Is It Normal for Saline Implants to Deflate After 10 - 20 Years?

I had saline implants 17 years ago. I noticed about 5 years ago that I could feel the implants from the top of my breast. I could press on the top and it would "give" and dimple in like it was deflated ball. I have recently lost a lot of weight and it is very noticeable now. I can even see dents when I look at them in the mirror. My WLS said they have deflated and he can fill them with saline. He said he can do an ultrasound to see if they can be refilled. Is this common?

Doctor Answers 12

Failure of saline implants is an easy diagnosis.

The failure rate of saline implants 18 years is about 2%. After this we don't know but 17 years is a good run. The implants should be removed and replaced if you want to continue having a breast augmentation. Ultrasound is absolutely unnecessary.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Is It Normal for Saline Implants to Deflate After 10 - 20 Years?

Thank you for your question . 

You should definitely change your implants and i recommend silicone as better option for you , these can be a little more for the price. but i have found that a patient regrets more not putting silicone after having a saline implant. 
Please visit with a board certified plastic surgeon with years of experience and great reviews in your procedure

Mel T. Ortega, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 902 reviews

Is it normal for saline implants to deflate after 10-20 years

17 years is a nice long run with saline implants! Saline can deflate at any time but most patients start to worry around the 10 year mark.  If you are noticing rippling, it's most likely due to loss of your own breast tissue and your skin elasticity weakening.  This is the normal aging process but the implants definitely become more visible.  After this long, I would recommend removing your old saline implants and replacing them with silicone gel implants.  There is no need for an ultrasound or refilling them, just no point.  Go see a board certified plastic surgeon in your area and go from there.  ac

Angela Champion, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Deflated Saline Implants

Saline implants can deflate at any time from a few months post-op to 30 years post-op or anytime in between.  Deflated implants need to be replaced NOT refilled.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Saline implants do deflate

Thanks for your question. It is frustrating when the saline implants deflate because it is never at an opportune time. Changing them to the newer silicone implant will give you a much more natural look and feel, as well as a lower chance of reoperation than a saline implant. Find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who can answer your questions. It is normally a very easy operation and recovery. Best of Luck!

M. Scott Haydon, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Saline implants possible slow leaK

Saline implants can leak at any point.  The risk certainly goes up with time.   A slow leak is not common but it can happen.  Check with your plastic surgeon if you have concerns.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Breast Implant deflation

At some point your saline breast implants will deflate.  I would simply replace both if the implant is older than 10 years or so.  Also your breast may be aging around the implant and the implant becomes more visible especially with rippling of the saline implant- for that I would recommend exchange of the implant and use of silicone implants

Stefan Mark Szczerba, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Old Rippled Saline Breast Implants

This does not sound like deflation but the appearance of saline implants (wrinkly) now that the breast tissue has gotten thin. Do not waste the effort of simply putting more saline into your old implants. They are at the end of their lifespan and deflation is inevitable in the near future. Replace the old saline implants and get an overfill to decrease the risk of further noticeable wrinkling. Better yet, replace them with new firmer silicone breast implants that will not have a wrinkly feel to them.

As to your 17 year-old breast implants, they have outlived the normal lifespan of most saline breast implants which is 10 to 15 years on average.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Is It Normal for Saline Implants to Deflate After 10 - 20 Years?

Saline implants may deflate due to a break in their shell, but it is rare for them to break and be refilled. I'm not sure what a WLS is but go see a Board Certified plastic surgeon for a proper evaluation and opinion. You should not need an ultrasound to figure this out. 

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Deflating Saline Implants

It is certainly possible after many years for saline implants to deflate or loose volume. Many patients prefer to replace the implants with newer gel implants which look and feel more natural.

Michael Horn, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 54 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.