Why Would a Saline Implant Not Deflate if Punctured Several Times with a 25 Gauge Needle?

Doctor Answers 9

A saline implant WILL deflate if punctured by a needle.

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The saline implant will deflate if punctured by a needle. It may take several days or weeks, but eventually there will be a deflation.

Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews


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There is no question the implant will deflate over time.If it doesn't then you may have silicone in the implant.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Saline implants should deflate if punctured, but maybe not completely.

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If a saline implant is punctured several times with a 25 gauge needle it will deflate. It may not completely deflate immediately, but eventually most of the saline will leak out. This will be very noticeable to you. If you think you implant was punctured and is not deflating, there could be two explanations.

1) The needle missed the implant.

2) The implants are not saline. Either they are silicone or a saline/silicone double lumen implant.

Kevin Brenner, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

I have tiny holes in my implants, but they are not deflating- what is going on?

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First, you have to be certain that the implants are indeed saline implants, and not bilumen implants (with both saline and silicone gel inside).  Silicone implants will not 'deflate' after puncture.  Saline implants may deflate after a 25 g needle puncture, but it is not a sure thing, since a partially deflated implant may collapse in such a manner as to block the exit of the fluid in a valve like manner. I usually use a 16 g needle to do this, since it is much less likely to fail.  The question is, why would someone use a 25 g needle?  Second question, if the objective was to deflate the implant, why was the fluid not aspirated out of the implant using a syringe?

Claudio DeLorenzi, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon

Saline implant should deflate with 25 gauge

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I doubt this was a plastic surgeon who tried to deflate the implant.  I would use an 18 or 16 gauge needle under local anesthesia and aspirate as much as possible using sterile technique.

Puncturing the saline implant

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Your doctor must have missed the implant with the needle.  Otherwise it would have deflated.  Next tie be sure they draw back fluid to be sure they are in and use a bigger needle.

All it takes is one puncture...

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A saline implant can deflate with just one needle stick.  Deflation can occur rapidly or progress slowly over several days/weeks.

A saline implant WILL deflate if punctured several times with a 25 gauge needle

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Dear Miami293,

This is an unusual question but it brings up a good point about saline implant deflation. I will occasionally see a patient with a deflated implant, and they will report that it 'went down' very slowly (weeks). When a deflation occurs, the saline may leak fairly slowly such that the time that it takes is several days to even weeks. Many patients envision that the implant will be flat after a short time, but this is not typically the case. 

Bottom line: if an implant has been punctured with a 25 gauge needle, I guarantee that it will deflate, given some time

Best regards,

Lawrence Tong MD FACS FRCSC

Lawrence Tong, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon

Deflating a saline implant.

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All it takes to deflate an implant is a needle stick which is not unlike drawing your blood. The saline can aspirated (sucked out) or it can leak into the body where it will be rapidly absorbed. If the implant does not deflate over a few days, your capsule may have hardened around your implant.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 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.