How soon after having a ruptured saline breast implant does it need to be replaced?

Doctor Answers 10

When to replace a deflated Saline Breast Implant?

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Although a ruptured or deflated Saline Implant may create a "cosmetic emergency" there is no significant medical reason to rush out and replace it. The timing for replacement can be based on what is most convenient for your schedule. However, over time, if the implant is not replaced the scar tissue capsule around the deflated implant may contract. This may make it slightly more difficult to insert a the new implant leading to a small amount of additional discomfort in the recovery period. The end result will be the same.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Ruptured Saline Breast Implant Replacement Timing

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A ruptured saline breast implant can be replaced at any time. Although it seems at first thought that the sooner he is replaced the better since there has been less time for the capsule to contract around the deflated implant, this is not really the case. When replacing an implant it is generally better to remove the old capsule completely to make certain that there is no biofilm left within it and to remove the contractile portion of the capsule. This allows a brand-new capsule to form which is much less likely to contract and cause capsular contracture (or firm breasts). I personally use textured implants which have been shown to markedly reduce capsular contracture. These need a raw surface to create a different kind of capsule

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

How soon to replace a rupture saline implant

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Dear Sardo,

I concur with all my colleagues here, the sooner the easier on your breast tissues since some scar tissue may form.

otherwise, it is not an emergency.

good luck,

Florence Mussat, MD


Florence Mussat, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

When to replace a ruptured saline implant

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I agree with what has already been said: the sooner the better so that the pocket doesn't collapse down so much. Even if it has been a couple of weeks or so, the operation is still going to be a lot easier that the one to put them in. However, I have seen an occasional patient who managed to live with a ruptured implant for months or even years, and then the operation is closer in magnitude to the original, with having to strip out much of the scar tissue that forms around the implant.

Paul W. Loewenstein, MD
Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Sooner the better for deflated saline breast implant replacement

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When a saline implant deflates, the scar pocket begins to collapse and so after a week or so it must be surgically re-enlarged when the new implant is placed. This adds a bit to the recovery time (not usually much). Recovery after implant replacement is very quick if done early.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Reptured implant

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A ruptured saline implant should be replaced asap, because the pocket will shrink in an irregular fashion and it is then difficult if not impossible to match the original result. After about three weeks the pocket will noticeably shrink.

Ruptured salien implant

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While exchanging a ruptured saline implants is not an emergency, it is always good to have it treated sooner than later. Waiting too long may lead to the pocket closing down.

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

Ruptured implant

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Clearly this is not an emergency situation but the sooner the ruptured implant is removed and the pocket revised the betterd .

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

How soon after having a ruptured saline breast implant does it need to be replaced?

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A ruptured saline implant is not an emergency so you can take your time and plan things out. However, if you wait more than a few weeks, the pocket (space around the implant) may start to get smaller so then the surgeon may need to do more work to redo the pocket.

In most cases, the replacement can be done under local anesthesia and recovery is fast.

Be sure to bring your implant information to your surgeon so that the correct implant can be ordered. Also, review the warranty information as you may have the implant replaced for free and some of the surgery costs covered.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

How soon after having a ruptured saline breast implant does it need to be replaced?

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Although there is no urgency to removal/replacement of the ruptured saline breast implant, waiting for a prolonged period of time may lead to additional work necessary during the procedure to “reopen” the breast implant pocket, that tends to contract down over the deflated saline implant. Therefore, probably best to have the procedure done within a month of deflation, if possible.

The advice above is quite general; you will do best seeking consultation with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons in your area.

Best wishes.

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.