How Complicated Is It To Replace My Breast Implants?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have had saline breast implants now in place for over 20 years without any problems. My only concern has been the rippling that I feel on the sides of my breasts. I would like to have a more natural feel without the rippling that I understand I will have with the newer silicone gel breast implants. I also want to go to a bigger size. How difficult or complicated is this replacement surgery?

A: Given that you have had no problems for over two decades and have been pleased with the results (minus the rippling) all these years, this indicates well formed pockets. With established pockets that do not need to be adjusted, this would be a simple procedure of swapping a new pair for the olds. The only true surgical site would be the incision and dissection down into the existing capsule. This will result in essentially little to no pain, swelling and bruising after surgery. This will be quite a different experience than your original breast augmentation surgery. It will make no difference that you will be increasing implant size as today’s new implants have more narrow base diameters with increased projection than your old ones. This means that almost regardless of what size you want to go to (within reason), the implant capsule will not need to released or expanded from its existing size to accommodate new implants that are 100 to 150ccs bigger.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana