Q: Dr. Eppley, I had breast augmentation three years and had PIP breast implants placed. Since the scandal about PIP implants has been reported, I am concerned about whether my breast implants are safe to have in my body. I don’t want some inferior low-grade silicone material inside my body. Besides getting the implants out and replaced, I also want to go a little smaller. I currently have 475cc implants in and want to downsize them to 400cc, maybe 375cc. Do you think I will develop any sagginess of my breasts if I do so?
A: The answer to what happens to your breast tissue when implants are downsized is not straightforward. There are numerous factors that can affect what happens when the size of the balloon is deflated somewhat. The most important factors are the elasticity of your breast skin and what it actually looked like before the breast implants were placed. Also, whether the implants are positioned above or below the muscle also plays a role. Given that you are considering an implant downsizing of 75cc to 100cc, or 16% to 21% total implant volume, the overlying breast tissue will lose significant support. Sagging could develop with this implant volume reduction if your breast skin has limited elasticity or you had some loose breast skin previously. This is an issue to consider when determining what your new breast implant size should be.
Dr. Barry Eppley