Can a leaking saline breast implant harm a nursing baby?

I had saline implants placed in 1999. In 2002, I had a baby and was successful with nursing. I am now 36 weeks pregnant and I keep feeling a funny squish whenever I bend over and place pressure on my right breast. The sensation is coming from underneath the implant. The baby has been positioned more to my right side, under the right breast and maybe this is why? I have never had problems with my implants. My main concern is: If the saline implant is in fact leaking, will it cause harm to my soon-to-be nursing infant? I appreciate any help with this matter.

Doctor Answers 16

Saline implants unlikely to cause health problems

It is unusual to have the symptoms that you are experiencing.  The best thing to do is consult a plastic surgeon for a physical examination.  You may need some tests to find out what is the cause.  If you have a partially deflated breast implant, then you might wait until after your baby has been born before getting the implant replaced.  There will be no harm to you or the baby for you to breast feed.  Your surgeon may recommend waiting until after your delivery.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
3.4 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Leaking Saline Implants

Leaking saline implants will not be harmful because the saline will be absorbed by your body. If your implant is deflated, you will know as it will continue to get smaller and smaller. Consult with your board certified plastic surgeon to determine your next steps. Congratulations on your new baby! Best wishes!

Christine Sullivan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Breast implants and a nursing baby

You have no reason to worry about nursing your baby, saline is safe and if it should leak will be absorbed by your body. It does not sound like it is leaking though as it would look like a flat tire, and you would surely know. To put your mind at ease you might go in and see your plastic surgeon for a check up. Enjoy your pregnancy!

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 75 reviews


If your implant is, in fact, leaking, there is no danger your your soon to be breast feeding infant.  The saline in the implant is a natural body fluid.  As it leaks out of the implant, it is absorbed by your body through the surrounding tissues.  There is no harm to you child, or you, for that matter.

E. Anthony Musarra II, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Absolutely not

A leaking implant will not cause harm to you or your baby - whether it is silicone or saline. A saline rupture is very obvious though - it will go completely flat if it is really leaking.  Your baby is perfectly safe either way.  Good luck!

Bivik Shah, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Leaking saline implant

If your saline implant were to be leaking, the body will rapidly absorb the saline (salt water) solution.  It is the very same fluid that we use for intravenous fluid replacement, and is completely safe.  Your breast milk is safe for your baby.

In terms of whether you have a leak or not, typically it becomes obvious very quickly with a leaky saline implant, as the breast volume and shape melt away in a very short time.  

Congratulations on your new baby!

Thomas Fiala, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Leaking saline implant will NOT harm nursing baby.

Congratulations on your upcoming addition!

Even if your saline implant were leaking, it leaks saline identical to IV fluid, and is rapidly absorbed by your body. If your implant is leaking now, it will be totally (or nearly totally) deflated by the time you have your baby. If your implant deflates, you would be wise to have it replaced promptly, before your pocket has time to contract, makng replacement surgery a bit more extensive.

The "squishing" sensation is likely coming from the implant surface rubbing against the capsule, causing an almost audible noise that you accurately describe as "squishing." Others mnight describe this as a vibration, or rubbing, but it is a friction rub, and there is even a term for this: bourdonnement.

Unless your implant deflates and needs replacement, you have no need for any concern. And if it is leaking and deflates, your baby has no concern!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Leaking saline implant will not harm nusring infant.

You may have a slow leak, usually from a valve failure, or a crack in the outer shell of the implant.  Breasts change throughout pregnancy and nursing, and you may feel funny things along the course.  In any case, your implants are filled with saline.  This is the same liquid that is put in your IV when you are in the hospital.  It gets absorbed by the body, filtered through the kidney and winds up as urine.  It will not harm your nursing infant.  I would go see your Plastic Surgeon and keep him in the loop of what is going on...

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Leaking saline breast implants and breast feeding

Dear Nursingmom, there is no need to worry,  even if the saline implants were to suddenly deflate, this would not significantly effect the breast milk or harm your baby.  Saline, or salt water, is the normal, major component of the human body.  Any excess created by a leaking breast implant would be quickly removed in you urine.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Saline implant

If you have a leaking saline implants, then the breast will deflate rather quickly and you will know for sure.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 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.