I got breast implants about 12 years ago. I am losing weight and one is now smaller. Should I be worried that I have a leak?

I got breast implants 12 yrs ago. I then gained about 60lbs. I am now losing weight Nd have lost 40lbs on my way to 70lbs that I want to lose. I am noticing that my right breast is significantly smaller than my left. I am right handed. Should I worry that I have a leak?

Doctor Answers 14

Breast asymmetry with 12 year old implants

Two primary things to think about: 1) implant rupture (assuming they're saline), 2) native asymmetry made more noticeable with weight loss.

The only way to tell is to see your surgeon to be evaluated for implant rupture. If the implant is OK, you might be able to have a breast lift with a small amount of tissue removed from the larger breast for symmetry.


Sugar Land Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Should I be worried that I have a leak?

Hi, Kelic

Congratulations on your weight loss and your commitment to get back to your previous weight.

There are quite a few reasons why one breast may now appear smaller than the other.  For example:

It is very possible that one breast alway was smaller than the other.  Your surgeon may have put in different sized implants to correct for existing asymmetry.  Being 12 years, it would be easy to not remember (or you may not have been aware of) such details. 

Further, you may be losing more tissue on one side than the other, due to the weight loss. Or one implant may be settling into a lower position than the other, giving the appearance that it has gotten smaller, as the tissues loosen more on one side or there have been more scarring/contraction on one side.

You could have had a slow leak (saline) that was not detected with breast enlargement associated with weight gain that is now visible as the breast tissue deflates with weight loss.  It is also possible that one breast has been larger due to fluid around one implant, that also was noted with the larger breast during weight gain and is now noticeable with the weight loss.

An experienced plastic surgeon will bel able to better assess the source of your asymmetry and what to do about it.  Good luck!

Giovanna Ghafoori, MD
Harlingen Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

See your surgeon

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. More pictures would be helpful, but having your doctor examine you and prescribe further treatment is probably necessary.

Good luck!

Yes, you should be concerned

You could have deflation or a leak in your smaller side.  You need to have it checked to rule out bad things. See your surgeon.

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Saline or silicone

Depending on the implants, whether they are saline or silicone, it certainly could be a saline slow leak.

You also could have some asymmetrical volume loss from your on-going wt loss--congrats!

Set up an appointment with your Plastic Surgeon to be evaluated.

Best.

Kirk Moore, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Implant leak?

Thanks for your question.

Over 12 years your breasts have likely changed in size and shape.  This alone could be causing your asymmetry.  It is possible that one of your implants has a slow leak, if it is a saline implant.  Usually if there is a hole in a saline implant, there is a rapid decrease in size. 

Shim Ching, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Changing saline breast implant size

Thank you for your question. I would recommend you to see a physician for evaluation. It could be leak or loss of breast volume or combination.

Changing breast sizes with saline implants and weight changes.

Greetings,

Congratulations on your weight loss.

I would suggest that you revisit your plastic surgeon to evaluate whether your size changes are related to a leaking saline implant (s), breast volume loss(es), or a combination of the two.  You or your plastic surgeon should have the implant volume information which helps with decisions related to replacements.

Good luck with your care...

Best Regards,

Douglas J. Raskin, MD
Colorado Springs Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Breast size changes with weight loss

Dear Kelic3,
Congratulations on your weight loss! You don't mention if you have saline or silicone implants. A saline can certainly loose volume if there is a leak or rupture, but not a silicone implant. When saline implants leak (a risk that increases over the years with all implants) they either go completely flat, or sometimes just loose smaller amounts through a malfunctioning valve with pressure. A plastic surgeon may be able to give you an opinion with an exam as to whether your small side feels deflated.
People commonly mistake a deflating implant for the changes in their breast's appearance that happen with weight fluctuations, progressive ptosis or droop, capsular contractures, or changes in their glandular tissue due to age and hormone changes. 
I would not "worry" about health problems from a leak, but you might start planning for a revision. If you still have your implant information from your previous surgery that would be helpful. A revision after 12 years and such dramatic weight changes would be expected. If your implant has truly deflated and you have the information regarding the manufacturer and serial numbers you may be entitled to replacement implants which could save you some money at your next surgery.
Sincerely,

Stacey Folk, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Leak

Great job on the wt loss!   Most likely you are just losing more fatty tissue in that smaller breast.  If it is a leak, you will know with time's passage, it will gradually finish leaking out.  Get an exam and your surgeon can help.  

Virgil Willard, MD
High Point Plastic Surgeon

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.