How long is it before it would be considered dangerous for my health to not take care of a ruptured saline breast implant?

I got saline breast implants under the muscle and the right one ruptured.

Doctor Answers 11

Elective implant removal

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From a healthcare perspective, there would be no negative consequences to waiting. It will be more difficult to replace the implant; obviously, in the meantime, you would have breast asymmetry so, from a cosmetic perspective, that isn't optimal. You have the option of deflating the second implant for symmetry.  If the implants are still within the warranty period, you may receive some financial support.

Ruptured implant

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There is no health danger to wait. The capsule or space around the implant may shrink down which may make replacement surgery a little more involved.
An exam and consultation with a plastic surgeon is recommended to discuss your options and expectations. 

Rupture saline implant

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Thanks for your question.
The answer is varied....if you are going to replace the implant, do it sooner than later so the pocket doen not contract requiring more dissection to replace it.  If you have no immediate plans of replacement, then there are no health risks to leaving the deflated implant inside.  I have several patients who have elected to deflate their impants and then never returned to remove them.  In rare instances, the edge of the implant can fold and be palpable usually at the base of the breasts.  Implants can be removed (and even sometimes replaced) under local anesthesia.
Good luck in whatever decision you make.
Dr. T

Douglas Taranow, DO, FACOS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Ruptures saline implants

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It is a good idea to get them removed ASAP.  Sometimes the leading edge of the deflated implants can cause some pain. Also the longer you wait the more work will likely be required to create the pocket for the implant after it shrinks down.

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

Health risk

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There is none. IT would be best to go back to your original surgeon -- but short of that - get the information from the first surgery so you know what type of implant you had when you get another consultation. 

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Deflated saline implant

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There is no health danger to waiting to replace the deflated implant. However the longer you wait the more the pocket gets smaller and smaller since the implant volume is not there to stop it. When replaced the pocket has to be dissected again and this leads to a possible higher rate of bleeding, pain, or capsular contracture, though these possibilities is not very high.  You can also take this opportunity to change both implants to newer, or different size, or even change to silicone. Discuss all your options with your surgeon. Good luck.

Breast implant replacement

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You can deflate the opposite implant and wait until you have time to replace them. Check with your plastic surgeon, you may be covered for replacement and or fees for surgery. If you have the extended warranty you could have good financial coverage. At least the manufacturer will replace the implant. Your original surgeon will help you. or see a board certified ASAPS plastic surgeon. Good luck...

Larry Weinstein, MD
Morristown Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

How long is it before it would be considered dangerous for my health to not take care of a ruptured saline breast implant?

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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.


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A ruptured saline implant is not dangerous since your body absorbs the salt water. However, if left in place, you may notice corners of the implant which can be irritating. Also, the pocket of scar tissue around the implant may shrink over time. It is best to get the implant replaced as soon as you can.

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

Ruptured Saline Implant

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Thank you for your question.  I'm sorry to hear about your ruptured saline implant.  Since saline implants are filled with salt water, there is no particular danger in not having the implant removed immediately. With saline implants, a rupture is obvious since they deflate, so I'm sure you most likely won't want to wait too long to have it removed and replaced.  If you wait months to have it removed, the pocket that holds the implant can begin to contract making replacement a little more challenging. I hope this helps. 

Steven L. Ringler, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 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.