When to Replace Saline Breast Implants?

I had breast augmentation done fourteen years ago. Do the Saline Breast Implants get weak or leak after a certain amount of time? Is it unsafe at any time for them to remain?

Doctor Answers 12

It will be obvious. Replace only when you need to.

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One of the advantage of saline filled implants is that it is easy to know when you need to replace them. It is not unsafe for them to remain. Just keep enjoying your results until you notice a distinct decrease in implant size. Usually you will be able to feel the bag itself (the shell of the implant) smaller and folding upon itself, one side or the other. Then contact your plastic surgeon for replacement.

If you have another reason for reoperation, such as a breast lift, then it might be wise to replace 14-year-old implants.

Implants are high tech plastic bags that certainly wear over many years time. They flex and move with your body motions throughout the day. Eventual deflation should come as no surprise.www.expertplasticsurgeon.com/html/other-breast.html#saline-implant-deflation

When patients have silicone gel implants the situation is different. Regularly scheduled special imaging studies (MRI) are suggested by the FDA to be able to tell when leakage occurs, and to assist decisions about replacement.

Greenville Plastic Surgeon

When to replace breast implants

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Thanks for your question -

There's no specific expiration date on implants. On average people who get breast augmentation need an additional procedure every 10-15 years. This is a statistic that is based on all patients requiring additional surgery on the breast who have had breast augmentation.

As always when applying statistics to individuals, your number may be different. You may never need an additional procedure.

If you're not having problems with the implants just continue to enjoy them.

I hope this helps.

When to Replace Saline Breast Implants

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If the #saline breast #implants are ruptured or more than 10 years old, consideration should be given to #replacement.  Plastic surgeons who have specialized in breast surgery and cosmetic surgery are suitable to perform your breast augmentation. Aside from checking board-certification, it is suggested that you look at before and after photos of the surgeons actual patients, and read patient reviews. Gathering all of this information will help you make a well-informed decision.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

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When to Replace Saline Breast Implants?

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There is no time limit as to when or if you need to exchange your breast implants. I have heard from patients that they have heard that breast implants need to be changed every 10 years. The only reason you need to exchange your breast implants is if you are having a problem with them or if you'd like to change the size.
Some of the potential complications that may arise would be deflation, capsular contracture, bottoming out, or just size change. If you are happy with the size of your breast implants and are having no problems, you don't need to do anything.

When saline breast implants leak, they will shrink

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Saline implants do not produce as questionable a situation when they leak as do silicone gel implants. Saline implants generally deflate as they leak and the size difference is noticeable and rapid. Then you replace them. They do not become dangerous in general unless something unusual happens such as infection.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

You're Fine !

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Saline implants fail at a rate of about 1% per year so right now you have about a 14% chance that they will fail, good odds for them being intact. If they fail, they will defalte and it is safe! Just relax and wait and see . If they deflate, you will know it and can replace them.

Michael S. Beckenstein, MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

If it ain't broke...

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As long as you are happy with your result, leave them alone.  Get regular breast exams, do breast self exams, get mammograms.  If you are unhappy with them for whatever reason, or if a deflation occurs, then it is time to see the surgeon.


No reason to replace implants

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There is no reason to replace saline implants unless they are leaking.  If they do leak you will know it soon, since the breast gets smaller very rapidly.  The implants are filled with IV saline solution which is absorbed by the surrounding tissues and posses no health risk.

Robert M. Jensen, MD
Medford Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

No reason to change unless you are having problems

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I agree with the other physicians that if you are not having problems or concerns, there is no real reason to change saline implants at a specific time. We have seen saline implant that are over 20 years old with no problems. One particular patient had over 25 year-old implants and wanted larger ones. They old ones were in perfect shape!

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

Replace breast implants only if leaking or have complications

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Since you have no problems, it is better to leave them alone. The worst case scenario with an old saline implant is rupture or leak. This will quickly deflate leaving a smaller breast. The managment at this point would be replacement. Good luck!

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 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.