How long can you keep a rupture saline implant before replacing them?

Doctor Answers 13

How long can you keep a rupture saline implant before replacing them?

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Although there is no urgency to removal/replacement of the ruptured saline breast implant, waiting for a prolonged period of time may lead to additional work necessary during the procedure to “reopen” the breast implant pocket, that tends to contract down over the deflated saline implant. Therefore, probably best to have the procedure done within a month of deflation, if possible. The advice above is quite general; you will do best seeking consultation with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons in your area. Best wishes.

Rupture Saline Implant Removal As Office Procedure

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Forever I guess it an answer but keeping a foreign body without a purpose is not recommended especially as it is so simple to remove it. I generally do it as an office procedure under local anesthesia.

Ruptured saline implants

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You may keep the ruptured implant for life.  However, as it collapses, you may notice more corners and points.  These can become quite irritating. Your implant can just be removed under local anesthesia in the office.  However, if you wish to replace it, I would suggest doing so before your scar tissue lining collapses around the empty bag.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Best to replace ruptured implant sooner rather than later

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When a saline implant ruptures, your body absorbs the saline, the shell of the implant deflates, and the capsule around the implant begins to contract or tighten. The longer you leave the ruptured implant in, the tighter the capsule tends to get with time because it is tightening around a new smaller size. This can lead to visible rippling and distortion of the breast, as well as pain. If you remove the ruptured implant soon after the rupture, the capsule is not yet tight and replacing the implant is straightforward. The longer you wait, potentially more needs to be done during that surgery, such as removing the capsular contracture and releasing the scar tissue. The bottom line is there is no advantage to waiting.

Anita Patel, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

How long can you keep a rupture saline implant before replacing them?

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If you plan to replace your deflated saline implant is important to have the implant removed as soon as possible.  The problem is that the breast capsule will shrink down and tighten on the deflated implant.  If this occurs you will need a capsulectomy and a more extensive procedure when it comes time to replace the implant.  I would recommend you certainly have it replaced within a few weeks.

Ruptured Saline Implant

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When a saline implant ruptures, the breast usually gets smaller quite quickly like a flat tire. The tissues around the implant begin to shrink as well. I usually advise replacing the implant within about a week. This way the replacement surgery is easier with easier recovery and more ease of reestablishing a nice shape.

How soon do you have to change a ruptured saline implant

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Once a saline implant has ruptured, and the breast is flat, the tissues begin to shrink around the implant.
So when you replace the implant, additional surgery is needed to open up the space.
And you can see and feel the implant through your skin.

If there is a slow leak and gradual change in size, not a sudden rupture, you can usually arrange to have a replacement implant within a month or so without trouble. Best wishes.


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Ideally one would want to remove a ruptured saline implant as soon as possible but they do not have to be removed.  The pocket around the implant shrinks with time and the implants have a warranty so removal is best early on.  There is no harm though from a ruptured implant.

Dr. Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Replacing ruptured saline implant

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You will want to replace the ruptured implants as soon as possible. At the very least you should go for a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon as soon as possible to maximize your warranty coverage from the breast company. During the consultation, the surgeon can provide you a timeline to replace them.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Ruptured implant

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Thank you for your question.  If you have a ruptured implant you want to replace it as soon as you can.  Depending on how old the implants are, they may still be under warranty.  You can check with the manufacturer and find out if they are still covered under warranty to help cover any of the costs of surgery to have the implant replaced.  You don't want to leave the implant for too long, as scar tissue will start to form around the deflated implant.

If you have any other questions regarding breast augmentation, you can access more information from my Breast Augmentation Planner which is free for you to download!  Go to

Best of luck to you!

Richard H. Fryer, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 299 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.