Is It Possible for a Saline Breast Implant to Be Leaking Slowly?

I had saline implants 2 months ago.During the first week i tighened the band much more than supposed to to the pt it bothered me,there was a decrease in shape and size of one breast although it has not changed so much during the last month.I had an MRI and the implants look more or less symetric but the smaller breast had 400cc and the bigger one 390cc , should the one with 400cc look bigger in the x ray? in any case it looks smaller.Is it possible the implant is slowly deflating?

Doctor Answers 23


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Implants can and do leak.  Given time 100% deflate (lose saline and go flat).  Saline is safe so no problem there.  You could be losing saline slowly ( molecular leak).  A valve or posterior seal separation-disfunction results in a 24 hour or less deflation to flat.  In 27 tears I have had experience with ober 1700 breast imp;ant patients.  I have seen leaks occur in the first few days after surgery amd I have seen one lady who at 37 years had no leak and the volume was still the same 300 the surgeon had in his op note.  They all eventually leak.  They all eventually go flat.  They are just very expensive, sort of sophistaced, childrens baloons.  What amazes me is that they last as long as they do in general.  Complanies offer partial 5 to 10 year warranties so the durability is quite good.

Slow leak of saline breast impalnts is possible

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it is possible to have a slow leak of saline implant over several weeks. There are signs that can show this with MRI, but it is best to wait until visually there is a significant difference.

Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Once it starts leaking, it doesn't stop.

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Leaking of saline breast implants can deflate over a few hours or a few days, however once the leaking starts it won't stop.  That one of the greatest advantages of saline implants is that there isn't usually a question about whether its leaking or not.  You know because the breast the deflation is clearly visible and the saline just gets safely absorbed by the body.  It is unlikely that two weeks after surgery that both sides have partially deflated.  The change that you see is more likely and resolution of swelling after surgery and the dropping down of the implants into a more natural position. 

Adam Hamawy, MD
Princeton Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Breast Augmentation, Breast Enlargement, Breast Implants

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In my experience if your saline implants are leaking at all they will deflate completely in a short period of time.  Most times the implants are not leaking, the difference in the size is due to your pre-existing breast size difference or the swelling that remains.  Give it more time to completely heal.  Then stop looking so closely, there will always be a slight difference in the two breasts. 

Jay H. Ross, MD, FACS
Palm Harbor Plastic Surgeon

Is It Possible for a Saline Breast Implant to Be Leaking Slowly?

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Yes, implants can leak slowly.  I have seen instances where it has taken several months to discern a certain leak in a saline implant.  Because your surgery was so recent, it is too soon to be sure.  However, a leak this soon after surgery is unlikely and it is more likely that you are seeing your pre-op breast asymmetry magnified.  10cc difference in implant fill is not visibly noticible. Your breast asymmetry is not only in volume, but inra-mammary fold height too. This may look more obvious after surgery, as in your case.

Amy T. Bandy, DO, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Leakage of saline implants

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Saline breast implants will completely leak over several days to 2 weeks. If you are over one month, then youre implants are not leaking.

Arian Mowlavi, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Saline breast implants don't deflate slowly

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A saline breast implant may deflate incompletely, though once a leak develops the volume loss will be obvious and MRI studies are unnecessary. You may be looking at natural breast asymmetry that was not influenced by breast augmentation, but don't worry about a leak for when is does you will know.

Best of luck,


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

Implant appearance is often deceptive following augmentation

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The answer to your question is yes.  Saline implants can leak slowly from implant failure or from a needle injury during surgery.  The actual question is.... is the implant leaking or is the asymmetry of your breast exacerbated by the placement of implants.  This is much more difficult to discern.  What I can see is that you had preop asymmetry which is more visible post op as the height of the breast are quite different.  It is very difficult to determine what the implants will look like post op because sometimes the smaller implant has more ptosis/ sag so that it actually has a bigger pocket than it appears. It is very difficult to know if there is a slow leak but time will tell.  If the implant continues to get smaller it is a leak. If the size stabilizes over the next month or 2, it is the way your pockets are stretching with the implants, so the correction may be require pocket change and sizers to determine the implant size that will best achieve symmetry. 

I hope this is helpful. Good luck!

Kimberley Lloyd O'Sullivan, MD
Providence Plastic Surgeon

Saline Breast Implant Leaking

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As you may know, breast asymmetry is very common. It is very unlikely that your implants are leaking this early after surgery. I suspect that you are noticing some of your pre-existing breast asymmetry as the swelling resolves. Additionally, the shape and size of your breast after implant may also be affected by your chest wall (ribs) and muscle asymmetry. If you are concerned about this situation, your board certified Plastic Surgeon would be the best person to help.

I hope this helps.

Stanley Okoro, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 168 reviews

Saline implants and leaking

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A size difference of 10 cc would not be detectable on MRI and would also be difficult to appreciate on observation. Small differences in implant location could produce an asymmetric appearance as could the inherent asymmetry of your preoperative breasts. Leaks are usually due to valve malfunction resulting in progressive intermittent leakage of saline which will eventually manifest as an obviously smaller and much softer breast.

David A. Bottger, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 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.