Patient Questions

QUESTION

How Long Can Ruptured Saline Implants safely Stay in my Body?

The saline implant in my right breast has ruptured or had a slight leak some time ago. I had my surgery 8 years ago, and my surgeon is in another state some 2000 miles away. How long can I live with this deflated saline implant in my body before it causes harm? Should I have it replaced or removed immediately?

ANSWER

Treating Deflated Breast Implants

Removing deflated saline implants should be something that you should do on the sooner side. It is usually not considered a surgical emergency and some people who have silent leaks from small implants have presented to my practice with implants that had probably been ruptured for years. The largest cosmetic issue with a unilateral ruptured implant is that most patients want restoration of symmetry (usually requiring replacement of the implant). As time goes by (3-6 months) the pocket and surrounding tissue can scar down and this can make it difficult to restore the previous shape. I hope this helps. Steven Williams, MD

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