Does this look like a leak, dislocation or something else? (Photos)

My implants are 21 years old, they were done in June of 1995, they are saline. It seems I've been noticing a subtle change for a while, but it wasn't until I took the picture that I realised it's much more drastic. Would a leak look like this or is this a result of something different?

Doctor Answers 13

Possible leaking saline breast implant

Although slow recurrent leaks do occur, they are very uncommon so there is more likely some other cause of your asymmetry. To provide a true diagnosis would require a consultation with a plastic surgery to allow an assessment including a physical examination. After 21 years a followup visit would be appropriate even in the absence of visible problems. 

Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Does this look like a leak, dislocation or something else?

From your photos it appears your right breast has had a slow leak for some time. There may also be a significant capsular contractour.

Fred Suess, MD (retired)
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Breast Revision

Thank you for your question and pictures.  It appears that your right implant has shifted from its pocket which is not uncommon with implants that are many years old.  If you had a leak the overall breast size would be much smaller on one side versus the other.  Either way I would recommend a revision breast surgery to fix your pockets and replace new implants.  Best of luck to you

Milind K. Ambe, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Does this look like a leak, dislocation or something else

If you had a leak with saline implant, within a few weeks the implant would be flat. I think you likely have some level of capsular contracture that is causing some visible difference from left to right

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

You have developed asymmetry of your breasts

but if you're wondering if you have a leaking implant, you must use objective measurements.  The easiest way is to use a molded, non-stretch bra and check yourself weekly.  If you have a leak, you will appreciate more space in the bra cup with time.   Using your hands to cup your breast always works well and if you have a leak, the leaking side will progressively diminish in size. If its obviously smaller, you don't need to waste your time with this method.  And if you have a leak, you are looking at either deflating your implants and leaving your shells in, removing your implants and repairing the muscle at the same time, or replacing your implants.  Lifts can be done as indicated.  Changes in breast appearances without changes in volume suggests contractures or drooping tissue.

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

Saline Leakage


You may very well have leakage of saline, however it doesn't appear to have completely deflated. Regardless, it seems like now would be a good time to interview surgeons. Remember to visit ABPS certified/ASAPS member surgeons that specialize in revision breast surgery. Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Is my saline breast implant leaking?

The sagging that you are mentioning is quite clear in the picture but it is unclear whether it is accompanied by a loss of breast implant volume.  Most implants deflate within roughly 24 hours, but I have seen two or three cases where there was a very slow drop by drop deflation over 3 to 6 months that was confusing and difficult to detect initially.  My best advice is that you do meet with an ABPS board-certified plastic surgeon for examination and to review options.  Typically deflating saline implants become increasingly rippled and over time it becomes obvious that volume is being lost.  Good luck and best wishes,

Jon A Perlman M.D., FACS
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
ABC-TV Extreme Makeover Surgeon
Beverly Hills, California

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast implant changes over time #plasticsurgery

Saline breast deflation is typically quite dramatic and rapid. A slow and subtle change in the appearance of one augmented breast relative to the other may indicate capsular contracture. An in-person exam is critical to make this diagnosis and the treatment, if severe enough, is a surgical one.

Scott C. Sattler, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Leak or lateralization? Lateralization!

Your right breast is demonstrating lateralization of the implant which is common over decades of having implants; you just need a breast augmentation revision; I would replace both implants and modify your pockets; for example, your right pocket needs to be medialized. A consultation would help discuss your specific needs. Please see examples below.

Arian Mowlavi, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Does this look like a leak, dislocation or something else?

Thanks for your question.

Hard to tell you exactly what's going on. Could be a leak, malposition or contracture. The best advice is to get checked by a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in aesthetic breast surgery.

Good luck.

Kenneth Bermudez, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 15 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.