Lump and Dent Signs of Leaking Breast Implants?

I had Breast Augmentation done in 04. I wanted silicone under the muscle to correct sagging & rippling from previous above the muscle saline 350cc smooth. My Plastic Surgeon placed 775cc right & 725cc left Mentor HP smooth saline above the muscle for fuller, higher & natural look & HP(High Profile) don't ripple! I have a thin skin. The right implant was harder & higher after the surgery. On 7/4/09 my husband accidentally pressed down on my right breast with his body & we heard a loud sound. After, I noticed the lump. It didn't shrink, looks the same little softer. Is it leaking? Thx!

Doctor Answers 9

Probably not deflating

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A ruptured saline breast implant is detected by the loss of the breast’s size and shape. Following rupture a saline-filled implant will leak saline solution into the body over a period of several days. If your breast isn't shrinking, then it has probably not deflated. However, you should see your surgeon regarding the lump, as this is not normal and should be checked out.

The nature of large saline breast implants put "over" the muscles

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Lumps and dents are pretty common with large saline implants especially those placed "over the muscles." When a saline implant leaks, the water tends to be pretty quickly absorbed and the breast tends to rapidly shrink.

It doesn't sound like that is happening from your story. It does sound like you should be evaluated by an experienced surgeon to have your options explained however.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

Large submammary saline implants

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Lumps and dents and a history of a large pop are not at all normal in an augmented breast. You should see a plastic surgeon experienced in revision breast surgery soon for an examination.

The timing of your surgery is a bit unclear, but it would be unusual for very large implants placed above the chest muscle not to ripple, high profile or not, especially if your skin is thin.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

Saline implant leak

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 If your saline implants leaked, they would deflate and one breast would be noticeably larger than the other, It is unclear what the loud pop sound was.  Of your chest bothers you, you may want to see your surgeon.

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

Saline Implant and Leaking

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It is unlikely that your implants are leaking as you would know pretty quickly if your saline implants had a hole in them. The saline would leak out and your body would absorb the fluid rather quickly, in about 24 hours.
You may have ruptured the scar tissue around the implant which would now make the implant feel softer.
Hope that helps.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Not leaking saline implants.

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There a few comments that may help you. First, if your husband's pressure tore the silicone shell of the saline filled implant, the saline would quickly be absorbed by the body and the breast would be smaller and emptier in hours. You are not likely to have leakage. If you had silicone filled implants you would not be this assured and would consider a MRI study.

Second, if your husband's pressure stretched the normal (or overly tight) scar capsule around the implant, it could have torn, leaving a looser feeling breast implant and distortion. This would usually be accompanied by soreness in the area for a few days, and possibly bruising.

In either case, additional evaluation by your plastic surgeon is in order.

Sutton Graham II, MD
Greenville Plastic Surgeon

Almost certainly, your saline breast implant is not ruptured.

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When saline breast implants leak or rupture, they slowly get smaller, usually over a period of days (like a "flat tire"). They don't form a lump.

As Dr. Yuan says, you could have a herniation through the membrane around the implant. Whatever is wrong, it's not dangerous. If it's still there in a few days, have a plastic surgeon examine you.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Need an examination.

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 Your description sounds suspicious for rupture.  However, you really need an examination and, possibly imaging studies such as ultrasound or MRI to know for sure.  

Impossible to say with information

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It is possible that pressure on your implant caused a "closed capsulotomy" where the capsule tears leading to a softer feel. An incompete tear can cause the implant or its contents to protrude through the tear like a hernia producing a bubble or lumpy contour deformity. Please see a plastic surgeon as closed capsulotomies lead to a higher incidence of leakage but it is impossible to diagnosis this with your current information.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

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.