Deflated saline implant - is it better to wait 1 month for the doctor I like or to have surgery now with another doctor?

One of my saline implants ruptured on 10/22/16 and had completely deflated after 1 week. After interviewing 4 different doctors and much research, I finally decided on the doctor who I think is the best for me. However, his next available surgery date is in the week of Christmas, which would put me 2 months from the rupture. My question is, is it worth it to wait for the right doctor or is it better to have the surgery sooner with a 2nd choice doctor?

Doctor Answers 5

Timing following saline implant rupture

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Thank you for sharing this question regarding the timing of implant replacement following a saline implant rupture, as it is frequently asked should this occur.  Firstly, there is no medical risk of the saline rupture occurring, so be reassured about this.  Next, although it is true that the saline filled implant acted as a 'spacer' - keeping the implant pocket the same size - there is only very slow closure of the pocket and it may, in fact, not close significantly.  This being the case, there is no sense of urgency to immediately replace the implant.  If you have chosen a ASPS board certified plastic surgeon that you like and his/her schedule is not available for a month or two, I wouldn't think that this would be of significant concern.  If the pocket is slightly or somewhat smaller, it typically is an easy process to reopen the pocket.  Another question to consider is whether to replace the other (non-ruptured side) saline implant if it is of the same 'vintage'.  If you have had your implants for awhile (over ten years let's say), it may make sense to replace both implants.  This is also a good time to consider a size change or implant type change (shape, projection, gel, etc.).  Your plastic surgeon can guide you in this regard.  Best of luck!


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I would wait until you are comfortable with the surgeon; however, in the period of waiting the pocket will shrink and it will be a slightly more involved operation to correct.

Ethan Philpott, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

To wait or not to wait.....

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It's been 17 days since your rupture. AS such, the implant pocket is by now shrunken and will have to be surgically reopened. So, at this point it doesn't matter from a health standpoint if you wait another 4-6 weeks. If you are pleased otherwise with your choice of surgeon, then stay with that surgeon.

Tad Grenga, MD, FACS
Suffolk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Saline implant ruptured

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If you have your heart set on a specific plastic surgeon, you should wait to see that person. This is because having a leaking or ruptured saline implant is not an emergency. As the saline leaks out, your body will gradually absorb it and your breast will begin to shrink.  Again, this is not urgent. In your question you do not state how long the implants have been in. Depending on the answer to this, you may need to have both of your implants replaced.  If your implants were placed 5 or more years ago, I recommend replacing both of them. Keep in mind that on the deflated side there may be more work to do because of inflammatory changes caused by the implant rupture and by the shrinking of your tissues. 

Orna Fisher, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Deflated saline implant

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I think that it is very important that you feel comfortable with your surgeon.   This is not urgent; I think it is fine to wait.  Hope that helps -

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.