Should Folded Breast Implants Be Replaced?

I recently found a lump in my left breast. Upon diagnostic mammography it showed a fold in the upper part of my saline breast implant. While relieved it was not cancer, I now have this question: Do I need to get this replaced or can I just deal with it because it does not bother me? I had my implants done just 2 years ago and really do not want to go through it again for awhile. Thanks...

P.S.: The implants are above the muscle.

Doctor Answers 12

Breast Implants and folds

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If the implant is folded because it deflated then obviously you should have the implant exchanged. If there is a fold that is from underfilling the implant, then if it does not bother you, I would leave it alone.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Does not need to be replaced

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Saline breast implants aren't meant to be so filled that they are firm to the touch and therefore rippling or wrinkling are not uncommon, especially in implants placed above the muscle. The most common place this is felt is in the lower outside part of the breast. As long as your breasts are soft and you are pleased with the shape and feel, there is no need to change them.

Dr Edwards

It is fine: folderd breast implants

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As others have mentioned, a fold seen in a saline implant on mammogram is not that unusual and does not necessarily indicate an acute problem. You may, however, be at a higher risk of implant failure at some point. IF that should happen, you would be very aware of it as your breast will deflate at which point you would need surgery to replace the ruptured implant. I would certainly not undergo surgery prophylatically for this though.

Brian S. Glatt, MD, FACS
Morristown Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

If they are not causing you a problem, then leave them alone

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In most cases, if the implants are not causing you a problem, then you should leave them along. However, if you are symptomatic for any reason, then the implants can easily be replaced. Good luck.

Leave folded implants alone

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If the implant has a fold, then it has a higher likelihood of a rupture in the future. Since this is a saline implant, rupture does not pose any risk. If the fold is not very visible, then there is no necessity to replace your implants. I agree with the other physicians. Good luck.

Sirish Maddali, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon

You can leave your implants alone.

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Hi!  The fact that there is a fold makes it more likely that this implant will leak in the future, but you will know if that happens because your breast will go flat.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Okay to leave it alone

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If you are otherwise happy, it is fine to leave this finding alone. The only problem it might cause would be a higher rate of deflation later but this is still not a reason to have surgery if you are otherwise fine.

No need to do anything if you're still happy

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Hi there,

As long as you are still pleased with your breast shape and size, you shouldn't need to do anything about this. The folding of your implant shell will eventually lead to a deflation, but you will know when that happens, because the implant will go flat as your body absorbs the saline. Until then, or until you become unhappy with your appearance, there should be no need to replace your implants. I'm glad you don't have a larger problem.

Discuss implant fold with your surgeon

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At first blush, my reaction is "if it ain't broke...", especially if it isn't bothering you. However, experience tells me that the implant should not have significant folds in it. This may not hold in every case (especially in the case of a textured implant, where some folds may be present and OK).

The folds may indicate that a slow leak, or nothing to worry about. So I would recommend that you call your doctor, have him review your mammograms, and examine you to determine what is next. Hopefully, it will be nothing to worry about.

Saline breast implant fold is normal

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All saline breast implants develop folds. If the fold does not bother you, leave it alone.

Some patients find the folds very disturbing, and in these patients, I usually suggest replacement with a silicone gel implant, which has less of a tendency to create folds.

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.