Signs of Breast Implant Leakage

In the majority of patients undergoing breast augmentation, implants last a lifetime. Occasionally, implants deflate and need to be replaced.

Current data suggests that implants deflate at a rate of 1% at one year and 3% at three years. Over time, this number can be expected to grow. Implants may deflate with no apparent cause or may deflate secondary to trauma.

When saline implants deflate, the diagnosis is relatively easy to make. These implants lose volume and flatten quickly. Silicone implants present a much more difficult problem when they deflate. Rupture of silicone implants may not be apparent for years.

Signs of deflation include soreness, redness, loss of volume, change in shape, and sometimes, capsular contracture. These signs may be subtle and a history of trauma may be the only early indicator.

Because of the difficulty of making this diagnosis with physical examination, ultrasound and MRI studies may occasionally be necessary. Even with these aids, the diagnosis can be uncertain and in some cases surgery may be necessary to resolve this issue.

If you have concerns regarding implant deflation, consultation with your plastic surgeon will be necessary to resolve this issue.