This week, Richard M. Kline, Jr., MD, of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction answers your question about breast reconstruction.
Question: I have pain on the side of my breast where an implant was attached at reconstruction surgery in 1987. It has always hurt but recently has become much worse. Inflammation increases with sinus and allergy problems.
The implants are still soft so my recent visit to a plastic surgeon was uneventful. As I am 75 years old, they would not remove them. MRIs have shown they are not leaking. The pain keeps me on edge thinking something is very wrong. What are my options?
Answer: I’m sorry you are having problems so long after your surgery.
I don’t think you necessarily have to just accept your situation. You can have very bad, and painful scarring internally, especially with old implants, even if they are not ruptured. Additionally, if you are otherwise healthy, there is no reason you couldn’t have them removed, even at 75. I’m not saying that this would solve your problems (although it may), but don’t discount the option just because of your age. For what it’s worth, we have actually done DIEP flaps successfully on patients your age, and that is a much larger procedure than removing implants.
I would be happy to speak with you and discuss your situation further if you wish.
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