I Have Had my Implants for 22 Years I Have Slight Hardening and Pain in my Side

although I had implants 22 yrs ago with no problems now I feel a slight hardening to the left one also I feel some pain in my side, the same side as the implant, could they be connected?

Doctor Answers 4

How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

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There are several problems that can arise following breast augmentation. One such problem is the development of scarring around the breast implant over time. This is known as capsular contracture; the breast capsule surrounding the implant progressively tightens causing palpability, visibility and pain. These are Baker grades 2, 3 & 4, respectively, the clinical staging of capsular contracture.

It sounds like you have Baker Grade 4 capsular contracture. The treatment is removal of the implant and capsule and replacement of the breast implants (if so desired).

Unfortunately, while some women have the same implants for their entire life, breast implants are often not permanent implants. I generally advise an MRI prior to re-augmentation to properly evaluate breast implants for rupture and to examine the breast capsule.

Pain and hardening after augmentation

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The hardening may be causing your pain symptoms, but you see a board certified plastic surgeon to evaluate you and your implants to determine if this is the case, or not. Hardening, or capsular contracture, can be seem with either saline or silicone implants, and can be treated surgically.

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon

Breast implants

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Hardeing around implants after 22 years may represent a thickened capsule.  Certainly an  exam would be necessary to determin the cause.

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

Breast Implants after 22 Years?

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Thank you for the question.

It would be in your best interest to seek consultation with a well experienced plastic surgeon. Depending on the physical examination,  symptoms you're having, your goals  and whether you have saline or silicone breast implants in place the management may differ.

Based on the description of your symptoms,  you may be experiencing encapsulation.  This is correctable surgically. Whether this encapsulation is related to the “pain in your side” will need to be determined after physical examination. 

Best wishes.


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