To reimplant or not to reimplant- what are your thoughts?


I had subglandular saline implant surgery in 2001.  One implant ruptured 3 months ago.  I need to remove the old implants completely but I'm not sure about reimplanting.  My surgeon said just a breast lift only for my limited breast tissue is NOT an option.  She'd place the new implants under the muscle.  The reasons I'm not sure about replacing them now: Implant deflation again with submuscular surgery next time. I'm a runner and I do strength training exercises.  I'm concerned about lengthy recovery time.  Any advice please?


Without more information, such as how much native breast tissue you have and how larger the previous breast implants were, it is impossible to advise you precisely. That being said, it is very common for breast tissue to atrophy after implant insertion. That may make it harder to do a lift without an implant and get a reasonable size. However, you are the only person who can make the decision about not putting another implant back. If the breast with the deflated implant is slightly larger than you would like your breasts to be, then you could opt for just removing the implants and doing a lift. If you would like to be that size or larger, you need to have the implants replaced. This time I would suggest using silicone implants. With the new cohesive gel implants, you really should not have to worry about rupture in the future. I would not suggest that you have them placed under the muscle. When the implants are placed under the muscle in someone who does strength training, the implants are pushed around and are frequently uncomfortable. The most likely reason for suggesting placement under the muscle is to help hide the implant, especially since you have little breast tissue present. You have had the implants over the muscle, and that is what they would be like if you went back to that position.

R.T. Buchanan, MD


Since you are concerned about replacing your breast implants there is no harm in removing them and seeing if you are happy not having implants. You can always replace them later if you so desire.


Breast augmentation in athletic women needs to balance several issues. In thin women, implants may look fake above the muscle, so it may be worth a little extra recovery time for better long term results. On the other hand, under muscle implants may be more prone to animation issues so in these instances I would consider a split muscle technique. Because your breasts are small, and you are accustomed to having some volume, simply removing them when you have the lift is more likely to be disappointing. Your own plastic surgeon is in the best position to advise you.

Richard A. Baxter, M.D. - View Other Answers by this Doctor
Mountlake Terrace, WA


You certainly need to do something with a ruptured implant.  You are probably asymmetry as well.  If you are very small a breast lift ill place obvious scar with out volume.  Implants under the muscle will not affect your life style..  Replacing them will most likely require more surgery in the future. You can always take them out.  You have a preview of how the will look on the deflated side.  Good luck


If uncertain, make sure you get your deflation documented so should you desire to get implants later, your warranty (I assume you have one) will help with the costs of the new implants.  Then you can ask your surgeon about intentionally deflating the good one so you are symmetrical and can live your life without them.  You can better appreciate if your implants are needed or not.  As long as your implant isn't trying to push through your skin, there is no harm in leaving the deflated shells alone.  This also allows your tissue to shrink so it will be easier to transition to a submuscular pocket if that is what you want.  Bottom line, do what is best for you and your lifestyle.

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