Saline Implants Have Deflated, Should I Consider Replacing with Silicone if Immune System is Overactive? (photo)

2003 saline implants were awesome! After 2 years they began to shrink by 4 years, wearing old bra size. Many visits with Doc saying "it's all or nothing they don't leak". Woke up 2 nts ago vomiting/diarrhea for an entire hr then felt fine except left breast was now completely deflated!Doc says coincidence & wants to replace both with silicone.My immune system is overactive (Rh.Arth.& thyroid antibodies 420).Tried various lip fillers all absorbed within 2 months. Should I even consider silicone?

Doctor Answers 10

Breast Implant Revision - Saline Implants Have Deflated, Should I Consider Replacing with Silicone if Immune System is Overactiv

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Despite some discussion to the contrary the medical literature indicates - strongly - that there are no harmful effects associated with either saline or silicone gel breast implants.  The silicone implant issue was addressed in, among others, the mid-1990s book Science on Trial by Marcia Angell, MD.  I think that, in general, you can be comfortable with either implant, based on any of the typical criteria that are used.  There may be something particular in your medical case that is different, but that is how I would answer that question in general.  And I suspect that the nausea and vomiting are not related to the issue you're having with your implant.  The only other comment is that you may now need a lift on one or both sides in order to get the result you want, although it may not be until your implants are out that that can be fully assessed depending, at least partly, on what size you want to be.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Saline or Silicone Breast Reaugmentation?

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Thank you for the question.

I'm sorry to hear about the leakage you have experienced recently.

It does not sound like you have had any issues with your saline implants (other than current leakage issue)  and have some concerns about the usage of silicone gel implants. Sometimes for patients like yourself it is best to stick with  the saline filled implants  and prevent “peace of mind” issues that arise because of silicone gel concerns.

However, you should be aware that good studies have not shown any  rheumatological/ immunological issues with the  use of silicone gel implants.

I hope this helps.

Consideration replacing saline breast implants

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With all breast implants, saline and silicone gel we seem to begin to see leaks at about seven years, with a leak rate of 9% at ten years depending on the study. Considering that the saline implants were at one time 'awesome' and are very easily replaced, and may cause you less worry with the immune issues (though there is not link to problems with either) the saline might be the easier choice for you. The new come with a ten year warranty.

Best of luck,

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

Deflated implants

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Using either saline or silcone filled implants as replacements should be fine. The medical literature does not support any correlation of rheumatologic disorders occurring or becoming worse because of silicone implants.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Saline Implants Deflated-Should I Switch To Silicone

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From a medical aspect, there is no reason that you should not switch to silicone gel filled breast implants if that is what you want to do.  There are mountains of data that cannot demonstrate any linkage between silicone gel implants and immune disorders meaning the likely hood that the silicone implants would cause your immune system to malfunction is very low to none.  However, the more important question is; if you were happy with your saline implants, why do you want to change to silicone implants?  If you have not had problems other than the deflation episode and you are comfortable with using saline implants, then for your own peace of mind, there is no reason you cannot replace your old saline implants with new saline filled implants with their ten year warranty plan.  Hope this helps and good luck.

Herluf G. Lund, Jr, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Replace deflated saline implants with silicone?

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If you were happy with your saline implants, I would suggest replacing them with saline. Either way, breast implants are not implanted in patients with connective tissue disorders.

Donna Rich, MD
Webster Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Deflated implant

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If you were happy with saline implants, there is no need to switch to silicone.  In general, the scar is usually shorter fo saline implants, and unless you had visible wrinkling with your saline implants, there is no need to change.

Ricardo Izquierdo, MD
Oak Brook Plastic Surgeon

Deflated Saline Implants

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Thank you for your question.  Saline implants can occasionally leak slowly.  It is usually associated with ingrowth of capsular tissue at the valve.  There have been multiple studies done on the link between immune concerns and silicone breast implants, and none of these have found any links at all.  Having said that, if you have concerns regarding silicone and your immune system, and you have had a good result with saline implants in the past, there is no good reason for you to switch as long as you and your surgeon have had a discussion regarding the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Good luck!

Peter A. Lennox, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon

Would Probably Use Saline

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Although the scientific evidence is pretty clear that silicone implants are not causative in connective tissue disease, I would recommend saline for you because 1. Replacement is very easy 2. You were very happy and apparently had minimal issues with rippling etc 3. The implant manufacturer should replace the implant and thus cost would be less. Good Luck!

Brian Klink, MD
Vacaville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 reviews


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My experience has been that often implants deflate slowly with time. With regards to saline vs silicone if you thought saline implants  were great keep them if you did not like the feel or had rippling consider silicone.

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.