Follow-up to my last question. Saline implant ruptured. Must wait 2 months for surgery. Should I deflate the other one?

Right side Implant ruptured on 10/22/16 and deflated completely in a week. The doctor I chose to do my revison won't be available until 12/20/16. Both implants will be replaced with similar sized silicone gel implants. With one side being deflated and the other intact, I'm concerned that they will behave differently when accommodating the new implants and cause asymmetric result. For purposes of achieving a more symmetric end result, should I have the other implant deflated while I wait for the surgery?

This is a follow-up to an earlier question. Click here to read it.

Doctor Answers 8

Saline implant ruptured. Must wait 2 months for surgery. Should I deflate the other one?

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If you replace both implants right after a deflation there should be no problem obtaining symmetry. if you wait until the deflated packet has collapsed and the other side has not, symmetry can be more difficult. Best to replace both soon, but if you have to wait it is not a bad idea to have a 10 minute visit with your surgeon so he can deflate it. This is not something you should try yourself. 

Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews


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There is not necessarily one right answer here.  There is some value to keeping the tissue stretched out, but that may be difficult to hide in clothing.  On the other hand - it is nice to do the same thing to both sides at the same time.  

David A. Lickstein, MD
Palm Beach Gardens Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Ruptured Saline Implants

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Your concern is valid. The scar capsule surrounding your deflated implant has the potential for contracting down, and will be no longer able to accommodate the same size implant. I would request in office rupture of the other implant. Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Saline rupture - deflate other implant?

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My best advice would be, yes, deflate the other implant so that when you have the implants replaced, your surgeon is dealing with a similar situation on both sides.  This should give you the opportunity to get the most symmetric result possible.  If you were my patient, this is the approach I would likely take.

Daniel Brown, MD, FACS
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Saline implant ruptured. Must wait 2 months for surgery. Should I deflate the other one?

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Thank you for your question. I think it is simply in your best interest to receive appropriate treatment for your deflation sooner rather than later.  I recommend placement of a new implant within two weeks of the deflation to reduce the risk of the asymmetry and problems that you allude to.  It is unreasonable for your surgeon to advise you to wait two months for treatment.  If your goal however is to replace your implants with smaller implants then deflation of the opposite side and a two month waiting period may be in your best interest.  If on the other hand you would like a similar or somewhat larger implant, then delay is not in your best interest as your capsule and breast tissue shrink during the waiting period.

Best wishes,

Jon A Perlman M.D., FACS
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
ABC-TV Extreme Makeover Surgeon
Beverly Hills, California

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Deflated implant

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An Implant exchange is quick, easy, and painless...unless you wait until the pocket has collapsed. There are many qualified board certified plastic surgeons that can fit you in right away especially if you are not taking blood thinners such as vitamin E, fish oils, multivitamins, and aspirin.

When you call the doctor's coordinator to schedule a consultation, ask on the phone AT THAT TIME if the doctor can squeeze you into surgery soon  if you and he/she agree on the plan. Its such an easy procedure. There is rarely a good reason to wait an additional six weeks. 

Breast asymmetry following deflation

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You are correct in being concerned about your breasts responding differently once one of them has deflated- the skin, and more importantly the capsule and breast tissue will begin to respond immediately to deflation and contract in comparison to the expanded tissue around your intact implant.  I encourage patients who experience breast implant deflation to have surgery within two weeks of their deflation in order to minimize later asymmetry caused by this situation.  

Intentionally deflating the other side is a very reasonable option for you, and a maneuver I perform not infrequently in my practice.  In my significant experience with patients in your position, I would recommend deflation of your intact implant, but I would also find a way to squeeze your operation into my schedule sooner than months down the line- I would consider finding another local surgeon if your plastic surgeon is putting you off that long.

Revision options

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When a saline implant deflates, the breast skin and tissue will contract to some degree depending on the quality of your skin. I don't think it is unreasonable to deflate the other side in an effort to get them to behave closer to the same. I recommend you discuss your Concerns with your plastic surgeon.

Dr. Edwards

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.