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I've had my implants since 1987. With no problems, when should I consider redoing them...how much is it.

Q:

I've had my implants since 1987.  With no problems, when should I consider redoing them and what would be the cost?

A:

Just because you have had implants for a long time, there is no reason to consider doing anything.  Many of the first implants placed in the 60's are still in place and doing well.  Of course, if you are having problems such as pain, hardness or mal-position, then you may need to consider doing something.  What you will need to do will depend on the problem.  If you are having problems, see a board certified Plastic Surgeon to determine what you need.  If you are having no problems, quit worrying and just enjoy your figure.

A:

Most individuals with implants this age would look to exchange the implants by now, especially if these are silicone.  It sounds like you have no symptoms or "problems," but I would encourage you to have an exam by a board certified plastic surgeon in your area, regardless. There may be some patients who have "no symptoms," but on exam a capsular contracture may be present.  Be sure your mammogram is up-to-date.  If you still have questions about the integrity of the breast implant and these are silicone, you should consider an MRI.

Scottsdale, AZ

A:

As long as you are doing well, and do not have any problems, there is no real need to change things.  I do recommend that you see a plastic surgeon once a year just to keep an eye on things.  If you do want to have another procedure for your breasts, the costs will vary depending on whether an implant exchange, implant removal, or a breast lift would be the best option.

A:

I would not change your implants unless you wish to be larger or smaller, the implants are hard (capsular contracture), markedly rippled or ruptured.  If you have silicone gel implants, you may wish to get an MRI to see if the shell of the implants are ruptured.  If they are ruptured, the recommendation is to change them.  I would see a Board Certified plastic surgeon who can help you with this process. 

A:

If there isn't a problem with your breast implants, there is no need to replace them.  You should be getting routine mammograms to see if there are any changes.  Replacing them and doing a small uplift would probably rejuvenate your breasts as I probably guess that they were put under the muscle.  The newer silicone implants are less likely to form capsular contracture.  You may watch my video at www.surgery-plastic.com. 

Dr. Ed Domanskis

Edward J. Domanskis, M.D., FACS - View Other Answers by this Doctor
Newport Beach, CA

A:

I advise patients that implants do not typically last forever.  So you are smart to consider the future.  In-person evaluation with a board certified plastic surgeon is the best way to answer your questions.  Bring your records with you so that he or she has all the information needed to best advise you.

Sometimes patients have re-operation for changes in the breast over time (sagging or size change due to weight loss or gain).  Sometimes patients have implant related problems such as hardening (capsular contracture) or shift of implant position.  Some patients decide they would like a smaller or larger breast implant.  You mentioned having no problems.

If you have silicone gel filled implants and their covering shell is not longer intact (rupture), you may not be able to detect this in examination, mammogram or ultrasound.  An MRI study is the best imaging method to detect gel implant rupture.  The FDA recommends that current patients begin having periodic MRI studies.  Discuss this with your surgeon.  Revision surgery may involve capsulectomy and new implants.  It may be more costly than your initial surgery, and varies by surgeon.

If your original implants were saline filled, you can easily detect when one eventually wears out and deflates.  Your body will absorb the fluid within hours and you can see and feel the loss of volume.  The replacement procedure is generally simpler than your initial augmentation operation. 

A:

Since you have no problems with your breast implants, it is reasonable to be evaluated now by a board certified plastic surgeon as a baseline, including an MRI as recommended by  FDA guidelines. 

Then you will be able have the benefit of this physical examination, the MRI findings, and a discussion of the risks and benefits of your options so that you can make a more informed decision about what, if anything, to do.

Breast Implant exchange for the newer breast implants may be a good option for you.  The cost will vary with the type of breast implant you choose, the facility and anesthesia fees, and  your individual plastic surgeon's fee.

Fredrick A. Valauri, M.D. F.A.C.S.M.D., F.A.C.S. - View Other Answers by this Doctor
New York, NY

A:

If you are not having problems with your implants, harness,distortion,etc, then I would not recommend redoing them. If the shape has gotten bad, distortion is there, hardness, then they could be redone. The implants have changed much since that time. I am offering a temporary unbeatable all inclusive breast augmentation price of $4999. Watch my videos/website(surgery-plastic.com). Dr. Ed Domanskis Newport Beach,Ca 

Edward J. Domanskis, M.D., FACS - View Other Answers by this Doctor
Newport Beach, CA

A:

If you have no problems with your implants, there is no distortion, capsular contraction or other issue then I would not recommend removing them.  If you do have an issue such as capsular contraction then capsulectomy and removal of the implant will be necessary and if replacing the implants textured implants wrapped in acellular dermis offer the best chance for not having a recurrent capsule.

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