How Common Are Moldy Saline Breast Implants ?

I have been reading some scary stuff about saline implants lately that are making me very nervous about keeping them in. How common is it that the saline could get fungi/moldy or cause the implant to go black? Is this more likely to happen the longer they are in?

Doctor Answers 7

Extremely Rare

Having mold grow inside of saline implants is highly unlikely and very rare. I have never seen a case in my practice but it can happen.  If the implant is placed correctly and using sterile technique the risk of mold formation is extremely rare to not at all. How long the implant is in has no impact on whether or not this will happen.  Make sure that you have procedures completed by a board certified plastic surgeon to further minimize this risk.

Portland Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Also never seen moldy breast implants

in view of all the responders who have already answered, clearly this is an extremely rare event. I too have never seen it happen, and have been in practice for twenty-one years. it is probably not reasonable to be very worried about this happening . hope all these answers will enable you to reduce your level of concern.

Bruce K. Barach, MD
Schenectady Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Nearly 16 years

I haven't seen it. I have thousands of cases under my belt, so I have seen a lot too.  I would not worry too much about the scary stuff you have read.

Scott E. Kasden, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

This is rare

I agree with Dr. Lentz - I too have been in practice over 30 years and saw this once and wrote a case report that was published in our journal - Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. To me, this is a non issue.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

I have never seen moldy breast implants

I have been in practice for 22 years. There has never been a case of mine or anyone else's that I have treated that had a moldy saline implant. To guarantee that this does not happen, all your surgeon needs to do is fill the implant directly from a sterile IV bag of saline without contact to anything external.

I suppose in rare instances the IV bag could be contaminated before use but the chances are pretty slim.

Leslie H. Stevens, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

How often do we see moldy bresat implants?

I have been in practice for 18 years and I have never seen mold in any saline implants.  I do between 100-150 implants per year so I am sure that this is rare.  I always use a closed system when doing saline implants.

Blane T. Shatkin, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon

Moldy implants are extremely rare

In 30 years of practice I have seen this only once. I usually do between 150=200 pair of implants per year so that is surely uncommon. Make sure your surgeon uses a closed system to fill your implants at the time of surgery so that it should not happen at all.  

Carl W. "Rick" Lentz III, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 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.