looking breast' and if they heal as designed, you will not have much lateral movement when laying on your back.  So make sure you want that before requesting it.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Gummy bear implants

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Gummy bear implants are just one type that are available and may or may not be the best choice for you.

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