My 20 year old saline implants have a lump that feels like an air bubble just below my nipple. What can I do?

It doesn't hurt but looks like a lump omtop of my implant but feels like a air bubble.

Doctor Answers 8

See your doctor

You should make an appointment with your plastic surgeon for an in person examination as the symptoms you are describing could indicate a number of things. Pictures would be helpful, but having your doctor examine you and prescribe further treatment is probably necessary.

Good luck!

Air bubble on implant?

I think that you need to be seen in person.  Are you felling the valve?  Hard to say without an exam. Best of luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Air bubble

 The feeling of an air bubble beneath the nipple probably represents a fold in the implant. If this is a new finding for you, it may be because of a small leak in the saline implant. All breast changes, even with implants need to be evaluated by a physician. I recommend you go back to your operating plastic surgeon. Twenty-year saline implants, if they are to be replaced ,in my opinion should be changed out to gel. Good luck.

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Fold in the prosthesis can create a bump after breast augmentation.

Very likely this is a small fold in the prosthesis but does demand examination by your plastic surgeon to substantiate this. All breast lumps should be taken seriously.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

My 20 year old saline implants have a lump that feels like an air bubble just below my nipple.

Thank you for your question.  Any lump in the breast needs to be evaluated.  Please see a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast surgery for advice.  Breast implants are not life-time devices, and it could be the valve of the implant that you are feeling.  This is somethings you will want to have evaluated as soon as possible to alleviate any concerns you may have. Most likely, it is time to replace your implants. Best of luck to you. 

Steven L. Ringler, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Saline implants

An exam and consultation with a plastic surgeon is recommended to begin with. Your findings and options can be discussed. Then if any tests are suggested, they can be arranged.

My 20 year old saline implants have a lump that feels like an air bubble just below my nipple. What can I do?

You should see your plastic surgeon or another board certified plastic surgeon for an examination to diagnose the cause of any lump in the breast. Based on your description the lump may be the filling valve of the saline implant but you need an examination to be certain.

Changes in Implant Quality

Thank you for your question. Any change in the quality of an implant can be a little concerning. For starters, I would recommend obtaining an up-to-date mammogram and even an MRI to check the surrounding breast tissue. After that, since your implants are 20 years old, you may want to consider having them exchanged, as the FDA recommends they be changed every 10 years. You can discuss with your Plastic Surgeon potentially changing them to silicone, which tends to feel more natural than saline. Best of luck! 

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.