Breast Augmentation.....malpractice or No? Ruptured implants.

My first set lasted 3yrs and replaced due to scar tissue. My 2nd set had a rupture on my right side at 2 1/2yrs, and now late May would have been 3yrs for this set, but yesterday the left side has ruptured!!! My Plastic Surgeon has been doing this for 27yrs! This is not fair and I don't know if this is malpractice or what!? I referred 10ppl to him, 6 of which got augmentations and lifts!! One of them had to have hers redone yesterday due to a leak!!! What should I do?

Doctor Answers 10

Multiple Breast Implant Leakages?

I am sorry to hear about the extremely bad luck you have experienced. It is statistically rare to have 3 breast implant leaks within the course of several years,  and not necessarily malpractice. Given your concerns, you may have peace of mind seeking additional consultations in person with board-certified plastic surgeons in your area.

 Best wishes.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,504 reviews

Repeated deflations

can be frustrating but it is not malpractice.  Implant warranties should have helped ease the burden of having more surgery and it gives you opportunities to change things if you wanted to.  Gel implants would never give you this problem... as you probably wouldn't know you had a  compromised shell.  But if silicone is safe as we believe it to be and with the increased cohesiveness, it really shouldn't matter.  Gel will prevent you from what you are experiencing.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Sounds like silicone is in your future

That is frustrating. Sorry for your bad fortune. As mentioned this is definitely not malpractice. I would very much recommend you go to silicone. It looks and feels more natural and has a lower reoperation rate. I've never had a patient that preferred saline over silicone. Best of Luck!

M. Scott Haydon, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Complications and implant ruptures have nothing to do with fairness - It just happens to be bad luck

Malpractice involves deviation of the standard of care and negligence.  While this is not the forum to determine malpractice, that is for the courts to decide, I see no evidence of either in your description. Just appears to be bad luck.  Now the second question is why is this happening. You mentioned that you had scar tissue, I am assuming this was a capsular contracture,  If the scar tissue capsule around the breast tightens then it will result in a crease of the implant.  This crease becomes the weak point.  Movement will cause stress on this just like bending a wire back and forth, eventually it will break.  This may be the etiology of your problem.  No one likes to deal with complications related to any cosmetic procedure but it is a fact of life and every plastic surgeon develops his own style and protocol to handle complications such as yours.  I am not sure why your surgeon walked out of the room but it comes down to a matter of trust and understanding.  Personally I will not allow a patient to treat me in a rude or disrespectful manner but I will listen to their complaints and will do everything possible to rectify the situation.  This problem should be approached in a non-confrontational manner.  This is the problem, what is the solution and how can we prevent this from occurring in the future.  If you no longer trust your surgeon then seek a second opinion.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Why are my saline implants leaking?

I am so sorry to hear about your misfortune in having implants leak so frequently, but there certainly does not seem to be any evidence for malpractice.  As you know the implant companies will replace their implants free of cost to you for the implants, as well as offering an outpatient reimbursement( provided you are using American implants from one of the three manufacturers  that are popular in the U.S).


You may want to switch to silicone implants which will have a better chance of giving you a nice result without the fear of leaking.  I think you may like the naturallness of the silicone  as well.  Be sure to ask your Plastic Surgeon if there may be something about your chest anatomy or your physical activities that may be a reason for this most unusual situation to be occurring.


Good luck to you.


Frank Rieger M.D.


Frank Rieger M.D.

Third implant leak is not fair

Most will agree that a third implant leak is not fair and statistically a rare occurance. The usual leak rate of any implant is 7-8% at ten years. Any premature leak is covered by the manufacturer, including part of the cost of the replacement. You might mention what implant you are wearing as we have not had such problems with US FDA approved implants.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Recurrent Saline Breast Implant Deflations

Unfortunately, deflation is a known occurrence with saline breast implants. While you have been extremely unfortunate in your series of deflations after such short periods of time, that does not constitute malpractice. You should consider switching to silicone implants so you will never again face a spontaneous deflation and collapse of breast size.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Breast Augmentation.....malpractice or No? Ruptured implants.

         Implant rupture after several years can happen.  Ruptured implants are sent back to the manufacturer, and the company will not reimburse if they were to find some pattern like this linked to an individual surgeon caused by surgical rupture due to needle stick, etc.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of breast augmentation revisions each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 496 reviews

Breast Augmentation.....malpractice or No? Ruptured implants.

Leakage is a known complication with implants. I am reading from the data sent to the FDA, noting for saline implants to have a 3 year leak rate of 5%, and a 5-year leak rate of 7%.Other studies show a higher rate for redo operations.  A cluster of 3 cases does not indicate malpractice. It is hard to imagine something the surgeon could do that would cause a deflation 3 years later. 

If you don't have confidence in your surgeon, by all means seek another opinion for your replacement surgery. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

The failure rate for breast implants is reported to be about 2% in the first 10 years.

What you are reporting is statistically extremely unlikely. I would report this to the implant manufacturer so that they can investigate the situation.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 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.