Saline Implants for 27 Years. I Am 56 Now. I Was Told by Mammomgrapher That They Can Be Easily Drained at Little Cost?

Doctor Answers 6

Your mammographer was right...

And saline implants can be deflated very easily.  If you were my patient, there would be no cost for a puncture deflation in the office.  Removal of the shell is done when convenient under local in the office for less then $600 or when replacing them with implants or having a lift.  There is no danger to leave the deflated shell inside of you but infections could rarely occur as with any implant in your body.

Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Saline implants can be drained and left in place.

It's easy to introduce the needle into the saline implant and withdraw the fluid leaving the prosthesis intact. However takes about 10 min. to remove the implant altogether so that's the customary way of dealing with unwanted saline implants.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Can saline implants be deflated without surgery?

A saline implant can be emptied in the office with a syringe and needle. But it is all or none, that is once you put a needle in it it will continue to leak until it is totally empty. The problem with deflated imlants is that many women find them very uncomfortable or downright painful because of the bunching and folding of the shell.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Can saline implants be deflated without surgery?

Yes this can be done during an office visit. The implant shells can stay. I remove them later under local anesthesia only or if a women wants to have a re-augmentation or breast lift. Most women find that with age they have more breast tissue then when they had the augmentation. If you have a capsular contracture, deflation will eliminate the pain and discomfort. Have to be prepared, that if you do not contemplate a breast lift, you might have saggy breasts. Even if you would want a breast lift, I personally like to deflate the implants non-surgically first to allow for your tissues to rebound and have less potential risk with the breast lift surgery. Good luck.

George Marosan, MD
Bellevue Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

When to consider nonsurgical drainage of saline implants

It is not difficult to drain saline implants using a needle placed through the skin but of course this should be done by a plastic surgeon using sterile technique. It would not be common to leave the implants in however, so the main reason for doing it is if you are planning to have them surgically removed and you and your surgeon want to plan on what else might need to be done such as a lift.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Saline Implants for 27 Years. I Am 56 Now. I Was Told by Mammomgrapher That They Can Be Easily Drained at Little Cost?

Thank you for the question.   Yes, saline breast implants can be drained percutaneosly;  whether this course of action makes sense for your specific situation can only be determined during the consultation process.

I would suggest that you seek consultation with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons to discuss your specific goals. Only after a thorough history, physical examination and a full communication of your goals will you be able to receive good advice from a knowledgeable source.  Over the years, I have been amazed at how much advice has been  dispensed by ancillary staff such as mammographers etc.

 Best wishes.


Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

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