Can't Decide if I Should Replace Implants or Just Remove Them, Which is Best?

I've had my saline implants 5 years. I went from a small B to a full C, and just 5 years later they look terrible. I can't decide if I should just have them removed altogether or have them replaced with smaller implants. My friends keeps telling me that there will be lots of scar tissue since I am a weight lifter, which could cause a much more difficult and painful procedure. Perhaps, I should just have them deflated. I need some advice in a NY minute. ;)

Doctor Answers 2

Smaller Implants or None at all - Factors to consider.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Hard to answer your question without photos or an exam, but I can already identify some inaccurate advice given to you. For example: Weight Lifters do not have more scarring, going from a larger to a smaller implant is not more painful. I have been doing breast surgery as one of the major components of my practice and went through the "implant silicone scare" days more than a decade ago when women wanted their implants out "ASAP". The bottom line is that most were very unhappy afterwards and eventually had them replaced. You may also need a lift in either case based on your exam. You might also want to explore with your surgeon if you do decide to have them removed is doing a lift and fat transfer procedure to the breast rather than an implant - ask if you are a good candidate.

The bottom line is that Breast Revision surgery is difficult and requires expert care - go to the best possible expert - seek a board certified plastic surgeon.

Options Following Implant Removal

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Based on your question, I assume that you feel your implants are too big. You don't mention whether they were placed under the muscle or above the muscle. Weight lifters may have more animation deformity, which is when the muscle contracts against the implant during pec exercises. Weight lifters do not specifically have more scar tissue.

What to do after implant removal depends on your breast size, tissue qualities, implant size, and body size, The smaller your implant related to your breast and body size, especially if you have good skin tone, the less the effect of the implant loss. On the other hand, if you have minimal stretched out breast tissue and large implants, the more noticeable the loss.

Options include

1. Removal alone

2. Removal and breast lift- for those who have droop and a moderate amount of their own tissue

3. Removal and replacement; with or without lift

I would not recommend deflation without removal, because then you are leaving a non-functional foreign body in your chest.

This can be a difficult problem to correct. Please be sure to seek a surgeon with a great deal of experience in complex breast surgery.

Karen Vaniver, MD
Kennewick Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 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.