Can a Breast Implant That Has Folded over Be Dangerous to the Individual?

Almost 15 years ago my mother had a Mastectomy and saline implants put in. Recently she noticed that it "folded over" and was very concerned about it. I am not sure whether or not it is causing her discomfort but it has certainly caused alarm on my end. When it comes to her health she tends to minimize issues in the hope that they will go away. I would like to get her into see someone and get this issue fixed but she is afraid that insurance will not pay? Is this dangerous? What can we do?

Doctor Answers 8

Concerns in a reconstructed breast

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I would agree with Dr. Pound. 

There is no medical risks involved but the situation is/was a breast reconstruction done after a mastectomy and should be covered as a medically necessary issue. 

It would certainly be appropriate to consider changing the size, type, or position of the implant after 15 years assuming there are no other health issues that take priority. The new "gummy bear" implants might be considered today.

Boulder Plastic Surgeon

Folding in implant

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A fold in an implant is not dangerous, however, over time it may cause the implant to rupture.  Since the implant was placed as part of a reconstruction following mastectomy, I would think that insurance would pay for any surgery that might be necessary.  Still, many plastic surgeons do not charge a consultation fee so she could, at the very least, get an opinion about what is going on with her implant.

Edwin C. Pound, III, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Saline implan

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You maybe describing rippling from your implants. That is not a cause for concern but you may want to have that addressed from a cosmetic stand point. Saline implants are safe.

best wishes

Saline implants unlikely to cause harm

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Saline implants in patients with breast reconstruction often transmit visible distortions to the surface of cancer patients with breast reconstruction.  This is a result of the thin tissues covering the implants and is not dangerous.  A visit to her plastic surgeon will help delineate the problems and corrective action if needed.

Chen Lee, MD
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Folded over implant?

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It is unclear to me what folded over is.  Do you  mean palpable ridges as in rippling, or a deflation?  Best to be checked out in person.

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


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I am not sure what "folded over" means.  What she is probably experiencing is rippling of the saline implant.  Nearly all women with saline implants will develop palpability and rippling.  There is nothing to worry about.  Improvement of this problem can be accomplished with gel implants.  The surgery should be covered by insurance since she underwent breast reconstruction.


Todd B. Koch, MD
Buffalo Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Folding of implant

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Yes implants can fold and edges are often palpable when the implant is partially deflated.  She should be seen by  BC PS at your convenience to examine it and consider replacing it.  It is not dangerous but can become painful.

Saline implants are harmless

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A slaine implant is like a heavy zip lock bag with salt water in it.  It comes out of an IV bag so there is nothing to be alarmed about.  She might want to see her doctor though just to find out what is going on.  But not to worry.

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.