I am asked pretty regularly about what a woman should do with old breast implants. The answer depends upon how things look and feel and what kind of implants are in place. Silicone gel implants in my opinion should be changed more frequently.
Silicone gel implants degrade over time and our bodies react with the gel creating scar and calcium. This hardens the breasts and requires removal of the implants and capsules to repair. This is amongst my reasons for preferring saline filled implants as they cause much less of this reaction than the silicone gel implant types. Newer generation gummy bear silicone gel implants will hopefully cause less reaction than their predecessors, but we won’t know how much for about another 10 years.
The images on the next page are those from a recent case in which I removed 25 year old silicone breast implants and the scar capsules that surrounded them. In this case the patient didn’t realize that her right implant was ruptured until an imaging study was obtained. In addition, since her breasts had hardened slowly over years, she didn’t connect it with her implants.
John Di Saia MD
Originally posted 2010-04-28 07:30:32.
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