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I Have Had Saline Implants Submuscular Since 1995. Should I Be Concerned About Rupture?

I have had submuscular implants since 1995. Should I be concerned about rupture now that I am getting close to mammogram age?

Doctor Answers (12)

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If it's not broke don't fix it.


As more people answer your question there will probably be some varying opinions, so at this point I will share my philosophy with you.

I generally do not recommend changing a saline implant if you look good, you are happy, and there are no problems.  If a saline implant leaks it is just saltwater that comes out which is what your body is already made of. If the implant leaks it's not a guessing game.  You'll likely wake up one morning, look down and realize that something is missing.  Just give your plastic surgeon a call.  At that point it would make sense certainly to replace both at the same time.

I feel differently about gel implants because there is evidence that ruptured gel implants can lead to a higher rate of capsular contracture.  So for my patients with silicone implants I like to see them changed sometime after 10 years unless and MRI shows a problem sooner.  Because the new gel implants have a thicker shell and silicone I suspect I will change my recommendation beyond 10 years as new information about longevity comes in.

Your implants are about 17 years old but I know of patients who have had intact saline implants for almost 25 years and are still going strong. It is not wrong to change them if you want, eventually they will leak, unfortunately you just don't know if it will be tomorrow or in another 10 years.

What ever you choose here you really can't make a wrong decision in my opinion.


Good luck.






Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Older Breast Implants Tend to Rupture


You are lucky. The risk of rupture for saline implants that are more than 15 years old is about 50%. I would not avoid a mammogram if recommended by your physician as it is an important screening test for breast cancer. On the other hand it is only a matter of time before they rupture, so you might want to research the next step in advance.


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Benefit outweighs the risk



Implants typically do not rupture with mammography. The benefit of this test outweighs the risk. It is the best tool available to detect breast cancer. WOW - 17 years and counting, what a great implant life span!


Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Rupture risk of breast implants


As long as your breasts are maintaining the same size and fullness, you should be fine.  If they rupture your breasts will probably become much flatter.

Web reference:

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Saline Implants from 1995


I agree with the "if it ain't broke, don't fix" philosophy.  The great thing about saline implants is that when they rupture, they will go flat very quickly and your body will absorb the water.

Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Saline impalnts since 1995


I always say if they aint broke don't fix'em.  In other words, if the implants are soft and look good leave them alone. If there is a problem seek a consultation with a surgeon to be evaluated.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Old implants, what should I do?

If you are happy with the size, shape, feel, and appearance of your implants nothing needs to be done. Saline implants will deflate if the shell leaks so you should know if a problem develops. Mammograms are fine. Cheers, Dr Kerr
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

The beauty of a saline implant, wear without worry


What is very nice about a saline implant is that you can wear the implant without a worry about leak until the unfortunate day arrives. The implants may last many more years and the mammogram should not cause a problem.

Best of luck, Peter Johnson, MD

Web reference:

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

All Saline Implants Have Potential For Rupture


All saline implants have the potential to rupture, but I would not be overly concerned about a mammagram causing an implant rupture.  I have many intact saline implants from the 80s and 90s in women who have had multiple mammagrams.

Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Saline implants since 1995


When  a saline implant ruptures and leaks typically all of the saline will leak out of the implant and the patient will notice a size difference.  Usually this is not associated with any event although it may be associated with trauma in a small percentage of cases.  It is also usually not associated with any discomfort. You should be aware, however, the the risk of implant rupture does increase with the age of the implant especially after 10 years.

I tell my patients that as long as everything is ok and you still like the way your implants look and feel there is no reason to be concerned.  Tell the mammographer that you have implants when you start having mammograms as they will typically perform special views to better image the breast tissue around the implants.

Thank you for your question.

Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

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.

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