Is It Possible to Do Needle Aspiration of 8 Year Old Silicone Gel Implants to Soften Them and Reduce the Size?

Doctor Answers 11

Silicone Breast Implants Should Not Be Needle Punctured

Puncturing a silicone breast implant by a needle is not going to make it softer or smaller. The only way to accomplish those objectives is to either do a total capsulotomy and/or exchange to a new smaller breast implant. 

Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Is It Possible to Do Needle Aspiration of 8 Year Old Silicone Gel Implants to Soften Them and Reduce the Size?

It is never a good idea to puncture implants especially the old type with a less viscous silicone fill. This maneuver will not soften the breasts as the fill is not the problem but rather the capsular contracture around the implant.The liquid silicone leak from the puncture can cause granulomas and worsen your breast overall picture.   In the older days there were some plastic surgeons who would aspirate implants with silicone and inject them to the other side to prevent asymmetry.  Obviously, that is no longer done.  You need to be evaluated by a board certified Plastic Surgeon for capsular contracture and will probably need implant removal and exchange and maybe even Strattice to prevent future capsules from forming.

Thomas Guillot, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Needle to Soften Silicone Implants and Reduce Size

   You should not puncture the implants as doing so will not soften or reduce the size.  The shape of your breasts may change for the worse and the silicone can leak out of the implant.  If there is hardness, you should be evaluated for capsular contracture.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Puncturing silicone breast implant

It wouldn't be wise to puncture a silicone gel breast implant deliberately; this could cause silicone to leak and cause significant problems.

Generally when breast implants harden, it is best to remove the scar tissue that has formed around the implants completely or nearly completely.  Often, older silicone gel implants have leaked or have degraded and that is the time to replace them.

It's also best to decide what the optimal size would be prior to any revisional surgery.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Needle aspiration of implants?

You can not perform needle aspiration of silicone implants, they will leak.  Saline sometimes is aspirated to deflate them before some breast surgeries/

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Needle Aspiration of a Silicone Implant

No. It is not possible to puncture the implant with a needle without damaging the shell of the implant. If your implants have hardened since the initial procedure, it is possible that you have a capsular contracture.

I suggest that you contact a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for an exam and to discuss the possible solutions to your implant problems.

Good luck.

Eugene J. Sidoti, Jr., MD
Scarsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Absolutey not a good idea.

Piercing the implant shell will rupture the implant.  Even if the implant is a cohesive gel implant it will cause more problems.  Besides the gel is too viscous to be aspirated effectively.  The firmness of your breast may be caused by scar tissue around the implant (capsular contracture) and many need to be removed (capsulectomy) to make your breast softer. The only way to effectively reduce the size of your implants is to have them replaced.  I would recommend you see a board certified plastic surgeon and be properly evaluated.

Benjamin Rechner, MD
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Deflating Breast Implants

No.  If the implants are silicone, you cannot aspirate them to remove some volume.  My recommendation would be to do an implant exchange to a smaller size implant.  


Good Luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Needle Aspiration of Silicone Gel Implant

The silicone gel implants come pre-filled and therefore do not contain a port like the saline implants do. This being said, there is no way to remove contents of the implant without rupturing the implant. If you wish to downsize the implant they need to be removed and replaced with smaller cc silicone gel implants (should this be your choice). I suggest you set up a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to look into your surgical options.


I hope this helps you and good luck


Fadi Chahin MD, FACS

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Diplomat, American Board of Surgery

Diplomat, American Board of Plastic Surgery 

Fadi Chahin, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Needle aspiration of a gel implant?

No don't do it. You will just puncture the implant and risk leaking the gel. Also, a needle puncture of your implant may void the warranty. If you are having problems with capsule contracture you need to return to your surgeon or find a new one. Good luck.

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 80 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.