Will Silicone Implants for Breast Reconstruction Soften over Time?

Mastectomy/Silicone Implant Reconstruction. 11 days ago I had my final reconstruction surgery with silicone implants. I am happy with how they look but the feel very firm, stiff and almost hard. They just stay in place. Is that normal? Will they soften?

Doctor Answers 9

Siicone implant reconstruction

If you just had your reconstecution with placement of silicone implants, you have to give it several months to settle in.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Hardened Silicone Implant Reconstruction

At 11 days, the hardness you are feeling is most likely postoperative swelling and edema.   By 6 weeks, most this should resolve and your breasts will feel much softer and look more natural.   It is important to discuss massage exercises with you plastic surgeon and to followup frequently to monitor your implants for scar tissue buildup (capsular contracture).  

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

A softer side

Give your reconstruction some time to settle.  In general there should be some softness to the reconstruction and some movement to the implant especially if the pocket was made a bit larger than the implant.  As time goes by the area will soften and the implant may have more movement.  

Dr. ES

Breast Reconstruction

You are still very earlyAfter breast reconstruction with implants.  We have very little information on the process of the reconstruction and the ancillary treatment of breast ca. Was there any radiation?, is this immediate reconstruction? Is this after expanders?

Any how there should be some softening in time that is the nature of implants under normal circumstances. Consult your doctor He /She can answer all your questions and concerns

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Breast Reconstruction after Cancer

In general I like to place a smaller implant in relation the pocket that has been created by the tissue expander so that the implant feels soft and moves around.

It is difficult to say what your issue is without and exam, but it could be that there is some inflammation that makes them feel hard at this point.

Hope that helps.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Hard Breast Implant 11 days after Breast Reconstruction

Not to be picky but HARD have a different connotation to Plastic surgeons than STIFF. Every surgery is associated with inflammation ans stiffness. As the inflammation subsides, so does the stiffness. On the other hand, severe inflammation around breast implants may bring about creation of a thick constricting scar (Capsular Contracture) which will make the breasts feel hard,

It is too early in the healing process to advise you on WHICH process you are dealing with. Stay in contact with your surgeon and he will advise you.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Silicone implant after reconstruction

It is too soon after surgery to judge the quality of the implants or reconstruction. While silicone gel implants have a higher risk of firmness followng reconstruction than simple augmentation and higher than saline implants, the firmness could be due to post-opswelling and muscle tightness than could relax over time. Whether or not you had radiation will also effect the risk of hardening. Give it a few more weeks if not three or six months before judging the quality of the results.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Breasts Softening After Breast Reconstruction

This is a difficult answer, because your breasts act differently after mastectomy/ reconstruction compared to regular breast tissue.  There usually is not alot of change after the silicone implants are placed post mastectomy and expansion.  The goal is usually to place a smaller implant compared to the expander so that there is some room for the implant to move and be softer.  At this point, your surgeon should instruct you to massage the breasts and see if things will soften over time.  Everyone is different, so you will really not know for about three months.  Just be patient and give it a few months.

Christopher V. Pelletiere, MD
Barrington Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Will reconstructed breasts become firm/hard or soften with silicone implants?

This is difficult to predict at this point in time. The general answer is that they SHOULD soften with time. However, they could also harden. Time will tell.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 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.