Explant - Using Deflate?

How long can you go before you have to have the "bags" surgically removed after you deflate them? Do they cause harm if left in? Thank you for answering!

Doctor Answers 11

Deflation prior to Explantation

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LisaMA: Staged deflation of saline implants, under sterile conditions is often employed as a technique for women who are considering explantation.  1) It allows them to evaluate what they would look like without implants and 2) also allows the skin brassiere to "retract" or shrink, so they can decide a) whether they want to replace another implant and/or b) combine a "lift" when the collapsed saline breast implant shells are eventually removed.   The sterile saline is absorbed by the body and the breast volume will gradually decrease.  The only consequence of deflation is occasional discomfort as the capsule (fibroelastic layer around the implant) collapses and pulls on the overlying breast tissue.  Hope this helps :)

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Deflated saline breast implant

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If your saline breast implants have deflated there is no emergency to remove them.  That being said, it is an easy surgery with a very quick recovery to remove them.  If these are silicone implants that have ruptured, I would definitely have them out.  Good luck.


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Your added comment now makes sense. Although after deflation, some implants develop folds that can be rather sharp and bothersome, most of the time that is not an issue. 

Allow 4 to 6 months to see how much skin shrinkage you get. Once it is clear that you don't need more lift (and it could be sooner than 4 months), have them removed. 

I would strongly advise to have your surgeon do the deflation under sterile conditions. I assume the implants are saline. This plan won't work with silicone; 


Thank you for your question, best wishes. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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Removal of Breast Implant Shells after Deflation of Breast Implants?

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Thank you for the question.

Although not urgent, I would suggest that you have the breast implant shells removed at some point. The presence of a foreign body that is not serving any function can be potentially problematic;  some patients will report sensations of discomfort as the edges of the breast implants “irritate” the under surfaces of the breast skin envelope.

 If you are planning on having the breast implants replaced, doing so before the breast skin envelope contracts down too much will be helpful.

 I hope this helps.

Deflated Implants and Their Removal

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  I would recommend removal of the deflated implants sooner rather than later.  If you want the implants replaced, the surgery will be more involved at a later time.  Please see a board certified plastic surgeon about your concerns.

Explant after deflation

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There is no urgency to remove the implants after deflation.  They can remain indefinitely.

Ary Krau, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 357 reviews

Explant - Using Deflate?

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Sometimes a deflated implant is painful, like being poked from the inside with something sharp. If that's the case you probably want them out soon. If they are not uncomfortable, there is no rush. I have seen patients with deflated implants wait over a year before surgery.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Deflated Breast Implants

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A deflated silicone gel implant should be replaced as soon as possible. While there is no urgency in replacing or removing a deflated saline breast implant, it is not a good idea to leave the deflated breast implant's shell inside the breast indefinitely.

The implant shell can fold unpredictably. This can cause odd protrusions, strange shapes and even discomfort, as the folds poke you from the inside. The problems become more likely, the longer the deflated breast implant is left in place, as the capsule around the deflated implant will continue to shrink, causing more folding. If you want to replace your breast implants, the shrunken pocket can make replacement more difficult, so usually, the sooner the better.

Any manipulation of your breast implants should be done using sterile technique to minimize the risk on infection. It is very simple to surgically remove a deflated breast implant. If you do not want them anymore, have them properly removed. It can be done under local anesthesia and has a very quick recovery.

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

When should deflated implants be removed?

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Once an implant has deflated, whether spontaneously or by your plastic surgeon, there is no set time frame for them to be removed. If the deflation was performed by your plastic surgeon, you may want to wait 1-3 months to allow whatever tightening is going to occur (if any) before proceeding with surgery. If you do not plan on further surgery at the time, they can be removed when it is convenient for you and your plastic surgeon. I hope this helps.

Dr. Edwards. 

Removing implants after deflation

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There is no specific required time to remove implants after deflation. I prefer to take them out sooner than later.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 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.