Q: Dr. Eppley, I have silicone breast implants which have hardened from lack of sex and age of implants. What can be done to get them replaced and have nice soft breasts again?
A: Many old silicone breast implants originally placed in the 1980s are very firm today due to capsular contracture. There are many reasons why these old implants have this aesthetic pathologic condition, from gel bleed to implant ruptures, but there is no scientific evidence to correlate a lack of sex as one of them. While massage of breast implants was preached as a necessary technique to prevent capsular contracture back then, this is not needed today. The best approach for your implant problem is to have them removed, perform total removal of all surrounding breast scar/capsule (which often shows signs of calcification) and have new breast implants placed under the pectoralis muscle. While the cause of breast implant capsular contracture is still not fully understood even today, what is known is that an under the muscle implant position (submuscular) is much better than on top of the muscle (subfascial) for prevention of it developing.
Dr. Barry Eppley