Saline Implants Underfilled, Abnormal Shape and Air Bubbles Worsening Since 2007, Options?

Under muscle saline implants. Originally the surgeon said I needed 425cc although I thought it was too much (I was 5'tall 125lbs)but he insisted. During surgery he realized it WAS too big so he removed saline until reaching 375cc. I always felt air bubbles worse when lying on my back the Rt breast had an abnormal shape and large air bubble. I complained several times and was told that it was normal, even the irregular shape! Is this due to filling then removing saline, & do I need new implants?

Doctor Answers (10)

Under Filled Saline Implants


Its never a good practice to under fill saline implants.  It sounds like the air bubbles that you describe are really ripples and wrinkles in the implant that you are feeling.  Saline implants are usually overfilled to diminish the chance of ripples.  Your best option at this point would be to replace the implants.  Silicone looks better in most thin women and generally shows less rippling and wrinkling.  Saline implants are also an option, but make sure they are overfilled, not underfilled.  Good luck!

Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Underfilled saline implants and rippling.


What you are describing are not air bubbles, but much more likely to be rippling and folding of the implants. Saline implants should never be underfilled for this particular reason. In most cases, plastic surgeons overfill saline implants to decrease the likelihood of seeing or feeling rippling. Unfortunately, you will need to have your implants replaced to correct this issue. To further reduce the chance of noticeable rippling, silicone gel implants are an option.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Underfilled saline implants


Hi.  What you are describing as "air bubble" is most likely rippling of the implants.  You are feeling the folds of implants.  Rippling is more palpable when you have underfilled saline implants.  If you do not like the rippling, then you should either exchange your implants to 1) silicone implants or 2) to saline implants that are slightly overfilled.  Depending on your breast amount, you may always feel some degree of rippling.  However, overfilled saline implatns and silicone implants do better than underfilled saline implants in terms of rippling.

Sugene Kim, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

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Underfilling Of Saline Implants


I try to never underfill saline implants and routinely overfill them to some degree.  In my experience, the implants are more likely to show rippling if they are not overfilled somewhat.

John Whitt, MD
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
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Breast Implants Underfilled?


Thank you for the question.

Based on your description of the events that occurred during your surgery, and the current situation with your breast implants, I think you will be best off removing the breast implants and reaugmentating the breasts.  Another option is to refill your current breast implants;  in your case, we cannot be sure that you have not sustained a leak of  one or both of the breast implants.  therefore, I would suggest that you have to the breast implants removed and replaced.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 791 reviews

Implant issues


At five years you may be feeling the rippling ot the implant rather than air.   I fyou are unahppy with the way they look, you may want to have them replaced.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Secondary Filling Or Replacement Of Underfilled Saline Breast Implants


After nearly five years since your initial surgery, your saline implants would no longer have any air in them or around the pocket. What you are feeling, therefore, is not air but the underfilled implant 'flopping 'around if you will. (actually it is the easy malleability of the shell which is underexpanded) Whether you choose to have simply place more volume in your existing implants and exchange what you have for a new implant pair is, quite frankly, an economic decision. Either way, more fully filled and even overexpanded saline implants will provide a better feel and will help with some of the sensations that you are experiencing.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Breast implant fill is important


It is possible to underfill a saline breast implant, though the implant will only feel and perform well if filled to the correct fill range. You should have a card which identifies your implant and the correct fill range. Your implant will not have any air at this date, though if the fill is incorrect the ripple will be a problem, and premature deflation a risk.

Best of luck, Peter Johnson, MD

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Underfilled saline implants


If you are unhappy with the volume and shape given to you with the current implants, you will need to consider an implant exchange at some point.  It sounds like you are a thin lady and silicone implants may serve you best especially if your tissue at your chest area is lean.  You won't be as likely to suffer from seeing implant irregularities (wrinkling and such) with silicone.  Please make sure you see a board certified plastic surgeon to hear your options.

Jennifer Lauren Crawford, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Important to find out what


It is very important to find out what is the size of your implant, if this is underfilled, then that is probably the reason of your problems. Air is usually absorbed during the first couple of months, so after 5 years is very unlikely there is any residual air.

Most likely you will need new implants, you need to find a experienced plastic surgeon (certified by the american board  of plastic surgery)

Good luck

Victor M. Perez, MD, FACS
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 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.