I woke up this morning and my saline breast implant on my right side is deflated. This happened with no trauma. What are my options?

I'm wondering what to do. I would like to replace my implants but go smaller. Is this advised?

Answers from doctors (12)


Replacement of a deflated saline implant is not a technically-complicated procedure. It typically involves re-opening the prior access incision, then removing and replacing the original device. While this is not an emergency, the earlier this is addressed the easier the procedure.

That being said, while only one implant needs to be replaced, most will replace both. This allows for an adjustment in size as well.

As always, discuss your concerns with a board-certified plastic surgeon (ABPS).

Answered by The Institute of Aesthetic Surgery (View Profile)

Replacement of a deflated saline implant is not a technically-complicated procedure. It typically involves re-opening the prior access incision, then removing and replacing the original device. While this is not an emergency, the earlier this is addressed the easier the procedure.

That being said, while only one implant needs to be replaced, most will replace both. This allows for an adjustment in size as well.

As always, discuss your concerns with a board-certified plastic surgeon (ABPS).

Published on Jul 11, 2012


More About Doctor Vanek Plastic Surgery

Published on May 04, 2017

You have many choices and plenty of time to decide. The deflation of your right saline implant is not a medical emergency. Make an appointment with a board certified plastic surgeon and let him evaluate your opposite side implant, do a careful breast exam, and get a mammogram on you if it is indicated by your age and examination.

Most likely, you will have the recommendation to have both implants replaced. Your deflated side may rapidly form a capsule that needs to be removed when your implant shell is removed.

The decision to go smaller is your own. If you've had breast volume or shape changes since your first surgery, understand that additional intervention like a breast lift is likely needed. That will be discussed during your consultation and physical examination process, while you are undergoing custom sizing by me in my practice.

Answered by Vanek Plastic Surgery (View Profile)

You have many choices and plenty of time to decide. The deflation of your right saline implant is not a medical emergency. Make an appointment with a board certified plastic surgeon and let him evaluate your opposite side implant, do a careful breast exam, and get a mammogram on you if it is indicated by your age and examination.

Most likely, you will have the recommendation to have both implants replaced. Your deflated side may rapidly form a capsule that needs to be removed when your implant shell is removed.

The decision to go smaller is your own. If you've had breast volume or shape changes since your first surgery, understand that additional intervention like a breast lift is likely needed. That will be discussed during your consultation and physical examination process, while you are undergoing custom sizing by me in my practice.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Thank you for your question. I am sorry to hear about your deflation. You should contact your plastic surgeon and let him or her know about the acute change in your breast implant size. You can also notify the manufacturer of your breast implants to open a claim for reimbursement for your deflation. If you desire a size change, I recommend you replace both implants. You my consider changing to silicone gel implants. Depending on the amount you want to reduce your breast size, you may benefit from a breast lift or mastopexy. Consult with your plastic surgeon or another board certified plastic surgeon so you can be examined and discuss all of your options. All the best.

Answered by Charles A. Messa, III, M.D., F.A.C.S. (View Profile)

Thank you for your question. I am sorry to hear about your deflation. You should contact your plastic surgeon and let him or her know about the acute change in your breast implant size. You can also notify the manufacturer of your breast implants to open a claim for reimbursement for your deflation. If you desire a size change, I recommend you replace both implants. You my consider changing to silicone gel implants. Depending on the amount you want to reduce your breast size, you may benefit from a breast lift or mastopexy. Consult with your plastic surgeon or another board certified plastic surgeon so you can be examined and discuss all of your options. All the best.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


More About Doctor Christopher Pelletiere, MD

Published on Apr 14, 2017

Replace them with silicone gel implants. They are just as safe but more durable and feel better over time. I hope this helps.

Answered by Christopher Pelletiere, MD (View Profile)

Replace them with silicone gel implants. They are just as safe but more durable and feel better over time. I hope this helps.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


More About Doctor Hamilton Surgical Arts

Published on Apr 14, 2017

Saline implants rupture normally because of a wrinkle that over time creates a pin hole leak. Your options are naturally to have them replaced. You can upgrade to silicone. There is usually an up charge. You can get both replaced. You can also just have the deflated one replaced, but then I would stay with Saline so you would look the same on both sides.

