I Have Had Saline Implants Submuscular Since 1995. Should I Be Concerned About Rupture?

I have had submuscular implants since 1995. Should I be concerned about rupture now that I am getting close to mammogram age?

Doctor Answers 12

Older Breast Implants Tend to Rupture

You are lucky. The risk of rupture for saline implants that are more than 15 years old is about 50%. I would not avoid a mammogram if recommended by your physician as it is an important screening test for breast cancer. On the other hand it is only a matter of time before they rupture, so you might want to research the next step in advance.


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Benefit outweighs the risk


Implants typically do not rupture with mammography. The benefit of this test outweighs the risk. It is the best tool available to detect breast cancer. WOW - 17 years and counting, what a great implant life span!


George John Alexander, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Rupture risk of breast implants

As long as your breasts are maintaining the same size and fullness, you should be fine.  If they rupture your breasts will probably become much flatter.

Jeffrey E. Schreiber, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 202 reviews

Saline Implants from 1995

I agree with the "if it ain't broke, don't fix" philosophy.  The great thing about saline implants is that when they rupture, they will go flat very quickly and your body will absorb the water.

Jeffrey Hartog, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Saline impalnts since 1995

I always say if they aint broke don't fix'em.  In other words, if the implants are soft and look good leave them alone. If there is a problem seek a consultation with a surgeon to be evaluated.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Old implants, what should I do?

If you are happy with the size, shape, feel, and appearance of your implants nothing needs to be done. Saline implants will deflate if the shell leaks so you should know if a problem develops. Mammograms are fine. Cheers, Dr Kerr

Mahlon Kerr, MD, FACS
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 216 reviews

The beauty of a saline implant, wear without worry

What is very nice about a saline implant is that you can wear the implant without a worry about leak until the unfortunate day arrives. The implants may last many more years and the mammogram should not cause a problem.

Best of luck, Peter Johnson, MD

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

All Saline Implants Have Potential For Rupture

All saline implants have the potential to rupture, but I would not be overly concerned about a mammagram causing an implant rupture.  I have many intact saline implants from the 80s and 90s in women who have had multiple mammagrams.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Saline implants since 1995

When  a saline implant ruptures and leaks typically all of the saline will leak out of the implant and the patient will notice a size difference.  Usually this is not associated with any event although it may be associated with trauma in a small percentage of cases.  It is also usually not associated with any discomfort. You should be aware, however, the the risk of implant rupture does increase with the age of the implant especially after 10 years.

I tell my patients that as long as everything is ok and you still like the way your implants look and feel there is no reason to be concerned.  Tell the mammographer that you have implants when you start having mammograms as they will typically perform special views to better image the breast tissue around the implants.

Thank you for your question.

Ralph R. Garramone, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Saline Breast Implants and Rupture?

Thank you for the question.

One of the advantages of saline breast implants is that if there is a leakage it is generally easy to diagnose clinically. Therefore, you should not be “concerned about rupture” regardless of how long they have been in place. Instead, enjoy your good fortune on a daily basis.

Although silicone gel breast implants have their own advantages, one of the disadvantages with silicone gel breast implants is the potential for “silent leakage” ( breast implant leakage that is not detectable clinically) requiring MRI study  to diagnose.

Best wishes.

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