I had saline implants inserted 9 years ago, and one them deflated 3 days ago. I have no interest in ever having it replaced, and would just like both implants permanently removed. However, I don't have a lot of money, and I am not currently insured (Rheumatoid Arthritis has made it impossible for me to get affordable coverage, so I go without). What are the risks of leaving a deflated implant in place? Are there any affordable options for having both implants permanently removed?
Affordable Options for Saline Implant Removal?
Doctor Answers 13
There is no medical problem to having a deflated implant
You will not cause yourself any medical problem if you leave your deflated implant in place. If you want them both simply removed, one way to do this with little cost is to do it with local anesthesia in a plastic surgeon's office. This would involve injection of lidocaine to numb the area, re-creating an incision in the area that is numb, then popping the implant, removing it and closing the incision. This type of implant removal costs $300-800.
Most women act quickly following deflation.
Surgeons are also eager to correct the problem as soon as possible.They realize that with time, the implant pocket starts to shrink.This may be accompanied by creases and folds in the deflated implant which can cause erosions through the skin.
With the passage of time, revisional surgery becomes more difficult with a greater potential for complications.When implants are replaced early, all that’s necessary is a simple exchange of the old deflated implant for a new one.When the empty implant is left in place for prolonged periods of time, the implant pocket may need to be recreated because of shrinkage.
Although we recommend removal and replacement of deflated implants at the earliest possible date, we realize this isn’t always possible.In theory, empty saline implants can be left in place indefinitely.Although this doesn’t help your financial question, it does buy you some time to deal with the issue.If this situation arises, it’s important to consult a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss the pros and cons of leaving a deflated saline implant in place.
Removing breast implants
As long as you're not having problems, you'll probably be okay. Check out your local teaching hospital for implant removal as they frequently offer very low rates.
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Options for saline implant removal
Saline implants are very easily removed often under a local alone and can be made very affordable. Most saline implants will carry a warranty by the manufacturer for ten years which covers the cost of removal and replacement for a premature leak, so pull out your records and have you surgeon pursue a claim.
Best of luck,
Options for dealing with a deflated implant with difficult financial situation
The good news for you is that potentially the costs of removal will be the lowest compared to other scenarios. Under local anesthesia in a board certified plastic surgeon's office, these can usually be removed fairly easily. The thinner and less existing breast tissue that you have, the simpler and more comfortable it will be.
The other option which I could not strongly recommend for the long term would to just have the other side deflated and leave the "envelopes" in. This could be considered as a short term solution (and would help with the aesthetic issues) until you can afford to have both implants removed.
Breast implant removal
If you have a deflated saline breast implant on one side, you could undergo an in-office deflation of the other side to give better symmetry. Ultimately you will require removal of both implants, which could be done under local anesthesia with some mild IV sedation. The total cost could vary between 2500-4000 depending on the anesthesia fees, operating/facility fees, etc.
There are no health risks of leaving a deflated saline implant in place.
Deflated Breast Implants do NOT pose a Threat
Regarding: "Affordable Options for Saline Implant Removal?
I had saline implants inserted 9 years ago, and one them deflated 3 days ago. I have no interest in ever having it replaced, and would just like both implants permanently removed. However, I don't have a lot of money, and I am not currently insured (Rheumatoid Arthritis has made it impossible for me to get affordable coverage, so I go without). What are the risks of leaving a deflated implant in place? Are there any affordable options for having both implants permanently removed?"
As long as the implants are not infected there is no reason to remove them UNLESS you wanted them replaced. They will not hurt you. Insurance would not pay for breast implant removal or replacement so your having coverage would not matter.
Dr. Peter Aldea
Removal of deflated implant
Since you are nine years out from your surgery, the implant manufacturer may help with the expense of replacement. Manufacturers do have warranties on implants. You would need to ask your plastic surgeon to check on that. The simplest solution is to deflate the intact implant. It is a simple procedure in the office. I have done it several times mainly to get an idea of the breast anatomy without the implant fullness. This allows me to better plan what to do when I do go in to revise the breasts.
Low cost solution to deflated implant
Sorry to hear about your financial difficulties. The least expensive way to deal with this is to have your board certified plastic surgeon deflate the opposite side in the office under sterile technique to not be so uneven and leave them in until you can afford to have them removed.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.