Can My Saline Breast Implants Be Made Bigger Without Getting New Ones?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had saline breast augmentation in 2005. Over the past year or so they see, to have gotten smaller. I know they are not broken or deflated but they definitely don’t seem to be as big or firm as they initially were. Is there a way to make the, bigger without having to pay for new implants? My original ones were put in through the armpit.

A: There are two reasons why many women find that their breast implants seem to be smaller years later. The first is a psychological one, the novelty over times passes and they just seem to be smaller. This is what I call cosmetic accommodation and it happens with many cosmetic procedures. The second is a real physical one. The breast tissue between the implant and the skin may actually become thinner due to pressure resorption over time. When combined with natural skin relaxation, there can be a definite looser and smaller feel to the breasts in some women. This is also why in saline implants there may be the feel of implant rippling over time.

A more firm feel and slightly larger implant size can be obtained in saline implants without having to replace them. More saline can be added to them through a very simple procedure of reattaching a filler tube. This can not be done through the old armpit scars, however, and requires a nipple incision for direct access to the fill valve area.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana