Can you drain a saline implant after it's been in for 25 years? (Photo)

Left implant vanished years ago. Right implant, salene, still in but hurts after exersize & stretching for about a week

Doctor Answers 7

Deflating implants

are simple and straightforward and if done under sterile conditions, poses minimal risks to you.  But it may not resolve you pain so you must understand that.  Shells (empty implants) pose no harm to you unless they develop a point and tries to push out, folds and causes pains, or it gets infected.


Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Implant puncture

Yes, a surgeon can puncture your implant with a syringe and needle and remove the saline.  Over a month or so period of time, your surrounding pocket will contract and you will look like the other side.  You can then elective have the empty silicone rubber shell removed, when convenient.  This will make removal easier and allow you to be symmetric, and hopefully less tender, in the mean time.

John Dean, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Drain saline implants

Do not "drain" saline implants. Either you remove them whole or leave them in..it is that simple.  Please see a board certified plastic surgeon for help in this decision process.
Good luck
Dr Vasisht

Bhupesh Vasisht, MD
Voorhees Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Drain implant

Yes, it is quite simple to drain a saline implant. Saline implants can also be removed in the office under local anesthesia. Sometimes, however, the capsule may need to be removed, and you may need more than just a local anesthesia for that. I would suggest meeting with a board certified plastic surgeon and discussing all your concerns.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Emptying saline implant

Technically it should not be too difficult to place a needle was suctioned to the saline implant and empty it of saline. I have found, however, that emptied saline implants can fold on themselves and make like an inside knife that the patient will feel like it's stabbing them from the inside. So if the goal is to remedy the pain ,I would recommend you have the implants out on both sides. Good luck..

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Drain a saline implant?

Hi, technically it should be possible to just drain a saline implant and leave it inside your body, but I have never done this.  If the person has problems or does not want the augmented look any more, I remove them completely.  Perhaps other surgeons have experience just draining them and leaving them in.

Remove failed saline implants

Hi, I have attached a link that might be helpful...

Hi  PWingfield.  Thank you for the photos.  The pain you describe could be coming from a contracted capsule.  While you can drain the remaining saline implant, you should be seen by a board certified plastic surgeon to have the capsules evaluated and possibly remove the failed implant(s).  You may want to explore a breast lift and placement of different implants, as there have been many advancements in implant types, shapes and dimensions in the past 25 years.

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.