Where is my Implant?

I had an implant in 1995. In my last 2 mammograms I was told there is no "envelope" in my breast. The implant has deflated over the years, but was told the "envelope" should still be noticeable. My breast is sore and when I had asked the surgeon about it he said it just takes time to heal, that was in 1995 and it's still sore. Not all the time, but enough to be bothersome. I only had an implant on the right side, and lost all feeling in it shortly after the surgery. Where could my "envelope" be

Doctor Answers 8

Implant rupture

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A deflated implant that has not been removed will contract within a scar over time. This will or may cause pain. It should be removed.

New York Plastic Surgeon

Ruptured breast implant

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If the implant was a silicone gel you should get an ultrasound right away. If the ultrasound is positive insurance should cover the necessary surgery. If the ultrasound is negative you should get an MRI and then possible surgery depending on the findings.

I hope you realize that this format of posting questions and receiving answers lacks the face to face direct communication required for you to make an informed decision regarding your surgery.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

To remove or Not Remove a Deflated Breast Implant?

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All breast implants eventually spring a leak and their content - saline or silicone leak into the space between the implant and the scar pocket / envelope which the body creates around the implant.In the case of saline the fluid is rapidly absorbed and the implant is flattened, assuming the shape of a wafer or a pita bread. Persistent pain after breast Augmentation is NOT common and your unfortunate situation is quite rare. Removing the implant and the flimsy scar around it (if the capsule scar was thick and or calcified it would have easily shown up on your mammogram) may or may not alleviate the pain you are feeling. This is something you must carefully discuss with your surgeon.

Good Luck

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Implant deflation

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If an implant is deflated it may not show up on a mammogram.   The deflated implant can still give you pain, so you may want it removed.

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

Time to remove the deflated saline implant

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The deflated saline implant is still there, even if the mammogram seems not to see it. If it causes pain, removal is simple, and even insurance might help. Its time.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Where is my Implant?

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It is still there. Sometimes it won't show on a mammogram if it is deflated. If you are still having symptoms, it may be best to see a plastic surgeon and have the empty shell removed. 

Thank you for your question, best wishes. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Pain after Deflation of Saline Implant

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If you are having issues with your breast, such as pain or discomfort that is impacting you life, it may be time to have the deflated implant removed. If your Plastic Surgeon is no longer in practice and a new Plastic Surgeon examines you and finds it difficult to palpate the location of the deflated shell, there are some radiographic studies that may be helpful in determining the location of your "envelope" (above the pectoralis muscle or below the muscle). Studies such as High Definition Ultrasound or an MRI are better modalities to "visualize" the implant shell. This will also confirm that the implant did not disappear.

Thank you for your question and best of luck!


Gregory C. Park, M.D.

Gregory Park, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Deflated breast implant

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I am assuming you had a saline implant inserted.  If so, it has likely deflated.  The envelope, or implant shell, is not always visible on mammograms, but is still present in the implant pocket unless it has been removed.  It is a very easy procedure to remove the implant if you choose to do it.


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.