Removing 30 Year Old Implants

5 ft 4 inches, 145 lbs 64 years old and the implants are starting to bother me, they have gotten smaller and very hard. Need to Have Silicone Implants Removed. They Are 30 Years Old is This a Problem?

Doctor Answers 7

30 year old implants

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Dear suzie in wyoming,

My calculaton puts your implant in the 1980 class. These implants were very thin shelled and had very liquid silicone in them. Most of them have formed scar around the implant called capsule contracture. This is what is giving you the feeling of firmness of your implants. Taking them out will relieve the discomfort you have. Having removed  a lot of these I can say that , although the operation is a bit messy, it does provide a good result to remove them. Most patients elect to replace them with a modern implant which is made of stronger  stuff and the contents are much more cohesive. They give a pleasent esthetic  result.  I hope this info has been helpful for you. Jon Sattler, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Glendora, Ca.

Glendora Plastic Surgeon

Breast Implant Removal

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Thanks for the question.  There is no contra-indication to having them removed.  The implants are highly likely to have ruptured being this old, and it will take some extra time to remove the residual material along with the surrounding scar tissue during your surgery, but this is a commonly performed surgery.  Best wishes!

Brian Howard, MD (retired)
Alpharetta Plastic Surgeon

Removal of Breast Implants?

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Thank you for the question.

Obviously, specific advice is not possible without the benefit of pictures or direct examination.

Generally speaking what breasts look like after explantation  depends on several factors such as: the quality of skin elasticity (the better the elasticity the better the skin will bounce back),  the size of the implants used (the larger the implant the more trouble you may have with redundant skin), and the amount of breast tissue present at this time (which may have changed since the time of your breast augmentation). 

Life experience since your breast augmentation procedure, such as pregnancy or weight gain weight loss, will  potentially influence the factors discussed above. If you take these factors into consideration and apply them  to your specific circumstances you may get a good idea of what to expect after the implants are removed.
Consulting with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon in person will be helpful.

I hope this helps.

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Silicone Implants

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A consultation and examination would be necessary in order to assist you. I would suggest that you contact a reputable, board certified plastic surgeon in your geographical location. An experienced surgeon will be able to give you treatment options.

Christine Sullivan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Removing old breast implants

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If they are hard and bothering you, removing them may be a good idea.  In fact, insurance may cover the removal of the implants and hard tissue.

Implant removal

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The age of the implants may add complexity to the surgery, but it still can be done.  Implants of this age may have a capsule (if they feel firm, they do) and may or may not have ruptured.  Older implants have silicone of a low viscosity.  This means that the silicone tends to migrate if it leaves the implants.  These are factors that can be discerned by a preoperative exam and possible imaging.  MRI is the gold standard for determining implant integrity.  This is the best test to evaluate for rupture.  A good beginning step is to see a board certified plastic surgeon with a good reputation.  Your implants may not be ruptured and you may have no capsule.  In this case, the surgery would be simplified.  Hope this helps!

Jason Hess, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Removing implants

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Without an exam, it is hard for me to comment. But in general, implant exchange varies depending upon the nature of the capsule and the likelihood of capsular ocntracture along with the quality of the overlying tissue.

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