Purposely Deflating Implants when Pregnant

I need a breast implant redo for bottoming out and to go smaller. I'm now 12 weeks pregnant. I heard I can get them deflated with a needle and tube that removes the saline. I thought of doing this before my chest becomes larger from pregnancy. My hope is to avoid skin stretching more than my implants did and probably avoid a need for a breast lift and extra scars. Do you think deflating will avoid potential sagging? And would it be safe to breast feed? I fear a non intact shell may leak silicone

Doctor Answers 10

Purposely Deflating Implants when Pregnant

This is the second very similar question in 2 days about needle puncturing a saline implant. In my opinion that falls below the standard of care. Thus I highly advise against this action. 

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Breast surgery during pregnancy

Despite the concern and anxiety you have about a ruptured saline implant during pregnancy there is no compelling reason to have it replaced at this time. It is much safer, makes more sense and more predictable to wait not just until your child is born but until you are no longer breast feeding if you choose too and your breasts have stabilized in size. At that time you can assess if other procedures also need to be done such as a lift for example.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Deflating implants

I would agree with most responders here that intentional deflation of the implants is not indicated.   The breasts may change with pregnancy and you can have the appropriate procedure, if any is necessary, done depending on what is necessary.  I think it would be silly to intentionally create the need for additional surgery.  Good Luck!

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

To deflate or remove your implants...

There is a general consensus that you do nothing or have them removed under local anesthesia.  Despite that, intentional deflation is not harmful to you and with, in my opinion, minimal risks.  Costs to do this are negligible compared to removing them and your breast will have a chance to perhaps shrink back down to your original pre-augment size before your breasts change due to the hormones of pregnancy.  If you are willing to accept the risks of an intentional deflation of a saline implant, then I would suggest checking with the doctor that did your surgery or the one you plan to have your reaugmentation done with.  Be advisded that your warranty will be voided by this.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Deflation of Saline breast Implants

Dear Marie,

The intentional rupture of an intact saline implant is very rarely done.  It can be carried out safely but it may not accomplish the goal you hope for.  It is impossible to predict how much change your breasts will undergo with the hormones of pregnancy and breast feeding.  There is no scientific evidence that your breast implants will add to the natural changes the hormones produce.  Doing nothing until after this phase of your life seems wisest.  If you are unhappy with your saline implants, then a removal under local anesthesia is a good alternative.

Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Breast implant size and pregnancy

There is no reason to assume that if you removed or deflated your implants that you would prevent any post pregnancy changes of breast shape.  It true that the heavier the breast implant and the weaker your natural breast tissues the more likely you will develop some degree of breast sagging.  From your description you already have some shape problems of the breasts with more fill in the lower portion.  This is what you are referring to as bottoming out.  Simply removing breast implants under local anesthesia is a very straight forward operation but since you are only 12 weeks into your pregnancy I could not recommend this action.  After you have delivered your baby then you may want to consider a revision of your breasts.  This could include going to a smaller size and some form of breast lift.   If your saline filled impant ruptures during your pregnancy there would be no associated health risks.  

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

Deflating Saline Implants During Pregnancy

If you have bottoming out, you probably either have very large implants or breast implant placement above the muscle (sub-glandular), or both. You are thinking along the correct lines in that the combined weight of your engorged breasts and breast implants may cause more stretching of the skin and breast tissue. Since you are planning to redo the breast augmentation either way, I would advise removing the implants under local anesthesia. This is almost as easy as deflating them. If you are worried about the local anesthetic, consult you obstetrician first to decide when it would be a safe time.

Joseph Fata, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Deflating Implants

I would leave your implats alone until you are done with pregnancy.  Why jump the gun when you are not sure at this point how your breasts will look afterwards.

Edward J. Bednar, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Why deflate an implant when it can be easily removed.

I have never heard of purposely deflating a saline implant and leaving the shell in place.  I don't think it's dangerous but I also don't think it will prevent the aesthetic consequences of pregnancy and breast feeding.  I would leave your breasts alone until breast feeding is complete and then deal with the consequences.  However, if you want the implants out, they are easily removed with local anesthsia in about 15 minutes.  This will not endanger your pregnancy.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Breast Implants - Purposely Deflating Implants when Pregnant

Hi Marie,

It might make some sense but I'm not sure I'd advise it.

First of all, your breasts getting larger during pregnancy is not related to the implants, so if you need a lift afterwards it will probably be from THAT stretching.  The implant remains the same.  Although the implant contributes to the total weight of the breast I'm not sure that it provides enough additional stretching beyond what will happen to the skin itself.

The other issue, though, is that you may be uncomfortable with the deflated implant inside you.  Depending on how thin you are you may, or most likely will, be able to feel the edges of collapsed implants.  While I don't know of any reason why there should be any problems breast-feeding from a medical standpoint, it may be an uncomfortable process which is, of course, a shame.

My advice would be to leave them alone until you're finished with the breast-feeding, and possibly any future pregnancies, and then proceed with whatever is appropriate at that time.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 125 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.