What Should I Replace My Old Saline Breast Implants With?

Q: Hello, I am in the beginning stages of finding a surgeon for breast implant replacement to suit my needs the best. My previous surgeon has since retired and my breast implants are almost 10yrs old. They are saline and I am now a D cup but was a C cup when they were new. I don’t think the increase is due to weight gain.  I think its because they have dropped a bit. What do you recommend in regards to implant replacement.

A: The ‘need’ to replace breast implants occurs either to a desire for some type of further enhancement (size change) or an existing problem with one of both of the implants. When it comes to saline implants, the absolute need to replace them is when one fails or deflates. There is no need to change just because they are getting older. My Indianapolis plastic surgery practice motto has been on this very subject…’if they look and feel fine, then there is never a need to replace a saline breast implant.’

That being said, most saline breast implants will eventually undergo a deflation usually in the 10 to 20 year range after their initial placement.

One of the unrecognized (by patients) phenomenon of breast implants is that they can change position over time. Whether it be weight loss, pregnancy, or a larger size implant, the soft tissue containing them can and often does change. When the soft tissue around the implant changes (stretches or relaxes), the position and shape of the breast may soften and settle. In larger implants, their size and weight may cause the lower breast fold (inframmary crease) to drop. This sounds like what has happened in your case.

While silicone gel breast implants were not available 10 years ago, you should seriously consider converting to them at this point if you are looking for further breast improvements. They will not have rippling and may feel softer and more natural. You would also eliminate the lifelong risk of a spontaneous implant deflation. When replacing the implants, you may also consider repositioning of the lower breast fold back up higher to correct any implant bottoming out that has occurred.

Dr. Barry Eppley