I'm going in next week for ruptured saline implant removal; I've had them for 20 years. Options?

I've been feeling a burning pain in the left breast accompanying with back pain as well only on left side like in back of my breast

Doctor Answers 7

Many choices depending on your expectations

Implants don't last much more than 20 years so you have gotten full use from your set of saline implants.    Unless you have a contracture or some other problem, the presence of implants, a ruptured implant, etc should not lead to any burning pain, so I would make sure you have your gynecologist or breast doctor examine your breasts, check your hormone levels, etc.   20 years ago, most implants going in were saline filled, but since the FDA approved silicone implants in 2006, most patients now choose silicone filled implants because they feel more natural.  The options for dealing with the ruptured implants depend on your desires.   If you prefer the fullness you had with implants, I would have them replaced with silicone implants.   If you prefer the size of the side with the rupture, I would have both removed.   And the shape of your breast, if your nipple is drooping, will determine whether or not you will need a lift, whether or not you replace the implants.

Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Saline implant ruptured and what to do?

If your saline implant ruptures you can:1. Replace it (you loved it so!!, and that breast looks like s#$%!)2. Replace them both with saline (that other side was getting old after all)3. Replace them both with silicone (cohesive gel gummy bear,,, yes they REALLY are better!)4. Remove them both (doesn't it look better deflated anyway?)Good luck!!!

Lisa Cassileth, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews


Your options include either replacement with saline or silicone of same or different size. You may also consider explantation with or without lift as necessary 

Stuart A. Linder, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

#Explant #BreastImplantRemoval - ruptured saline implant removal. Options?

There are many choices, and you should go over them with your (board-certified) plastic surgeon.  They include leaving the implants out altogether, replacing one or both (with silicone or saline), a breast lift (if applicable).However, it is unusual to have significant pain - although the creased implant can be uncomfortable.  If that's the cause of the pain then the surgery to replace them should improve that.  But you should be assessed by your internist to make sure there are no other causes of the pain that can be identified - before proceeding wiht the implant change.I hope that this helps and good luck,Dr. Alan EnglerMember of #RealSelf500

Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Implant removal after 20 years. Options?

Thank you for asking about your saline implant removal.
  • First, be sure your surgeon is a plastic surgeon and has thoroughly examined you -
  • Saline implant rupture usually does not cause pain unless you had an injury that caused them to rupture.
  • If you were my patient, I would probably want a pre-operative chest x-ray and ultrasound.
  • Your surgical options are removal of the implant OR removal of the implant + removal of the capsule OR removal of the implant + removal of the capsule + breast lift -- assuming you do not want new implants.
  • Since these are complex choices, be sure your surgeon has discussed them with you so you can make an informed decision.
  • I recommend removal of the implants and capsule and a breast lift. I will generally not agree to just remove the implant because the capsules may be very abnormal and in my opinion, abnormal capsules should be removed.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews


You have more options than ever before.  These include removal, removal and replacement with saline or silicone, and possible addition of breast lift, amongst others.  The best options will be determined by discussion of your goals and your physical examination by a plastic surgeon.  Good luck!

Michel C. Samson, MD
Daytona Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

I'm going in next week for ruptured saline implant removal; I've had them for 20 years. Options?

I am sorry to hear about the complication you have experienced.  Hopefully, you have selected well experience board-certified plastic surgeons to consult with. During this consultation process, after careful physical examination and communication of your goals, you and your plastic surgeon will come up with the best surgical option.
Options may include: removal of breast implants altogether, remo shave/replace them with saline or silicone gel breast implants, additional maneuvers such as breast implant capsule adjustments and/or breast lifting (again, as dictated by your physical examination and personal goals). You may find the attached link, dedicated to revisionary breast surgery concerns helpful to you as you learn more. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 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.