I had saline implants in September of 2004 and have never had an issue with them. Over the course of the last week I felt like my right breast was shrinking in size and becoming very "squishy" where I can feel the implant. I have not suffered any kind of injury or done anything so this is very upsetting to say the least. What exactly will my Dr. Have to do to fix this as I am mortified that I have this deflated breast. With the Inamed warranty what will I have to pay?
My Right (Saline) Implant Seems to Be Deflating (Slowly) I Am Freaking Out, What Should I Do?
Doctor Answers (9)
Sorry, but what you describe sounds like a deflation. If so, you will need a new implant to be placed. You should go for a consultation.
Slowly deflating implant
As the others suggested, Inamed (now Allergan) has a lifetime warranty on their implants. If you purchased an extended warranty you will also receive some money to help pay for the surgery. Nevertheless I would recommend you see a board certified plastic surgeon for a consultation. It is definitely easier to remove and replace your implant(s) before your capsule tightens and shrinks around a deflated implant but you do not have to feel like this is urgent. You want to make sure you investigate a good surgeon who performs a lot of breast surgery before scheduling a surgery. Best wishes to you!
Shrinking Breast Implant
It can be quite distressing for a patient when they notice that suddenly one breast is getting smaller. In your case, the issues I slowly leaking saline implant. There are no health issues to be worried about, as the saline is completely benign and simply gets absorbed. The likelihood of saline implant leaking increases with it’s age. In my practice we see a number of saline implants that last well over 10 years, but once in a while the implant can leak earlier. In your case, you’ll have to decide if you want to replace one or both implants. Many of our patients also choose to replace their saline implants with the newer generation of silicone implants. A thorough discussion with your plastic surgeon will help you make proper decision. As for the timing of the replacement, for some patients it makes sense to deflate the other implant as well ( a simple painless process), allowing the patient plenty of time to schedule the replacement surgery without rushing, and on their own convenient schedule.
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Don't freak out. This is an unfortunate situation which happens about 1% a year. This is a mechanical device and these devices fail. You don't have to do anything to cause this. The good news is it is a simple operation to replace the device. both Allergan and Mentor have excellent warranty programs which will replace the implants and may cover part of the cost of surgery if you took advantage of the extended warranty.
Seek out a board certified plastic surgeon to advise you and help you through this unfortunate event.
Without an exam it’s hard to really tell if you’re deflating. Let’s say you are you should see a PS to remove and replace your implants. If you paid for the warranty you should be covered for 2 implants and $1200 dollars to go towards OR and Anesthesia. Each practice is different, in our practice you pay us up front and after surgery the company will send you the check of that amount.
Ruptured Saline #BreastImplant
From your story, it does sound like you may have a rupture. I would recommend seeing your physician to determine the next appropriate step. If your implant is ruptured, the manufacturers routinely provide you with a new replacement implant at no cost and often additional money toward the replacement procedure. This would need to be determined with you and the manufacturer. If it is ruptured, the sooner you replace the implant the better as the pocket will contract if there is less volume within the implant.
Best of luck,
Vincent Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
Of course all implants will deflate eventually and it is rarely from any patient activity. They just are not expected to last for your lifetime. See your surgeon to schedule a replacement and his office will be able to determine exactly what the manufacturer's warranty will cover. The replacement is a much easier recovery than the original surgery. Because your implants are now 8 years old, you are on the cusp of when I would recommend replacing the other implant while you are in surgery for the deflated one. It is best to do this replacement sooner rather than later as the longer you wait the more difficult the surgery.
Possible Saline Implant Deflation
First off, don't freak out too much. The last thing you want during this situation is added emotional stress. As a woman, I understand the thought of one deflated breast could feel catastrophic. It is important to look into your options. If you purchased the extended warranty, this would provide additional financial assistance that would cover a portion of your surgical cost in addition to providing new breast implants if there is a confirmed deflation. You are also able to exchange your implants with silicone implants at this time with a charge for switching from saline to silicone. Because your implants were placed almost 8 years ago, I would recommend that you consider exchanging both implants for two brand new implants. I would hate to see you have to go through this same procedure anytime soon if the other implant should become deflated (which as you are experiencing, is unpredictable). You are able to contact the implant manufacterer and report your own possible deflation, however, a surgeon that you elect to have perform your implant exchange surgery will have to provide the deflated implant back to the manufacterer for them to do their own studies and confirm the deflation prior to issuing any financial reimbursement to the patient or physician. I agree with the physician below me. I would recommend that you have the implant exchanged as soon as possible, as the longer you wait the more the chance the capsule will to start to shrink around the implant and an additional procedure that would incur a more difficult recovery and possibly be more costly to the patient is a possibility. I recommend to my patients to have their implant(s) exchanged within the first 2 weeks if possible. I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck!
My Right (Saline) Implant Seems to Be Deflating (Slowly)
Your surgeon will have to remove the deflated implant and replace it with a new one. The sooner you do this the easier the procedure will be for you--if you wait, the capsule in which the implant sits will shrink and make the operation more difficult.
Inamed (now Allergan) had two levels of warranty. The standard one offered $1200 toward the fees encountered. The extended warranty offered $1000-1200 more. Both will provide an implant without charge.
You will have to ask your surgeon what the total charge will be. If you see the surgeon who first put the implant in you might be offered a lower fee.
Thanks for the question, best wishes.