Can a breast lift procedure with implants 14 years ago cause hardening and pain in the breast now?

Q:

I had a breast lift and implants 14 years ago and have not had a problem.  Last week I experienced severe pain in my right breast for several nights and now the breast has hardened to the touch.  The breast is slightly fuller on top. Can this be something other than an implant problem?  It came on so quickly; could it be serious?

A:

Of course you should have an examination by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with any imaging studies to determine if there is a problem within the breast tissue or the integrity of the implant.  Once the necessary information has been gathered, then a plan can be made to fit your individual needs. 

A:

Sudden swelling and pain even years after a breast augmentation could indicate a problem with the implant, including implant rupture, or could be something else.  The most likely problems are infection, tumor, and other problems with the breast tissue.  The only way to know is with an examination  by a plastic surgeon familiar with these problems and, perhaps, an imaging study such as an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Image X-Ray-like procedure).  Because of the likelihood of infection or tumor, this should be evaluated immediately.

A:

Breast Implant Hardening or Capsular Contracture – All implants age over time and break down after 10-15 years, both saline and silicone.  However, if you have saline implants you will know immediately as they will deflate.  In silicone gel implants, one of the disadvantages is that you can have a silent rupture which can be symptomatic and can lead to breast implant hardening. An implant that has become hard many years post augmentation needs to be surgically removed and the capsular contracture scar tissue removed as well.

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