Should I remove 26 year old implants?

I am 51 and got silicone implants under the muscle with incision under the breast. I am not having problems, but it uncomfortable lying on my stomach on firm surfaces. When I asked my gynocologist about them, he said they are a little hard. I think that is more of when my arms are up. Should I remove and replace them? I dread the surgery, pain, anesthesia, and the possibilty of something going wrong.

Doctor Answers 9

Removing older implants

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Yes older implants should be removed and left out or updated. Older implants are likely to be contracted or ruptured or uncomfortable.

Old implants

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Thank you for your question. It sounds like you have capsular contractures of your old implants. Based on your description I would recommend either removing or replacing the implants.

Johnny Shea-Yuan Chung, MD, FACS
Allentown Plastic Surgeon

Implant Removal

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When silicone implants are 26 years old, it is very reasonable and wise to have them replaced.  You are at an increased risk of rupture because of their age.  Also, the fact that you now feel hardness, it would be a good idea to begin by seeing a board certified plastic surgeon.  Best of luck to you.

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Should I remove 26 year old implants?

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Thank you for the question. Based on the time frame and your concerns, it is certainly reasonable to undergo removal/replacement surgery. Your best bet: seek consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons who can advise you more precisely, in regards to the pros/cons associated with all options. You may find, that after you meet with the right doctor, that your "dread"  decreases considerably. You may find the attached link helpful to you as you learn more. Best wishes.

Breast revision

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By this many years it is reasonable to replace your silicone implants. After ten years there is an increased likelihood of rupture. Best of luck

Stuart A. Linder, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

If your are concerned and worried then should remive them

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The possibility of ruptured implants are high in your case due to the age of the implants and change in the way they feel to you. Please see your local board certified plastic surgeon for examination and treatment.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews


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The Dow Corning engineering data showed that the implant shell undergoes a lipolysis reaction at 8 to 10 years and due to this, replacement of the implants is recommended (silicone) every 8 to 10 years.  Most plastic surgeons know nothing about this subject as they have not researched this area as I did when I wrote a book on this subject.  Chemicals that are neurotoxins and carcinogens can leak out and potentially cause problems especially if you have a detoxification defect as many of my patients have.  In my opinion, due to these facts, despite not having symptoms, I would recommend a total capsulectomy and implant replacement.  The newer implants are also probably much better made than the ones in your body.

Susan Kolb, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Implant removal-- The Sooner The Better

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It is often difficult to tell if silicone implants are leaking.  An MRI may give you an answer, but in my experience they are inaccurate and expensive.  See a plastic surgeon who has been in practice more than ten years.  I took over my fathers practice of 42 years so I see a lot of old implants, dating back to the seventies.  The longer those silicone implants leak the harder they are to get out.  I often advise my patients to remove and replace, especially if you are having discomfort and the breasts feel hard.  It will be an easier surgery at 51 than at 61.  Good luck. Jane

Removing implants

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I would seek an opinion from a PS who can advise you regarding the pros and cons of removal. As long as the implants are intact the decision to remove is yours and is a weigh up of the pros and cons.

Gary L. Ross, MBChB, FRCS
Manchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 177 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.