I've had implants for over 30 years. They are very round and hard. Do I need to replace them?

Answers from doctors (11)


More About Doctor Michelle Roughton, MD

Published on Nov 21, 2019

Yes, you most likely have capsular contracture, which is a scar around the implants that makes them feel firm and spherical. It doesn't have any health risks but will likely become increasingly tender over time.

Answered by Michelle Roughton, MD (View Profile)

Yes, you most likely have capsular contracture, which is a scar around the implants that makes them feel firm and spherical. It doesn't have any health risks but will likely become increasingly tender over time.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Barry J. Kaplan, D.O.

Published on Jun 02, 2016

From the sounds of it and the period in which you had the implantation, you most likely have silicone implants. Given your complications, they need to be removed, but replacement is up to you. If the capsules (hardness) are not removed, you will be OK without replacement but will continue to experience hardness. Replacement would require complete removal of the upper portion of the capsule, which is extensive surgery.

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Answered by Barry J. Kaplan, D.O.

From the sounds of it and the period in which you had the implantation, you most likely have silicone implants. Given your complications, they need to be removed, but replacement is up to you. If the capsules (hardness) are not removed, you will be OK without replacement but will continue to experience hardness. Replacement would require complete removal of the upper portion of the capsule, which is extensive surgery.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Edward Domanskis M.D.

Published on Mar 25, 2016

You can probably get a much better feel and look by replacing them with newer, more improved implants.

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Answered by Edward Domanskis M.D.

You can probably get a much better feel and look by replacing them with newer, more improved implants.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Kenneth L. Stein M.D. FACS

Published on Mar 18, 2016

I think there is a chance you have a contracture and will need an exam and evaluation. Seek out and consult a board-certified plastic surgeon. He or she can examine you, diagnose your problem, and recommend appropriate treatment.

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Answered by Kenneth L. Stein M.D. FACS

I think there is a chance you have a contracture and will need an exam and evaluation. Seek out and consult a board-certified plastic surgeon. He or she can examine you, diagnose your problem, and recommend appropriate treatment.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


More About Doctor Tom Pousti, M.D.

Published on Mar 08, 2016

If you are experiencing discomfort and the breasts are "hard," you may have capsular contracture (scar tissue formation). Should this be the case, revision surgery may be indicated. Visit with board-certified plastic surgeons who can show you examples of their work. Best wishes.

Answered by Tom Pousti, M.D. (View Profile)

If you are experiencing discomfort and the breasts are "hard," you may have capsular contracture (scar tissue formation). Should this be the case, revision surgery may be indicated. Visit with board-certified plastic surgeons who can show you examples of their work. Best wishes.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Gerald Minniti, M.D., F.A.C.S

Published on Mar 07, 2016

Yes. You have capsular contracture, and your implants are likely ruptured. It is not dangerous, but you should remove and replace them.

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Answered by Gerald Minniti, M.D., F.A.C.S

Yes. You have capsular contracture, and your implants are likely ruptured. It is not dangerous, but you should remove and replace them.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Body by Ravi

Published on Feb 25, 2016

Typically, after 30 years, it is a reasonable idea to change the implants, especially if they are hard. This would indicate that there may be a capsular contracture.

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Answered by Body by Ravi

Typically, after 30 years, it is a reasonable idea to change the implants, especially if they are hard. This would indicate that there may be a capsular contracture.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Robert J. Brueck MD, FACS

Published on Feb 24, 2016

It sounds like you got great mileage and it is time to get them out. When they get hard like that, they sometimes are painful. New ones will give you another 50,000 miles.

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Answered by Robert J. Brueck MD, FACS

It sounds like you got great mileage and it is time to get them out. When they get hard like that, they sometimes are painful. New ones will give you another 50,000 miles.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Good afternoon!

Most likely if they are silicone they are broken, which can stimulate capsular contracture. You will probably need a complete capsulectomy and implant exchange. If they are over the muscle, I would recommend you at least consider switching them to under the muscle, or as an alternative go back with a textured implant over the muscle.

Answered by Don R. Revis, Jr., M.D, F.A.C.S (View Profile)

Good afternoon!

Most likely if they are silicone they are broken, which can stimulate capsular contracture. You will probably need a complete capsulectomy and implant exchange. If they are over the muscle, I would recommend you at least consider switching them to under the muscle, or as an alternative go back with a textured implant over the muscle.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Boris Bergus, MD

Published on Feb 10, 2016

Yes, these need to be replaced.

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Answered by Boris Bergus, MD

Yes, these need to be replaced.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Larry Leverett, MD, FACS

Published on Feb 10, 2016

You likely have bilateral capsular contractures. The most common cause of this in implants that are 30 years old is implant rupture. Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon. He or she will likely need to do bilateral capsulectomies and bilateral breast implant exchanges for you. It's easily performed, outpatient and relatively pain-free.

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Answered by Larry Leverett, MD, FACS

You likely have bilateral capsular contractures. The most common cause of this in implants that are 30 years old is implant rupture. Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon. He or she will likely need to do bilateral capsulectomies and bilateral breast implant exchanges for you. It's easily performed, outpatient and relatively pain-free.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


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