I Have Saline Implants and Have Always Wanted Larger Implants That Are Silicone?

What type of procedures are involved in replacing saline implants with silicone? Also, I want to be larger. I made the mistake of giving my surgeon the decision in choosing the size. I was happy for a short while; but looking back wish I had gone larger and with silicone. I want them to feel more natural, especially when laying on my stomach as well as when my kids lounge on me when we are watching movies as well as when they hug me.I've had them for 3 years now.

Doctor Answers 6

Switching saline implants to gel

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This is actually a very common occurence.  Women who change from saline to silicone implants notice a large improvement in texture and mobility. Also, increasing the size only takes a few more minutes in surgery to open up the pocket where the breast implant lies.  You will find that the recovery is much quicker and less painful than the original surgery.  It is very important for you communicate your goals with your plastic surgeon so that you are definately happy the second time around. I hope this helps you.

Kindest regards,

Neil J. Zemmel

I Have Saline Implants and Have Always Wanted Larger Implants That Are Silicone?

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This time spend more time with your plastic surgeon and be as sure as possible that the communication is satisfactory.

Usually the same incision can be used, unless it is through the navel and in some cases via the axilla. To accomodate the larger implant the pocket must be of sufficient size, and may need to be enlarged. If the implant is above the muscle, moving it to below the muscle or below the fascia will be a consideration.

For most patients the discomfort is considerably less than it was for the original augmentation. 

The silicone implants typically do feel much more natural. 

Thanks for your question, best wishes. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Changing from Saline Implants to Silicone Gel Breast Implants?

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Thank you for your question.

Many patients choose to change from saline breast implants to silicone gel breast implants. It is very common for patients to want to go larger in size as well.  The recovery for this surgery is usually less than breast augmentation the first time.

Communication with your plastic surgeon will be critical to help you achieve your size goals with this procedure.
In my practice I find the use of goal pictures to be very helpful.     I have found that the use of words such as “natural” or “C cup” or "fake looking" or "top heavy" means different things to different people and therefore prove unhelpful. 
Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup  size may also be inaccurate.

I use  intraoperative sizers and place the patient in the upright position to evaluate breast size. Use of these sizers also allow me to select the breast implant profile (low, moderate, moderate plus, high-profile) that would most likely achieve the patient's goals. The patient's goal pictures are hanging on the wall, and allow for direct comparison.
I have found that this system is very helpful in improving the chances of achieving the patient's goals as consistently as possible. 

I hope this helps.

Replacing saline with silicone

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I am sorry that you didn't dialogue with your surgeon about the size of the implants. Many patients have size remorse so you are not alone. In order to give a meaningful response as to technique and placement, it would be important to know the surgical approach used, implant placement and size. At three years postop I do not know of any companies which would replace implants at no charge.

I Have Saline Implants and Have Always Wanted Larger Implants That Are Silicone

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Most patients who replace their saline implants for silicone are happy they did so

They state that the silicone implants feel softer and move more naturally

I do not usually remove the capsule  ,but rather release it in order to accommodate a larger implant

If the implant is sub-muscular, I will often replace it above the muscle behind the fascia

Some companies will offer a rebate for implant exchange

Exchanging implants

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Dear Nan.  I would agree with you that silicone will feel more natural than saline.  We have many women that are motivated to have a revision because of that reason alone. 

 In order to exchange implants for a larger size, you would have to have the scar tissue capsules around your implants removed in order to accomodate  larger implants.  If your current scars are around your areolas or at the bottom of the breasts, your surgeon should be able to reuse that access route.  As far as the size goes, you would need to have an extensive discussion with your surgeon.  Hope it goes well.

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.