Answered by Hamilton Surgical Arts (View Profile)

Saline implants rupture normally because of a wrinkle that over time creates a pin hole leak. Your options are naturally to have them replaced. You can upgrade to silicone. There is usually an up charge. You can get both replaced. You can also just have the deflated one replaced, but then I would stay with Saline so you would look the same on both sides.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


More About Doctor Paul Vitenas Jr., MD

Published on Apr 13, 2017

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately because you're saline implant did deflate, you will want to consider having a breast implant exchange. Most women today seek out a more natural looking implant such as silicone gel, and not have to worry about them deflating over time. It is always an option to go smaller, with the realistic expectation that you will still have the same skin envelope as your currently do; meaning you may have a little loose skin after your exchange unless you receive a breast lift to tighten up the skin envelope.

Answered by Paul Vitenas Jr., MD (View Profile)

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately because you're saline implant did deflate, you will want to consider having a breast implant exchange. Most women today seek out a more natural looking implant such as silicone gel, and not have to worry about them deflating over time. It is always an option to go smaller, with the realistic expectation that you will still have the same skin envelope as your currently do; meaning you may have a little loose skin after your exchange unless you receive a breast lift to tighten up the skin envelope.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Stephen Greenberg, MD

Published on Apr 10, 2017

Thank you for your question. If you have experienced an implant deflation it would be important to seek a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss an implant exchange. Saline implants have a life expectancy of approximately 8 years (at the most) and I have seen patients experience a rupture or issue requiring a surgical intervention in fewer years than that. A saline implant deflation is NOT dangerous, however, you would want to have the implant replaced because it has become 'faulty' and it becomes slightly more complicated to exchange if you allow too much time to pass between the implant deflation and the implant exchange as scar tissue can develop.

I would recommend scheduling a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss the options available to you. You can choose to keep saline implants, switch to silicone gel implants (generally recommended for most patients - more natural looking and feeling and do much better long term), go larger in size or go smaller in size. I hope you find this helpful and I wish you all of the best!

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Answered by Stephen Greenberg, MD

Thank you for your question. If you have experienced an implant deflation it would be important to seek a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss an implant exchange. Saline implants have a life expectancy of approximately 8 years (at the most) and I have seen patients experience a rupture or issue requiring a surgical intervention in fewer years than that. A saline implant deflation is NOT dangerous, however, you would want to have the implant replaced because it has become 'faulty' and it becomes slightly more complicated to exchange if you allow too much time to pass between the implant deflation and the implant exchange as scar tissue can develop.

I would recommend scheduling a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss the options available to you. You can choose to keep saline implants, switch to silicone gel implants (generally recommended for most patients - more natural looking and feeling and do much better long term), go larger in size or go smaller in size. I hope you find this helpful and I wish you all of the best!

Published on Jul 11, 2012


James D. Wethe, M.D.

Published on Apr 08, 2017

Since no implant, saline or silicone, would be expected to last for a lifetime, deflation of a saline implant is bound to happen sooner or later. In most cases, I find that there is no history of trauma or an "incident" that appears related to the deflation. The best course is to call the surgeon who placed the implants and explain the situation. They will likely get you in right away to go over your options. One of those options is to replace both implants, and at that time you could elect to go with a smaller implant size. Hope this helps

-J. Wethe, M.D.

//imgs-origin.edoctors.com/imageresizer/image/user_uploads/58x58_85-1/doctors/8226_1478207025.jpg
Answered by James D. Wethe, M.D.

Since no implant, saline or silicone, would be expected to last for a lifetime, deflation of a saline implant is bound to happen sooner or later. In most cases, I find that there is no history of trauma or an "incident" that appears related to the deflation. The best course is to call the surgeon who placed the implants and explain the situation. They will likely get you in right away to go over your options. One of those options is to replace both implants, and at that time you could elect to go with a smaller implant size. Hope this helps

-J. Wethe, M.D.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


More About Doctor Susan Vasko MD, FACS

Published on Apr 04, 2017

It sounds like your implant ruptured, which caused it to deflate. There does not always need to be a trauma incident for the implant to rupture. You can absolutely go smaller when you replace them. Depending on how much smaller, you may need a breast lift as well. Your plastic surgeon will be able to advise you on your options.

