What is the Risk of Reencapsulation in 12 Year Old Implants After a Capsulectomy is Done on One Breast?

I have 14-year old sub-pectoral saline implants. I am taking singulair right now to see if it will resolve the situation. If not, I will need a capsulectomy done. My question is: Based on past research and experience, what are the odds of having this done again, say in another 12 years? In other words, does this encapsulation increase my chances of reocurrance? and if so, what would you suggest? Removal?

Doctor Answers 6

After 14 years, replace both breast implants.

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Here's what you should do.  We have much better breast implants today. And 95% of women choose silicone gel breast implants, because they are totally safe and they look and feel more natural.

So you should have bilateral capsulectomies (removing the lining around the old implants), and insertion of new implants.  There is still a 5% chance of a capsular contracture recurring.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Recurrence Rate Of Capsular Contracture Is Moderately High

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There is a fairly high rate of recurrence of capsular contracture once it develops and is treated.  If your CC has just developed after 12 years, that would be somewhat unusual.  If you elect to have it treated surgically, it is important to move your implants to a new location to lessen the chances of recurrence.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Augmentation mammoplasty & reencapsulation

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The fact that it took you 12 years to develope capsular contracture , only in one breast, is good news for you. The chances for capsular contracture, according to the literature is 7-12 per cent .However , in our practice we see less than 5% percent of our patient forming symptomatic capsular contractures. I believe Administration of anti biotics in perioperative periods, putting drains in the pockets ,total capsulectomies and soaking implants in Betadine (especially silicone) before insertion are factors that may play a positive role in reducing incidents of this unwelcommed complication.

Capsule recurrence in a 12 year old breast implant

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The statistics vary for capsule contracture recurrence after capsulectomy and replacement of an implant from 25 to 50%. The rate can be influenced by the type of implant, how soon after you developed a capsule, and pocket location. If the capsule was recent we would feel the recurrence would be to the lower end. You should replace both implants as there is little life left in an implant after 12 years. The chances of needing a new implant in another 12 years, pretty good, the chance of medication helping, near 0.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Replacing older breast implants

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Rather than replace a single implant when you have 15 year old implants, it is better to take out both implants and replace them, and do bilateral capsulectomies.  You would not want to leave an old implant in your body if body and replace just one, especially if you are having surgery anyway.

You currently have, by analogy, 40,000 miles on 30,000 mile tires.

Your best odds at a long-standing correction, and the way to minimize the chance of redo surgery, is to do things right when you have your removal and replacement procedure.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

Risk of re-encapsulation of breast implants

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Please don't expect anything from the Singular.  If you have hard capsular contracture it isn't going to go away without surgery. You are already under the muscle where the rate is lower, you have saline which has fewer capsular contractures already.  Doing a capsulectomy and replacing the implant would leave you with a rate of re-encapsulation of 20-25% according to studies I have seen.  Of course, the rate for you is 100% or 0.  It's up to you if you just want the implants out but you do know that your body knows how to make a hard capsule. Maybe one more try?

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