Dealing with Slow Leakage. Where Do I start? (photo)

I am 67 and had my implants for 32 years. Now I have a very slow leakage which has recently increased and have lose about 1/3 of the implant in one breast. Where do I start for information and does Medicare/Medicaid pay for it? Will V. A pay for it? I do have both. I am hoping they will pay for it since it is leaking. Wanting Explant and Breast Lift, I never feel much scar tissue, but then it is hard to know since I am not the professional. They were supposed to be place next to the muscle.THKS.

Doctor Answers 5

Implant rupture

I would begin with a visit to a board certified plastic surgeon.  If you have your implant  information, bring that with you to the appointment.  It sounds as though you may need your implants replaced and a breast lift operation.  These procedures are not typically covered by insurance.

Katy Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Leaking implant

It sounds like you will need to have your leaking implants removed and consider a revision augmentation and possibly a lift procedure (based on your photos).  This will be deemed cosmetic surgery and will not be covered by insurance.

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 211 reviews

Dealing with Slow Leakage. Where Do I start?

In most cases this is a cosmetic issue that will not be covered by any health insurances. In person consults are the first step in the process. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Silicone Implants more than 15 yrs old need to be replaced.

Saline implants can leak slowly but usually leak quickly and deflate. Silicone gel implants are not absorbed in general but the contents stay inside the capsular pocket in most cases. Either way there is a 80% approximate statistical  risk that each of your implants are leaking. Insurance will often pay to remove the implant and capsulectomy (removing the surrounding capsule) especially if proven pre-operatively with a MRI scan. They will not cover replacing an implant or doing a lift.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Slow leaking implant

It is a bit difficult from these photos to see if there is a difference. In 1980, both silicone and saline were in use. 

When saline implants leak, there is usually a rapid loss of volume, as in overnight, but less commonly the leak can be slow.  With gel implants the leak can be slow, but is usually contained in the capsule, or scar that forms around the implant, so it is not usual to see a loss of volume.

As far as  insurance, I have seen occasional coverage for removal of leaking silicone, though not for saline.( Medicare will not tell you in advance that if and what  they will cover.)  In neither case is it likely that there will be coverage for a lift. The VA rules often vary by hospital, so checking with your local VA is your way of finding out.


Good luck.and best wishes.

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