Breast Implants Leak Due to Sleeping Position

I am a stomach sleeper. My breast seem to be getting smaller over time by their look and bra size. Also over time, the rippling is becoming more noticeable. Could sleeping on my stomach cause a slow leak that only happens every night? Can a visit to a doctor determine this or would a surgery be needed? I had them done in 2000 and they are saline filled. Thank you for the info.

Doctor Answers 16

Implants and stomach sleepers.

Thanks for your question.

Typically saline implants manifest leaks quickly. This means that if there's a leak it should happen quickly. Slow leaks are very unusual for saline implants.

In addition sleeping on your stomach should not cause implant ruptures in any type of implant.

Anytime you're concerned about the shape change in your breasts you should see your surgeon.

I hope this helps!

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Return to your plastic surgeon for re-evaluation

Thanks for your question. I definitely would recommend that your return to your plastic surgeon for reevaluation. It is unlikely that sleeping on your stomach has caused the changes that you have observed. With rippling, there is a probable chance that you are experiencing issues with scar capsular contraction. If you are unable to see or locate your original treating plastic surgeon, please see a board certified/eligible plastic surgeon experience in breast surgery.

I hope you find this helpful!

Stephen A. Goldstein, MD
Englewood Plastic Surgeon

See your surgeon

In general, saline implant leaks can be detected quite quickly. It is not unheard of to have them deflate within 24 hours. Having said that however, yours may be compromised and be leaking slowly, as you suggested. It is important you see your surgeon to have your implants examined to ensure they are still in good shape.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

A breast implant leak is possible

Dear Proud Army Wife,

The scenario you describe is possible, but it is extremely rare for both implants to leak at the same time and at the same rate. Slow saline leaks do occur though and may take weeks or months to deflate the implants. If you have leaking implants the cause of the leak is not sleeping on your stomach, per se, but your nine years of arm and body movements that over time wear down the implant shell. Decreasing breast size and increasing rippling are signs of leaking implants. Good luck!

Kenneth R. Francis, MD, FACS
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Implants and sleeping on stomach

I do not think that sleeping on yoru stomach will make your implants leak. If they are leaking they will deflate and you will notice it. 

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Sleeping position does not affect leaking

Hello proud army wife,

The position you sleep in does not affect the integrity of the implant. A change in apparent volume may be due to any number of factors like thinning of your own breast tissue over time, more drooping, an additional pregnancy or change in weight. Having said that, I have seen the very rare saline implants (especially the textured type) leak through the valve with certain arm movements, as tissue has gotten trapped between the pig-tail and the valve itself.

Best to always check with your doctor, or if you are no longer living near your doctor, find another board-certified plastic surgeon to check with. Best of luck.

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Unlikely for sleeping position to deflate implants

Saline breast implants can fail or deflate at any time following implantatoin. However, when it happens, it usually becomes apparent following a few days. You can have a partial deflation for a short while; however, it eventually fully deflates if you wait long enough.

Breasts change over time, especially following augmentation. Changes occur with age, weight changes, pregnancy, etc. It is not uncommon to feel that one's breasts are getting smaller or 'looser' as the skin further expands and if you lose weight. This can lead to the feeling of 'rippling'. You should seek an appointment with your board certified plastic surgeon to evaluate your breasts. You may benefit from a silicone gel implant.

Sanjay Grover, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 212 reviews

If it were a saline leak, it would happen much faster

It sounds like it is not a leak. However, without examining you it is hard to tell. If you implants are saline filled and had a lead, the size would decrease much faster that what you are describing. It is best to go back to your surgeon for a consultation.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Very unlikely for sleeping position to cause implant leak

It is not out of the question that sleeping on your stomach is causing a "micro" leak of your implants through the valve. However, all of your described changes can be explained by the passing of time, and perhaps some weight change on your part. The implants will settle in the pocket with time, and ultimately may not be where they were a few years ago.

Wrinkling is common with saline implants, especially when you lose some weight and this is reflected with a loss of breast volume. I would discuss these issues with your surgeon and review some older pictures taken after the surgery. A change in volume, shape of implant, or switch to silicone may all be of some benefit. All the best.

Talmage J. Raine, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Ask you doctor

It is very unlikely that saline implant to have partial leak. Please check with your doctor and have him to examine you. You may have some breast changes due to weight loss and also hormonal changes.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 122 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.