How Long Can You Safely Leave a Leaking Saline Breast Implant In?

Doctor Answers 15

How Long Can You Safely Leave a Leaking Saline Breast Implant In?

Best is to replace the implant promptly. If not, the pocket will begin to shrink, and what would be a simple procedure as in back to work the next day, will become more complex, requiring addition manipulation of the pocket, and more chance of less than good symmetry.

Other than that, there is no harm in delaying for most people. However, if the deflated implant has firm folds, the implant may be uncomfortable, and may injure the breast skin if you lie on the implants. 

All the best. 

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

No Exact Time Limit

There is no exact time limit but I like to remove them within one month or two before capsular contraction of the pocket becomes worse.

Stephen T. Greenberg, MD
Woodbury Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Complications with the pocket

Hello. The implant was created to be left in the body therefore the implant itself will not cause any problems and neither will the leaking saline. That being said it would be best to replace your implants as soon as possible to avoid complications pertaining to the pocket. With time the implant pocket will scar and close making replacement surgery more difficult.

Jaime Perez, MD
Breast Augmentation Specialist
Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Ruptured saline implant.

 There is no harm to your body  leaving the implant in place. The saltwater in the implant will be absorbed by your body with no ill effect. The implant itself will not cause any additional reaction. However the capsule around the implant will contract over time and the space will need to be revised  with placement of the new implant. If you have the implant replaced immediately, then  the new implant can be placed in the old pocket without much manipulation. This will result in a speedier recovery.

Christopher Khorsandi, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 241 reviews

Deflated Breast Implant

It is better to schedule surgery as soon as possible for implant replacement for a deflated breast implant to avoid the breast pocket from shrinking and closing.  

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

What to do with a leaking saline implant?

I have had patients come to me with a deflated saline implants that happened years ago and wish to address the problem now.  Although it is desirous to have the surgery to correct the deflated implant to restore symmetry and balance, the truth is that is not always medically necessary to have the surgery done immediately.  Keep in mind that if a saline implant breaks, all that leaks out is saltwater.  The saltwater is harmlessly absorbed into the body.  On occasions, the breast may rapidly change shape as the fluid leaks out.  In this instance, the folds of the implants may put unnecessary pressure on the skin and thereby causing skin breakdown.  It is important to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to assess individual concerns.  

Jon Paul Trevisani, MD, FACS
Maitland Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Is it wise to wait too long when saline breast implant is leaking?

It is not a good idea to delay surgery after a leak in saline implant starts to cause deflation of implant.  Deflation leads to collapse of breast pocket which then starts to scar down and close.  This makes replacement surgery more difficult and could cause asymmetry.  Deflated implant also creates harsh implant shell folds.  These folds have a potential to errode through muscle and skin.

There is nothing to be gained from delaying surgery.  Have it done as soon as possible.

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Leaking saline implant

There is not set time to remove a saline implant that is ruptured. But, I think it is better to do it sooner than later so that the pocket does not shrink down.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Deflated Saline Implant

There is no set time to remove the leaking saline implant.  The saline (salt water) would be resorbed by your body with issues and as long as the implant does not become infected you do have the luxury of time.  Having said all of this it is advised to get this issue address as soon as possible to avoid any problems.


Cosmetic Surgery is an Art and a Science

Thank you for the question. You can have a leaky saline implant replaced/removed at any time. I am unaware of any risk in waiting as the saline is absorbed by your body. Your appearance may be a concern to you in the mean time. Replacing the implant is not difficult. Best Wishes  Dr. Thomas Narsete  Austin, Tx

Thomas A. Narsete, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 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.