Should I Replace One Or Both Saline Breast Implants?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I believe that one of my breast implants is leaking. I have saline, below the muscle and I have had them about 13 1/2 yrs. The size is fine 38D. I know I need to replace the leaking one  but is there some reason why I should mess with the left one, because it is the right that is leaking. And I don’t think I want to switch to silicone, because I heard they are not good for you if they burst and  I don’t think they feel as soft. Is the saline leak harmful?

A: Th saline leak is not physically harmful. While you can just exchange the  deflating breast implant alone, most patients choose to do both sides as they fear that the other side will soon develop a leak also. That is just a personal choice one of surgical opportunity and preventative maintenance.

Your perceptions about silicone implants is not accurate. They are perfectly safe, they can’t burst or deflate and actually feel more natural than saline as they don’t have of the rippling effect that many saline implants do. While silicone implants can develop a rupture, they are composed of very cohesive gels that act more like solids than liquids. Thus the concept of a leaking silicone breast implant is not accurate, it is a rubbery formed jelly that just sits there inside the surrounding capsule that you body naturally forms. This is why silicone breast implants do not deflate.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana