Can I Have My Saline Breast Implants Replaced With Silicone Implants Through An Axillary Incision?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I would like to know your experience with breast augmentation revisions. Is this something that you have done often? I am considering revision from saline to silicone and believe I’d like to go smaller. My previous surgical site for the augmentation was axillary and can this be done again with a revision? Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

A:Any plastic surgeon that performs a substantial number of breast augmentations will perform secondary breast implant surgery, given desires of changes in size later in life, change in breast shape due to pregnancy and weight loss and the eventual failure of most breast implants over a patient’s lifetime. So yes I have done many breast implant exchanges and revisional surgery.

I believe you are asking if your existing saline implants could be replaced with smaller silicone implants through your already present axillary scars. The answer to that question is maybe…and it depends on what size silicone implant needs to be inserted through such a small incision. In days past, I would say it would not be adviseable unless the silicone implants are fairly small (under 350ccs). But with today’s funnel insertion technique, much bigger silicone breasts implants can now be placed through much smaller incisions.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana