When a saline (salt water) breast implant ruptures, it will probably leak very quickly. The implant deflates much like a balloon that has lost the air inside. As this happens, your breast will change in size and/or shape. When the saline leaks, the body absorbs it. It is usually harmless unless bacteria, yeast, or mold are inside the implant. They can cause a serious infection. If you notice a change in the size or shape of your saline implant along with symptoms like swelling, redness, or fever you should see a doctor immediately. If your breast implant ruptures, you should have it removed to prevent infection, leakage, pain, and other problems.
Because breast implant removal includes costs (such as anesthesia) that are similar whether you have one implant removed or two, it is usually best to remove them both at the same time, whether or not you want them to be replaced. For example, if your implants were put in at the same time and one is ruptured, it is likely that the other will rupture soon. One surgery is much less expensive than two.
You will also need to decide whether to have your implants replaced. If you have had problems with one or both of your breast implants, it is likely that those problems will develop if your implants are replaced. Before you undergo surgery, learn about the many health issues that can be caused by breast implants. You might be surprised to learn that health issues that seemed unrelated to your implants might actually be caused by them. Some women find that replacing their implants leads to an endless cycle of future surgeries. To learn more about how to find a plastic surgeon, click here.
All articles are reviewed and approved by Diana Zuckerman, PhD, and other senior staff.