I have my latest implants since 1997. For the last three weeks I am experiencing something like a swelling of just the top part of my right breast.

Mammogram and scan showed no signs of rupture or leaking. Implants still feel soft. There is an obvious difference in the size of the affected breast. Because of my age (64), should I consider removing the implants or maybe take anti-inflammatory meds? I smoked for three months, and I have gone to zero nicotine e-cigarettes for the past 3 weeks. (coincidence?)

I had my first implants in the early 1980s, and they lasted 17 years. I would not consider replacing them at this stage of my life.

Answers from doctors (3)


More About Doctor David J. Levens, MD

Published on Jan 29, 2020

Best to have a consultation with a plastic surgeon. At 23 years, it is quite possible, especially if you have silicone implants (saline implants if they fail tend to be much more obvious with loss of volume) for there to be some degree of implant "failure" which may not be detectable with imaging studies. Breast implant removal if needed does not need to be combined with a replacement if you choose as many women, especially after 40 years with 2 sets of implants, opt for removal only then reshaping the breasts as with breast lift or fat grafting to enhance the appearance.

Answered by David J. Levens, MD (View Profile)

Best to have a consultation with a plastic surgeon. At 23 years, it is quite possible, especially if you have silicone implants (saline implants if they fail tend to be much more obvious with loss of volume) for there to be some degree of implant "failure" which may not be detectable with imaging studies. Breast implant removal if needed does not need to be combined with a replacement if you choose as many women, especially after 40 years with 2 sets of implants, opt for removal only then reshaping the breasts as with breast lift or fat grafting to enhance the appearance.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Y Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

Published on Sep 05, 2019

Thank you for your question. The FDA recommends changing your implants out every 10-15 years, but I recommend consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon. It sounds like you may have capsular contracture.

//imgs-origin.edoctors.com/imageresizer/image/user_uploads/58x58_85-1/doctors/8686_1556057697.jpg
Answered by Y Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

Thank you for your question. The FDA recommends changing your implants out every 10-15 years, but I recommend consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon. It sounds like you may have capsular contracture.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


More About Doctor Joseph Cruise, MD

Published on Jul 22, 2019

Implants are not lifetime devices, so it's not unreasonable to consider replacing them after 22 years. It's unlikely you will avoid having an implant replacement or removal procedure again in the future. I would recommend seeing your plastic surgeon or finding a new one to evaluate your breasts and come up with recommendations. Medication such as Singular may be suggested as an option to try. It is possible you are developing late-onset capsular contracture, which may have been triggered by your smoking, but that is hard to say for certain.

Answered by Joseph Cruise, MD (View Profile)

Implants are not lifetime devices, so it's not unreasonable to consider replacing them after 22 years. It's unlikely you will avoid having an implant replacement or removal procedure again in the future. I would recommend seeing your plastic surgeon or finding a new one to evaluate your breasts and come up with recommendations. Medication such as Singular may be suggested as an option to try. It is possible you are developing late-onset capsular contracture, which may have been triggered by your smoking, but that is hard to say for certain.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Related Questions for Breast Implant Removal

Breast Implant Removal -18 answers
I had breast augmentation when I was 17 (8 years ago) 180cc, under the muscle, I was a 32a and became a 32b/c after the surgery. It seems that my breast have grown over the past two years and now they are too large for my liking. Will I sag a lot if I have them removed? Does it help that it is a small implant(only 180cc)? I had someone tell me I would need a breast lift. If 180cc implants are removed on a 32d woman would I be a 32a or 32b/c?
See More
Breast Implant Removal -9 answers
What is it like if you want the implants out? Is there ever a life after implants, or is it always going to be some revisions from here on out? I'm a few years into my BA life and have some capsular contracture going on. I thought it would work itself out but it hasn't. It will cost money to fix of course. Is this really my reality? Fixing the problems as they come? What does it look like when someone decides to no longer have implants? What are my options?
See More
Breast Implant Removal -11 answers
I've had silicone implants (over-the-muscle) for 17 years. There haven't been any complications, just want them removed. To reduce cost, and to not put my body through general anesthesia, could this be done under local anesthesia? Is that an option?
See More
Breast Implant Removal -12 answers
I'm wondering what to do. I would like to replace my implants but go smaller. Is this advised?
See More
Breast Implant Removal -5 answers
How bad will the scarring be? Will I lose all sensation in my nipples ? What is the recovery period ?
See More
Breast Implant Removal -5 answers
It's like something inside is moving as I'm reading calmly or just watching TV, or even when I'm eating. This has been happening for about three years now. At first I thought they were itchy because maybe I was gaining weight. But it was only the left one that gets very hard and itches nonstop. It feels as if something is moving inside. What should I do?
See More
Breast Implant Removal -7 answers
It was done under local anesthesia one year ago. The hardness I feel is on both breasts in the same spot. The upper outside portion on my right breast at 10:00 o'clock, the left breast 2 o'clock. Is this the capsule shrinking? I feel my breasts every day and this started two weeks ago. There is some mild tenderness when squeezed.
See More
Get answers from our experienced doctors.
How it works
Breast Implant Removal -1 answer
Are there doctors who will needle deflate the other breast so my breasts are symmetrical. I need something temporary until I can afford to pay for removal, which one plastic surgeon quoted at nearly $7,000. I've had my breast implants for 17 years and am not looking to replace them.
See More
Breast Implant Removal -1 answer
I don't know how complicated it would be on me to have them removed. I'm 66 years old and in good health. I don't want them replaced, but I don't want my breast to look bad. I don't have the money for the reconstruction. I went to one doctor and he wanted $9000.00 for the reconstruction. Is there anything I can do to make them look normal? Please give me some guidance. Are there any new ways of having them removed? I almost died from falling out of tree, I was very lucky. Please!
See More
Breast Implant Removal -3 answers
The fact is, I was always (and early in life) a large-breasted girl. The idea if being totally flat may be the healthiest choice, as I do prize my health. As a 75-year old fitness model, should I deal with another future implant issue? No, one surgery will be enough for me. I seek health over vanity. Please advise.
See More
Breast Implant Removal -3 answers
1. With local anesthesia, via areola incision (I got my breast augmentation through them). Endoscopic explant surgery, partial capsulectomy 2. With general anesthesia, via areola incision. Endoscopic explant surgery, partial capsulectomy and burn rest of the capsule with surgical electric knife to create scars so that breast tissues will stick to close the space(pocket). Is general anesthesia or local anesthesia best? Is it safe to have partial capsule left in my breasts?
See More
Breast Implant Removal -1 answer
I am planning to get my breast implants removed. On YouTube, I saw a breast explant surgery video where a doctor used a surgical electric knife. It left burn marks on the tissue. Is this safe? Will the burn marks go away. Also, since I had a dual plane breast implant placement, is it important to stitch the cut muscle up? Both of doctors said that it’s unnecessary.
See More

Related Articles

Have specific questions?
ASK A DOCTOR