Answered by Susan Vasko MD, FACS (View Profile)

It sounds like your implant ruptured, which caused it to deflate. There does not always need to be a trauma incident for the implant to rupture. You can absolutely go smaller when you replace them. Depending on how much smaller, you may need a breast lift as well. Your plastic surgeon will be able to advise you on your options.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


More About Doctor Tom Pousti, M.D.

Published on Apr 04, 2017

Unfortunately, sometimes the breast implant deflates without any trauma.... contact your surgeon and he/she will be able to assist you.

The breast implant should be under warranty (if you haven't had the implants for more than 10 years).

Best wishes.
Tom Pousti MD
619-466-8851

Answered by Tom Pousti, M.D. (View Profile)

Unfortunately, sometimes the breast implant deflates without any trauma.... contact your surgeon and he/she will be able to assist you.

The breast implant should be under warranty (if you haven't had the implants for more than 10 years).

Best wishes.
Tom Pousti MD
619-466-8851

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Edward Domanskis M.D.

Published on Apr 04, 2017

Deflation, in my experience, happens to about 10% of patients that have saline implants over the life of the patient. You have several choices--either replace the one side with saline/silicone, or both and adjust the size to what you want. If the deflation has occurred within 10 years, the manufacturer usually pays a portion of the cost and even if they are silicone, there is just an upcharge. You should get it done sooner than later for the pocket contracts, and it is more work to then open the space (and more painful!).

Dr. Edward Jonas Domanskis is Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
1441 Avocado Avenue, Suite 307
Newport Beach, California 92660
949.640-6324/1.888.234-5080(Ca)
FAX- 949.640-7347
Website: http://www.surgery-plastic.com
Assistant Clinical Professor of SurgeryWOS-Plastic,University of California (Irvine)
Orange County’s Physician of Excellence/America’s Top Physicians/Top Doctors
Plastic Surgery- 2005-2017
President,American Society of Bariatric Plastic Surgeons
www.ASBPS.org
Organoderm Skin care/ScaRxTape

//imgs-origin.edoctors.com/imageresizer/image/user_uploads/58x58_85-1/doctors/7193_1500928629.jpg
Answered by Edward Domanskis M.D.

Deflation, in my experience, happens to about 10% of patients that have saline implants over the life of the patient. You have several choices--either replace the one side with saline/silicone, or both and adjust the size to what you want. If the deflation has occurred within 10 years, the manufacturer usually pays a portion of the cost and even if they are silicone, there is just an upcharge. You should get it done sooner than later for the pocket contracts, and it is more work to then open the space (and more painful!).

Dr. Edward Jonas Domanskis is Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
1441 Avocado Avenue, Suite 307
Newport Beach, California 92660
949.640-6324/1.888.234-5080(Ca)
FAX- 949.640-7347
Website: http://www.surgery-plastic.com
Assistant Clinical Professor of SurgeryWOS-Plastic,University of California (Irvine)
Orange County’s Physician of Excellence/America’s Top Physicians/Top Doctors
Plastic Surgery- 2005-2017
President,American Society of Bariatric Plastic Surgeons
www.ASBPS.org
Organoderm Skin care/ScaRxTape

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Charles Slack M.D.

Published on Apr 04, 2017

You can do it but it is not always as easy as it might seem. The problem is that the old, larger implant has created a space that is slightly larger then it currently is. Putting a smaller implant into that bigger space will result in it having too much room to move around creating problems with rippling. You can alter the pocket with a procedure called a capsulorraphy or if you want to significantly downsize remove the implant without replacing it, let the old pocket completely heal the comeback for new implants in 6 months. In addition, a breast lift, if appropriate can help minimize the chance of problems. Hopefully your doctor has spent some time talking to you about these potential problems.

//imgs-origin.edoctors.com/imageresizer/image/user_uploads/58x58_85-1/doctors/6681_1500927127.jpg
Answered by Charles Slack M.D.

You can do it but it is not always as easy as it might seem. The problem is that the old, larger implant has created a space that is slightly larger then it currently is. Putting a smaller implant into that bigger space will result in it having too much room to move around creating problems with rippling. You can alter the pocket with a procedure called a capsulorraphy or if you want to significantly downsize remove the implant without replacing it, let the old pocket completely heal the comeback for new implants in 6 months. In addition, a breast lift, if appropriate can help minimize the chance of problems. Hopefully your doctor has spent some time talking to you about these potential problems.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


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