Draining Saline Breast Implants Before Surgery?

I have saline implants that are too big and I want them removed and don't know if I need smaller implants or none at all. Can saline implants be drained in a doctors office several days prior to surgery (leaving the implant shell empty until surgically removed a few days later) to see how much breast tissue there is before surgery? I would love to know how large I will be with a lift prior to committing to a smaller implant.

Doctor Answers 9

Draining Saline Implants prior to Surgery - sometimes beneficial

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Your thought process is sound and indeed, saline implants can be drained in a doctors office prior to surgery (leaving the implant shell empty until surgically removed  later) to see how much breast tissue there is before surgery. I would recommend doing this approximately 3 or more months to allow for shrinkage of the breasts towards your natural steady state before hand.

Breast implant surgery question

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Yes, it is a good idea and I did it yesterday for a woman who had one deflated implant and wanted to deflate the other to be even until she could set up surgery. Waiting a month after deflation before surgery can allow for some skin shrinkage and is what I reccomend. Good Luck!

It can be done in office under local anesthesia

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The best thing in your case is to deflate the saline implants two weeks before surgery . I do this routinely for patients that are not sure about the replacement implant size. We just submitted a paper based on deflation and waiting two week was the minimum time that is required.

Saline Implants Can Be Drained In Office

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It is fairly easy to empty or drain a saline implant in the office setting and is done for different reasons.  About 2 weeks ago I saw a patient who had recently experienced a spontaneous rupture of one of her saline implants.  She was 9 weeks pregnant and did not want to have the implant(s) replaced prior to delivery so I evacuated the intact implant to give symmetry.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Draining salinle

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Dear Mom of Two in VA.  It's quite easy to drain saline implants in an exam room.  A little local anesthetic is injected and then a needle is introduced through the skin and into the implant to drain it.  I have done this many times with women who weren't sure if they wanted implant removal or replacement.  It's a great way to help you decide which way to go. 

No, implant drainage must be performed in a sterile OR.

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Unfortunately, it's not possible to have your implants drained in a doctor's office. Breast drainage must be performed in a sterile operating room.

Draining Saline implants to determine breast size.

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Draining saline implants to determine breast volume and ptosis (droopiness) is relatively common in your circumstance. I would recommend doing this at least a month before your planned procedure to let most of the saline absorb so you have a better idea of your actual anatomy.

Saline implants can be drained before removal or replacement

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You can have your surgeon puncture the implants in the office if they are saline and this may give you the help you need to determine just what size might remain, and if you should indeed replace the implants. Keep in mind that once this step is taken the implants are done for and you are committed to removal.

Draining saline breast implants prior to changing size.

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It is very simple to drain saline breast implants prior to surgery in your plastic surgeon's office. If you are unsure as to the size you are without implants, it is a way to see. Ask your plastic surgeon. It may give them more information also.

Joseph Mele, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

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