Saline Implant deflation fixed with implant exchange in Raleigh, NC
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This 28 year old woman had saline implants in place for 9 years. One morning she woke up with a "flat tire" on one side. It was painless and fairly sudden. She noticed slight wrinkling of her implant the day prior but a flat right side within 24 hours. She underwent an implant exchange to silicone gel implants . The surgery was minimally painful and she had full restoration of her breasts back to normal. She did have prior textured implants but was exchanged for smooth walled devices. Deflation of saline breast implants occurs with a fair degree of predictability. Each implant manufacturer keeps its own statistics but in general saline devices leak at a rate of approximately 1% per year. This means that by 10 years , 10% have had a leak. Of course there are many other factors that can influence this leakage rate. Textured implants have a higher leakage rate- up to 2% per year meaning that by 10 years upwards of 20% have had leakage. It is believed that leakage is most commonly caused by "crease fold failure". The concept is that a fold in the implant rubbing back and forth over time leads to a small opening in the implant shell. With textured devices this may be accelerated by the increased friction of the sandpaper like surface of the textured shell. Also under filling saline devices or making the pocket too big can allow for more folding of the shell and higher chance of leakage. Fortunately, saline deflation is harmless, easily detected and easily treated.