14 doctors weighed in:
Is it true that breast implants feel like rocks after 30 years?
14 doctors weighed in

Dr. Bryan McIntosh
Surgery - Plastics
5 doctors agree
In brief: No
Breast implants develop scar tissue around them within days after the initial augmentation surgery.
When scarring unpredictably becomes severe, the breasts can become firm, malpositioned, misshapened, and even painful. This is called capsular contracture, and it doesn't necessarily happen in 30 years or even ever. But if it happens, another surgery would be required to correct the problem.

In brief: No
Breast implants develop scar tissue around them within days after the initial augmentation surgery.
When scarring unpredictably becomes severe, the breasts can become firm, malpositioned, misshapened, and even painful. This is called capsular contracture, and it doesn't necessarily happen in 30 years or even ever. But if it happens, another surgery would be required to correct the problem.
Dr. Bryan McIntosh
Dr. Bryan McIntosh
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Dr. Otto Placik
Surgery - Plastics
3 doctors agree
In brief: Sometimes
This is a process called capsular contracture.
The reasons why they form are not entirely understood. They are currently attributed to biofilms (bacteria) and/or blood. They do not always form and I have removed implants that have been soft for 35 years. They do not always form on both breasts. Rates may vary by manufacturer, implant surface & position & can increase with time ranging from 8-16%.

In brief: Sometimes
This is a process called capsular contracture.
The reasons why they form are not entirely understood. They are currently attributed to biofilms (bacteria) and/or blood. They do not always form and I have removed implants that have been soft for 35 years. They do not always form on both breasts. Rates may vary by manufacturer, implant surface & position & can increase with time ranging from 8-16%.
Dr. Otto Placik
Dr. Otto Placik
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Dr. Robert Alexander
Surgery - Plastics
3 doctors agree
In brief: No
The cause of implants becoming very firm has to do with tightening of the capsule that forms around them. This contracture can be painful, and cause very hard, painful, & unnatural breasts.
Not all patients have this happen, and some have it early after implant placement. It is common to replace the implants every 7-10 years due to implant failures.

In brief: No
The cause of implants becoming very firm has to do with tightening of the capsule that forms around them. This contracture can be painful, and cause very hard, painful, & unnatural breasts.
Not all patients have this happen, and some have it early after implant placement. It is common to replace the implants every 7-10 years due to implant failures.
Dr. Robert Alexander
Dr. Robert Alexander
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Dr. Marguerite Barnett
Surgery - Plastics
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Hard Implants
Dr. Mcintosh is correct that scar capsule contracture and not the implant is the cause of hard implants.
But gel implants are more likely to get hard than salines, probably because there is always some gel leakage which may stimulate more scar formation. This seems to worse with older implants.

In brief: Hard Implants
Dr. Mcintosh is correct that scar capsule contracture and not the implant is the cause of hard implants.
But gel implants are more likely to get hard than salines, probably because there is always some gel leakage which may stimulate more scar formation. This seems to worse with older implants.
Dr. Marguerite Barnett
Dr. Marguerite Barnett
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Dr. Nina Naidu
Surgery - Plastics
In brief: Old breast implants
Breast implants may form a capsule over time, which can feel very firm. However, some patients may have implants in for 20+ years which can continue to feel soft and natural.
The older generation of silicone implants, which had higher rupture rates, did tend to produce firm capsules following rupture. If you have very firm implants, you should see a board-certified plastic surgeon.

In brief: Old breast implants
Breast implants may form a capsule over time, which can feel very firm. However, some patients may have implants in for 20+ years which can continue to feel soft and natural.
The older generation of silicone implants, which had higher rupture rates, did tend to produce firm capsules following rupture. If you have very firm implants, you should see a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Dr. Nina Naidu
Dr. Nina Naidu
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