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I had saline implants 12 years ago and have had no problems or complications with...

Q:

I had saline implants 12 years ago and have had no problems or complications with them. However, I am considering having them removed and a breast lift done. I am guessing I would be a size C without the implants. As I have gained weight over the years, I am presently a bra size DDD with a spillover. By having the implants removed, would I be left with indentations in my breasts – if so, could I have fat taken from another area of my body and injected into my breasts to get rid of the indentations? Would this be my only option if I no longer wanted to have implants?

A:

Thank you for asking such an important question. Breasts with implants change with time and weight fluctuations. It is very likely that your implants can be removed safely and a breast lift performed. Often the remaining breast tissue can be rearranged to fill in the space made by the implant. Women are able to get smaller, up-lifted breasts without deformity. It is important to know that in some instances, your surgeon may want to do surgery in two steps. If your surgeon thinks that your breasts will pull up/fill in after the weight of the implants are removed, that may be an option. It is important to seek a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and to discuss all of the risks and benefits of surgery.

A:

Your question is common and I often see patients who with the same question in my office.  Although each patients breast size, skin elasticity and implants are different, usually the implants can be removed without creating a dent (deformity).  If the implants are saline filled they can be deflated in the office setting to allow the breast skin to begin to shrink down prior to the breast lift surgery. 

With the remaining larger breast, a breast lift can be performed in most patients that will reshape the breasts while making them somewhat smaller and positioning the nipple near the center.  Replacement of the implant is not needed because of the larger amount of natural breast tissue present.

Don't be fooled by non-board certified surgeons who may claim to be experts in cosmetic surgery.  Always look for a surgeon board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and have all of your questions answered during a consultation with the doctor.

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