Deciding Whether to Replace or Just Remove Ruptured or Deflated Breast Implants

The vast majority of women who have undergone breast augmentation surgery are very happy with their outcome and the impact on their lives. For many, their lives are positively transformed in a multitude of ways.

Which is exactly what they were seeking.

These women may also be faced with another decision somewhere later in time that directly relates to an intrinsic part of their breast enlargement surgery: addressing deflated or ruptured breast implants.

Breast implants are not necessarily permanent, last forever devices. Though they are generally very durable, given a long enough period of time they can be expected to wear down and “rupture” (silicone breast implants) or deflate (saline implants). This could be at 5 years, 19 years or even 40 years.

What does one do at that point in time?

In my long experience in plastic surgery practice, the overwhelming majority of women faced with this decision opt to have their old implants removed and new ones inserted at the same time (also called implant exchange). Their implants have become “part” of them and to be without them is not a choice that they would be happy with.

Interestingly, it’s not just women in their thirties, forties or fifties expressing this sentiment. I have had numerous women in their sixties, seventies and even eighties who felt the same way – insisting that new ones be put back in.

Nice…!

Of course, whether to replace a ruptured or deflated breast implant with a new one or just remove it (explantation) is a personal decision that is based on a variety of factors.

The following 65 year old patient presented to me with known ruptured breast implants that had been in for more than 40 years. She had also developed uncomfortable capsular contracture over time (hardness around the implants) that she found to be problematic (photos A, C and E). Her experiences following breast augmentation surgery had been very positive.

A. Ruptured 40 year old breast implants

A. Ruptured 40 year old breast implants

B. 9 months postoperative

B. 9 months postoperative

C. Ruptured silicone breast implants

C. Ruptured silicone breast implants

D. 9 months postoperative

D. 9 months postoperative

E. Ruptured silicone breast implants

E. Ruptured silicone breast implants

F. 9 months postoperative

F. 9 months postoperative

Following a full discussion of all the options, risks, complications and expectations, she elected to just have them explanted (removed) which was done without issue. Her nine month results can be seen in photos B, D and F. She was very happy both with her decision to remove the implants as well as the ultimate appearance of her breasts after explantation.

For more information on explantation (breast implant removal), breast revision surgery or any other plastic surgery procedure that I perform or to schedule your consultation, you can call my office at 480-451-3000.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

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