I had reconstruction 10 years ago with silicone implants. Are my Implants Leaking?

I had reconstruction 10 years ago with silicone implants...Suddenly my left breast looks smaller and has a small pocket of loose skin on it. Is it leaking? Is this normal wear and tear?

Doctor Answers 11

Breast change after 10 years Breast Reconstruction

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
If you notice a sudden change in your reconstructed breast, you should see your plastic surgeon to be examined to determine what is going on.  A physical examination can be helpful, or your surgeon may send you for an MRI
Martin Jugenburg, MD

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 521 reviews

Concern for possible silicone implant leak

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I would also recommend seeing your plastic surgeon as soon as possible so they can examine you.  If you had silicone implants for reconstruction placed 10 years ago it is possibly that if there is a shape change a leakage could be suspected.  Often if there is clinical suspicion of a "leakage" then the implant will harden and form some degree of "capsular contraction".  This would easily be detected on physical exam by your plastic surgeon.  Also an MRI is warranted to further study this and evaluate definitively if you have a rupture.  I would also emphasize that many patients get "panicky" and nervous about silicone gel implant leakage or rupture.  If you do have this, it is not a health concern and does not cause any health problems. Silicone is inert and many women go for many years with undetected ruptures.  As plastic surgeons, we recommend that each patient would change out the failed "medical device" (i.e. the breast implant) for a new one in order to establish harmony and symmetry with the breasts in shape as well as feel.  I hope this helps!


James F. Boynton, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Are my implants leaking?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
This may be either a leak or a significant capsular contracture. An exam by a plastic surgeon and supportive imaging will tell you. Remember that if something happens to your implant after reconstruction, like a leak or capsular contracture, your health insurance should cover the revision.

Nia Banks, MD, PhD
Washington Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Implant rupture after 10 years?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I recommend you visit with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area.   You will require a physical exam to determine the etiology of your changes.  Additional non invasive imaging such as an ultrasound can aide with the diagnosis.   an MRI is also an option to achieve a radiologic diagnosis.

Change in size, shape and symmetry of breast implants

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

A smaller breast with some loose skin may represent scar  tissue constricting the breast volume.  Not all changes in size, shape, and symmetry of the breast mound are due to broken implants.  See your Doctor for evaluation.

H. Michael Roark, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Leaking implants - what to do

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

There are 2 things for you to do if you think your implants are leaking.  The first is to see your plastic surgeon or a plastic surgeon, and the second will be for your plastic surgeon to order an MRI scan.  Good luck and take care of that as soon as possible.

Silicone implant leaking?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

If you suspect that your silicone breast implant is leaking because the shape has changed, the best way to determine this is by physical exam and probably getting an MRI.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Are my Implants Leaking?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

A sudden change in the size and shape of the breast warrants evaluation by your board certified plastic surgeon. In general, breast implants last, on average, about 10-12 years. Therefore, it would not be unexpected if the implants have ruptured. However, a detailed history, physical exam, and possibly an imaging study are needed to make this diagnosis. Thus, my recommendation to be seen by a board certified plastic surgeon soon. Good Luck!

Timothy W. King, MD, PhD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon

Leaking silicone implkants

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Unlike saline implants, silicone gel implants do not typically undergo large volume fluctuations when they rupture. Any shape change may , however,  represent  an implant rupture. This is not an emergency, but it would be best to have your plastic surgeon evaluate this.

David A. Bottger, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Implants Leaking?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It is possible you may have had a device failure or perhaps change in the shape and size of the pocket that the implant sits in.  I would recommend evaluation by a board-certified plastic surgeon  to fully evaluate your problem.

Stephen Delia, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon

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.