The Aging Breast Implant

It is true that breast implants often last a lifetime. Yet, every so often a woman becomes concerned about the appearance of their aging breast implants. There are changes that do naturally occur in the breasts over time. There are also changes that may occur in the breast implants as well. The change in breasts may be easy for some women to live with. For others, changes may be the reason for reoperation, including:

  • Contact between the breast implant and the breast parenchyma may result in thinning of the skin and breast tissue
  • Breast tissue may appear less elastic over time
  • The skin envelope changes with age
  • As breasts become more fatty with age, the appearance of breast augmentation may change
  • Breast sagging develops in time

Knowing the Options

Plastic surgeons use refined techniques for the replacement of Silicone Gel, Polyurethane-covered Silicone and Saline-filled breast implants. Women interested in revision breast augmentation due to age related changes may receive a consultation to review their goals with a plastic surgeon. It is wise to know the type of breast implant that you have and where it is placed to provide that information in the consultation. Plastic surgeons will evaluate the characteristics of the breast tissues during the consultation. This includes: the degree of breast sagging and the extent of fatty tissue. Depending upon the outcome of the evaluation, women may select breast augmentation reoperation with a larger breast implant to compensate for breast changes. Alternatively, they may select breast augmentation and the breast lift procedure to improve breast changes.

Breast augmentation reoperation is not for everyone. Plastic surgeons have seen women that have had breast implants in place for twenty years and their breasts still look great. Yet, other women may experience more extensive changes with age. The good news is that revision breast augmentation is not necessarily as intensive as the first breast augmentation procedure. There is often less pain involved following the procedure because the pocket for the breast implant has already been dissected. Thus, less trauma to the breast tissue and less pain. Many implants can be easily removed and new ones may be easily slipped into place.

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