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Implant experiences - any advice?

Posts: 46
Joined: Dec 2001

I had a double mastectomy/immediate reconstruction after bc diagnosis on Oct 22nd. I am having the expanders taken out in Jan and my permanent implants put in. I am looking for feedback/advice from anyone who has had either silicone or saline implants. Has anyone had either for 3 to 5+ years?
Thanks in advance!

Posts: 173
Joined: Mar 2001


Hi, my nmae is Kathy and I have had my silicone implants for 9 years now. I am so happy I had reconstrutive surgery. I will tell you that during my last CT Scan, they found that my left implant has sprung a leak. I see my plastic surgeon Jan 4th, so will let you know what she says. My gynocologist I just saw yesterday, feels that she will replace it with saline. If it was saline leaking, she would let it alone. Will see what she says in January. I'm not concerned either way. The silicone is the same they use in antacids and I take them all the time.

Most implants can last a lifetime, but I think the average is 10 years. Ask your plastic surgeon. My plastic surgeon also had a list of patients that were willing to talk with other patients. I used to be on that list too until we moved out of the calling area. That was very helpful. Ask your surgeon about that option also.

You will feel so much better once those expanders are taken out. Going through the expansion is the hard work. I still get tightness in the area where my mastectomy was done every month. Just a reminder to me to continue to pay attention and do my self-exams regularly.

Good luck with your surgery and if you need any more help, don't hesitate to ask. Hope this has helped.

God Bless,


Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2001

Silcone implants twenty years ago, and generally not a single problem. I'm planning to change these to a combination silicone/saline so I can adjust the size to match my aging body(grin).

Let me know if you need more information..

Posts: 46
Joined: Dec 2001

Thanks for the responses. I go in on Jan 15th. I have decided to go with Silicone implants to try to get the most realistic feeling breasts possible. Wish me luck ladies!

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2017

I am new to this whole experience and was recently diagnosed with Stage 2 Adrenocarinoma. I had a mastectomy and axillary dissection 5 weeks ago. I also had an expander put in during my surgery. first off, he put in this huge expander trying to match what I had but it is way too big. It is very wide, too wide. I also am having alot of fluid build up which makes it seem like the expander is moving around. Can it do that? Should it do that? It looks horrible and I am so afraid that the final result will not be anything like I wanted. I have tried multiple times to communicate my wishes but obviously it is in there now so we will have to deal with it. What is frustrating is he said he would put the same one in on the other side when I have that one removed after my chemo.

What are your thoughts and experiences with these expanders and am I being to critical? I have so much to worry about I really wish this was not adding to the worry.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Clementine_P's picture
Posts: 516
Joined: Feb 2011

Hi Diverchick,

I'm sorry you are having to go through this.  I had expanders and they were large and unseemly.  The thing is, though, is that they are not supposed to look or feel like a breast or an implant.  Their job is just to stretch out the area for the eventual implant.  Mine were not in evenly and I mentioned it to my plastic surgeon and he told me not to worry about it - they aren't supposed to be perfect since they aren't the implants.  I was told that they are 10-20% larger than the implant will be and don't have to be in the exact location that your implants will be.  In the end, I got my implants and he was right.  The actual implants are much better, in the correct place, the correct size, etc...


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