What Happens to the Pocket when You Switch out Saline Implants with Silicone?

I am getting saline implants because I am not old enough to get silicone. I really really want silicone because of the look and feel but am stuck with saline. I am going to go about this through the TUBA method but I was wondering, when I replace them with silicone through the periareolar method, will the pockets still be there? Or will I have to go through the whole process of waiting for them to drop and fluff again?

Doctor Answers 7


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Who sez you're  too young to get silicone implants.  If you really want silicone, it makes no sense to get saline with the intention of having them switched later.  Try getting a second opinion.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Switching saline to silicone utilizes the same pocket if patient desires.

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First of all, I think it's nonsense to deny you silicone gel implants because of age.  There is absolutely no scientific evidence or any logic whatsoever to support this.  If you choose the saline implants, someday you may want to switch to silicone.  This is not a big deal but is an operation and has its costs.  I would hold out for silicone gel implants with your surgeon.  The age issue is a recommendation, not the law.

Pocket Management in switching from saline to silicone implants

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Hi there-

To a great extent, the management of your implant pockets will depend on how your first surgery is done, how happy you are with the outcome, and what (if anything) needs to be done to make your breasts as beautiful as possible at the time of the change to silicone.

If you have a lovely outcome and are very happy with the shape and size of your breasts, it shoudl be very simple to just switch implants.

Replacing implants

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The pocket will still be there. However, frequently with the TUBA procedure, the pocket is in front of the muscle rather than submuscular. Depending on the size implants you pick, the pocket may need to be enlarged for the new implants to fit. If your current implants are in front of the muscle and you put the new implants under the muscle you will need to wait for settling again. Also, deadening on the size silicone implants you pick they may not be able to be placed through the periareolar approach, but may need to be placed by an inframammary approach.

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon

Revisionary Surgery and Breast Implant Pockets?

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Thank you for the question.

Assuming the operation is done well the first time, revisionary breast surgery (removal and replacement of breast implants),  is generally an easier operation ( from the patient's recovery standpoint). Generally, the breast implants will be in good position soon after surgery ( with no need for them to “drop and fluff”.

Be very careful with your selection of plastic surgeon.

Best wishes.

Implant exchange

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Usually if the implants are about the same size, and the pocket is ok, the exchange is realtively easy and the recovery is not as difficult.

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

Secondaries are easier (on the patient) :)

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Generally the maturation of implants breast is easier/faster the second time around assuming everything goes well the first time. There is usually less time waiting for dropping on operations following the first as well.


Best Regards,

John Di Saia MD

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

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.