I Have Had a Ruptured Saline Inplant for a Year. Is This Safe?

Is it safe to leave a ruptured implant in your body? Saline

Doctor Answers 11

Ruptured implant safety

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It is safe although I am sure that you can't be pleased with the asymmetry of your chest. I am seeing more women these days who have had deflations and cannot afford to replace the implant in this economy. Please contact your plastic surgeon to ascertain whether a replacement implant could be provided free of charge by the manufacturer. Mentor is quite good about this.

Ruptured saline implant is safe for a time

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When a saline breast implant wears and leaks, the saline is absorbed leaving the inert silicone rubber shell. The shell should eventually be removed, though it is true that it is safe to leave a considerable time, even a year if family conflict or finances prevent replacement. Silicone gel is another as leaking will cause capsular contracture and calcification in the pocket and the sooner removed the better.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Leaving Ruptured Implants in Your Body Not the Best Idea

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Although in most women  it is both possible and safe to leave ruptured saline implants in their body it is not recommended by most plastic surgeons. Once there is a leak in the implant, then serum can also enter it which is a potential site for infection. In general leaving a foreign body without providing a purpose doesn't make a lot of sense. Removing implants is straight forward and can even be done in the office under local anesthesia to minimize costs if this is what is preventing you from considering this recommendation

Ruptured implant

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If you have a ruptured implant, it should come out.  A saline will deflate but the shell will remain in place. It could eventually extrude because of the implant folding on itself.  As for the silicone implant, it should also come out. While it usually stays locally withina a capsule, it may become extracapsular and cause  more of a problem.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

I Have Had a Ruptured Saline Inplant for a Year. Is This Safe?

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The issue is not the released saline. It is reabsorbed into your system. But the silicone shell that has "folds" in it. These folds can erode the tissue all the way through the skin. So I recommend removal of the implant shell within  60 days of deflation. So there is no issue to skin/tissue/breast erosion. I believe if a foreign body is doing no function in the body it should be removed in a timely fashion. Also the contraction around the empty shell can cause additional issues. Seek removal soon. 

Better to have it removed

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It is advised to get deflated implants removed as soon as you notice the rupture because it makes replacement easier. However, if it's been a while and you haven't noticed any problems, it's fine to keep them until you do have a chance to have them removed or replaced.

1 year ruptured saline implant

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Thank you for your question.  When a saline breast implant ruptures, the salt water is absorbed into your body. The empty shell that remains folds on itself. You may feel the edges of the shell when you do self-exams on your breasts.  At some point, the shell needs to come out. You can choose to have no implants or have a new one placed.

Depending on how much of your own tissue you have over the implant, you could actually extrude the implant shell.  This doesn't happen often but it can happen and would be a frightening experience for you if it did and require surgery.

I recommend that you see your board certified plastic surgeon and have this issue addressed. No one can tell you exactly how long it will be before you have a problem, but it is not recommended to just leave the empty shell in your breast.

Best of Luck. 

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Deflated Saline Implant

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Thank you for the question. When a patient who has saline implants has a deflation, the saline from within the implant will be absorbed by the body (no harm done) and so it is not an emergency to have the implant removed and replaced.  Please know that you can have your plastic surgeon check and see if your implants are within the time to receive a stipend back from the breast implant company.  They will give you a complimentary implant and some money to go back to the operating room.  Some patients choose to replace both implants (since they are going into the operating room) and go a little larger....it's up to the patient with how they proceed.


Deflated saline implant

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It contains only salt water which is perfectly safe. The main downside to leaving in a deflated implant is the pocket will shrink around it so that when you eventually replace it you may experience more soreness from the tissues getting stretched out again.

Marcel Daniels, MD
Long Beach Plastic Surgeon

Ruptured saline implants, Breast implants

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A saline implant probably has lost all of the contained saline from it at this time.  This will never be a risk to you.  The shell of the implant is all that remains, as well as the scar that surrounds the implant, better known as  the capsule.  The longer that one goes without replacement the smaller the space into which  the implant was originally placed is.  This will only make it a little harder for the surgeon to replace the implant for you, but this certainly still can be performed.  Always check with a Plastic Surgeon for further opinions about this, however.  Good luck

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.