Seeking Professional Advice on Timing over Removing/replacing Broken Saline Breast Implant?

I got saline breast implants in 1999.Since then, I have had & nursed 3 children.I am still breast feeding my youngest (7 months old).Today my right breast implant broke.My husband and I are also wanting to have one more child.My issue is this, is there harm in me waiting 3-4 years to have it removed/replaced. I had already planned on having a lift & new implants after we completed our family but am torn now b/c of the broken implant.

Doctor Answers 13

No harm in leaving a deflated implant in place.

A broken saline implant poses no health risk.  You can leave it in place indefinitely.  You'll have to live with the asymmetry however.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Ruptured Implant

I recommend after you're done breastfeeding either removing or replacing the implants depending on what you feel is the best option for you. If you know you need a lift and you're planning another baby you may want to wait to add new implants, although I still advise you remove the implants. Having said that, you may replace the implants and always do a lift down the road. Getting new implants doesn't preclude you from having a breast lift down the road. Bottom line: there are pro's and con's either way, it all comes down to your expectations.

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

Timing over Removing/replacing Broken Saline Breast Implant

You can wait until after breast feeding your current child before you have the implants exchanged. However, the discomfort and asymmetry from the deflated implants may not issues that you wil want to wait 3 - 4 years to address. Consult with 3 - 4 experienced and expert board certified plastic surgeons to review your options.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Deflated saline implant & breast feeding

My advice would be to finish breast feeding, then get the implants replaced (on both sides, since they are 10+ years old).  You may have some warrantee coverage to help you financially.  If you wait, that coverage may expire.  

Also, the capsule around the deflated implant will shrink up, and if you wait more than a month or two, your surgeon will have to do some extra work to take care of that issue, as well.

Thomas Fiala, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Rupture of saline implant

your implants are already over 10 years old and are due for replacement regardless of the rutpure. I would not advise you to leave a deflated implant in your chest for that long, plus the replacement could be covered by warranty. I recommend you consult with a board certified plastic surgeon and discuss your options incuding replacing both implants at this time.

Antoine A. Hallak, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Timing implant replacement

First, it is important to ascertain that the implant has deflated; this can be evaluated via sonogram and I encourage you to do this. Once you have finished nursing, the asymmetry between the breasts will be apparent and I think that this will be difficult to deal with for several more years. If the implant is under warranty, you may want to consider implant exchange now and then defer the decision after whether to have a lift until after your family is complete. Delay can increase scar tissue formation which will make a later operation more complicated. Implant exchange is a simple procedure; I would disagree about performing the surgery under local anesthesia, however.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Delayed Replacement of Saline Breast Implant Deflation

A deflated breast implant is harmless in and of itself. The scar capsule around it will shrink which does make replacement slightly more difficult later. Years is a long time to go, however, with significant breast asymmetry from a psychological standpoint. Future children aside, replacement of a saline implant now is a quick and easy operation which can be done under local anesthesia due to the established pocket. The other alternative is that if you If you are really going to wait that long then you may consider having the left implant deflated to have better symmetry until the day comes when you can have a lift and new implants.  

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Timing of breast implant replacement after deflation (saline)

I agree with Dr. Khoobhi- there is no harm in leaving the deflated implant in, and deflating the other for symmetry until you are ready to have the exchange.  I do this for many women, and only a few have had issues with the implant folding and causing pain- although this is a risk.  Many women will even request to have their saline implants deflated during pregnancy so that their breasts do not strech too much. 

Amy T. Bandy, DO, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Deflated implants and timing of replacement

While it is possible OK to leave your deflated implants in until you are ready to remove them, they may give you a problem with folded edges and could lead to extrusion. Also do not forget about asymmetry with one deflated and the other not

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

You can leave your deflated implants till you are ready

You have indicated that you need to have lift later on. You can delay your surgery till you are ready. Implant pocket will shrink and since you need lift and implant replacement,I would recommend to wait. If your other implant is intact, you can have it deflated in office to prevent asymmetry.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 122 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.