Can Saline Be Removed 6-7 Yrs Post Op?

I'm 5'3" & was approx 115-120lbs when I got my implants 6-7 yrs ago. I asked for full C, but was given full D. Dr said everyone who asks for C comes back within a yr for D. I have had Cesarean since then and would rate that a 4 on a pain scale w my augmentation being a 10. The pain was so intense that when I moved for the first few days I would vomit. The implants feel too large for my frame and have caused muscle spasms and tension around bilateral scapula. Can I have saline removed? Procedure?

Doctor Answers 9

Downsizing Breast Implants

Yes, you can have saline removed from your implants. However, to do this requires a full surgical procedure. You should not have the pain this time, though. To remove enough saline to make any difference will underfill the implants and make them more likely t fold or ripple. Therefore, you will need new implants. This is probably a good idea anyway since the implants are a old as they are. When you make the breasts smaller, you will lose some of the fill and the breasts probably will droop. Therefore, you will probably also need a breast lift. See a plastic surgeon with significant experience in revision breast surgery.

Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Can Saline Be Removed 6-7 Yrs Post Op?

If your goal is to go from a full D to a C, then just removing a little saline will not be enough.  Also, since your implants are already almost 7 years old, I would recommend removing the old implants and replacing them with smaller ones.  You will need to have an in person consultation to see if you may need a lift at same time.

As far as pain goes, usually the redo is not as painful as the original surgery because skin and muscle have already been stretched out.

Rigo Mendoza, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Saline implants too large

If your saline filled implants are overfilled then fluid can be removed.  If they are not overfilled you could consider going to a smaller size.  If you are going to down size I would look to decrease volume by 150 tl 200 cc or i to 1.5 cup sizes.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Can Saline Be Removed 6-7 Yrs Post Op After Breast Augmentation Surgery?

Despite good intentions, online consultants will not be able to provide you with precise enough advice.  Best to be seen in person by board-certified plastic surgeons, who after examination and a full communication of your goals, will be able to provide you with precise/meaningful advice.

Generally speaking, patients undergoing revision a breast surgery, will find that the level of discomfort/recovery time to be much decreased ( assuming the breast implants are kept in the previously dissected pocket).  Be careful about removal of saline from your current breast implants;  manipulation of the breast implant valve can be problematic and breast implant leaking/rippling may be the potential outcome of these maneuvers..

 Again, your best bet is to seek consultation with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience with revisionary breast surgery. Ask to see lots of examples of their work and communicate your goals clearly.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Removing saline from implants.

It is common for surgeons to overfill saline implants.  Overfilling seems to lessen the chance of rippling.  Also some surgeons and their patients like the added projection that overfilling can provide.

If your implants are overfilled, you could have the extra saline removed.  This is done by reopening the incision, putting a fill tube into the implant valve and using a syringe to remove the extra saline.  This can sometimes be done with a local anesthetic.

If your implants are not overfilled, it's not a good idea to remove saline because this will cause rippling and also is associated with a higher incidence of implant leakage.  In that case, you would need to switch to a smaller implant.

You should check with your surgeon to see if your implants are overfilled and if he/she thinks removing some of the extra saline will make a difference. 

Years ago I had a lady with saline implants and only 10cc of overfill.  She begged me to remove that 10 cc, which is a very, very small volume.  I did this for her and she was so much more comfortable with her implants.  Maybe it was the placebo effect?  I thought her request was a little crazy but by golly it worked like a charm.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Saline Breast Implants

Usually breast implants last 10-15 years unless they have a capsular contracture or they deflate which can happen at a rate of 1% per year. If you have pain or discomfort then you may have developed a capsular contracture which usually occurs early after breast augmentation in saline implants, however, it is quite uncommon to have a capsular contracture with saline implants.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Advantages of lift

Yes, your implants can be removed.  However, you will likely need a lift to remove the excess skin.  At size 32 or 34 each 100 cc's of implant corresponds to 1 cup size change.  At size 36 or 38 each 200 cc's of implant corresponds to 1 cup size change.  From this, you can compute the size implant required to go down 1 cup size.  I recommend a new technique called Implant Exchange with Mini Ultimate Breast Lift.  Using only a circumareola incision it is possible to exchange your implants, reshape your breast tissue creating upper pole fullness, elevate them higher on the chest wall and more medial to increase your cleavage.  Aligning the areola, breast tissue and implant over the bony prominence of the chest wall gives maximum anterior projection with a minimal size implant.  You will have fewer problems with muscle spasms and tension.  Implants placed retro-pectoral are more stable, less likely to contract, ripple or need revision.

Best Wishes,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 222 reviews

Valve is tricky

While saline can be removed even after 7 years, I have seen a high rate of deflation and valve malfunction. By the way, a partially deflated saline implant is not a pretty site/ or feel!. best to get new ones.

Manuel M. Pena, MD
Naples Plastic Surgeon
3.4 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

After seven years consider new implants rather than saline extraction to decrease size after breast augmentation.

Technically it is okay to remove saline from your implants provided this does not exceed the minimum fill volume of the prosthesis. The warranty will be invalidated so I would consider strongly placing new implants.

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