Saline Breast Implant Deflation

Your Saline Implant deflated, what now?

There is a small but real risk of implant failure with either saline or silicone breast implants. The frequency of saline implant deflation is about 1% per year. In a given year this is quite unlikely. However, over a lifetime this risk becomes significant. The longer a saline implant has been in place, the more likely it is to fail.

Implant deflation is usually fairly quick (within a few days). Slower leaks are rare but also possible. The involved breast becomes smaller and empty.

The causes of saline implant deflation are usually from a break in the shell of the implant or a leak around the fill valve of the implant. “Fold-flaw” describes a crease that develops in an implant from the folding of the implant in its pocket. This creates a weak point on the implant that can fail. Surgical trauma and age-related weakening of the shell of the implant are other common causes. External trauma (fall, car accident etc…) is unlikely to cause an otherwise intact implant to fail.

Saline breast implant deflation 1024x743 1
(Right implant deflation, left capsular contracture)

Your surgeon can help reduce the risk of saline implant deflation by:

  • Assuring the implant valve is completely closed
  • Filling the implant to the appropriate fill volume
  • Creation of an implant pocket the appropriate dimensions for the saline breast implant
  • Avoiding factors that can lead to capsular contracture such as hematoma and infection

The treatment for a deflated saline implant is relatively straightforward — replace it. If the implants have been in for some time (10 – 20+ years), the other implant should be removed and replaced as well. If you are otherwise happy with the shape, size, and feel of the implants the procedure is very easy.

We generally do this procedure with light sedation and local anesthesia in the clinic operating room and is relatively inexpensive. The incision is anesthetized, the previous scar is excised, the implants are removed and new implants are replaced. The recovery is nearly painless and easy, nothing like the original breast augmentation recovery. If you were unhappy with the previous results, this may be a good time to do some revision work as well. This may include:

  • Replacing saline implants with silicone implants for rippling or a softer feel.
  • Increasing or decreasing the size of the implants
  • Adjusting the location of the implants
  • Lifting the breasts

Dr. Yates has significant experience with breast augmentation and breast augmentation revision serving the Salt Lake City, UT area.

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