28 years post op Breast Implant, my right breast is hard, tender, and bigger. Is this an infection or has the implant moved?

I had saline implants 28 years ago. My R breast is now getting hard, tender and is larger then my R. it feels as though the implant is no longer "where it is suppossed to be. Could it have come out from under the pectoral muscle? I had the cut over the nipple as oppossed to under the breast. I'm afraid there is some infection due to the tenderness and pain. I am 50 years old with a hysterectomy so it's not a natural hormaonal change.

Doctor Answers 10

28 years post op Breast Implant, my right breast is hard, tender, and bigger. Is this an infection or has the implant moved?

Thank you for your question.  It is hard to tell what exactly is going on without a physical examination of your breasts.  If you are having any discomfort I would seek a board certified plastic surgeon and figure out what is going on.  They may need to come out.  Best of luck!Dr Dhaval PatelDouble Board CertifiedPlastic SurgeonChicago Hoffman EstatesOak Brook


Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Possible Capsular Contracture

Hardening of the breast is usually a sign of capsular contracture. Capsular contracture is when there is abnormal scarring around your implant, tightening it and causing the breast to feel firm. The breast may also look abnormally round or elevated. This can sometimes be treated without surgery, but if the problem persists, you may need surgery. I recommend you go back to your surgeon to have your breast checked out as soon as you can. Best of luck.

Hardening of implants

It sounds like you developed a capsular contracture or hardening of the scar tissue around your implants.  You definitely need to see a plastic surgeon for evaluation.  Are you sure they are saline? 28 years ago it was common to use silicone implants in which case a rupture could lead to these changes.  

Hardness of implants after 28 years

Everything you have described tells me that you have capsular contracture and needs to evaluated by a plastic surgeon.  There are several options which your surgeon can discuss with so you can get the best outcome.  Good Luck..

John D. Smoot, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Firm tender breast implant

An infection 28 years after your surgery is unlikely and would probably be accompanied with a lot of redness and fever as well. A tightened scar around your implant called a capsular contracture is far more likely. You will likely need surgery to remove the scar tissue and I would recommend trading out both implants since they are 28 years old. See your plastic surgeon for an examination and recommendation.

28 years post op

Thanks for your question. I would advise you to get a consultation with a BCPS for an examination as this needs to be evaluated. Good luck

Richard Wilson, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Breast change

Thank you for your question and bottom
line any change in your breasts should be investigated to rule out a multitude of possible problems

Dr Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Any changes in breast implants should be evaluated

Basically, any changes like this, including pain, color change, changes in shape, position, firmness, or texture of the implants should be examined in person.  While breast implants can certainly become infected at any time, including 28 years postop, there are other things that are more likely.  It is most likely that you have a condition called capsule contracture, and this is responsible for the pain, position change, and firmness of the breast, and although this is not a medical emergency, it will likely need to be treated.  My best advice is to make an appointment to see your plastic surgeon as soon as you can get in, because it will be impossible to know exactly what is going on without an exam.  Good luck.

Hard, tender right breast

Based on the information that you have provided, it sounds like you have described a condition called Capsular Contracture. To confirm this possible diagnosis, or any other potential conditions, please schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon in your local area. Thank you for your question. Best wishes.

Gregory Park, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Plastic surgeon needs to evaluate your breast implants

It is impossible to give a good answer without an exam and I would recommend you be seen sooner than later.  It is not likely that the implant has slipped out from under the muscle.  The description of tenderness, pain and swelling are concerning for an infection, bleeding into the pocket and/or a fluid collection around the implant, to name a few possibilities.  A plastic surgeon will be in the best position to evaluate you and direct your work-up.  Best of luck.

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.