When a saline implant develops a leak, it deflates over a period of days or weeks. It is dramatic and it is obvious. Treatment involves removing and replacing that implant. If it has been years since the original surgery, you will need to consider whether you want to replace the other implant as well. Also, you should consider both whether you want to switch to a different size implant as well as whether you want to switch to a silicone implant. If you do decide to change to a larger implant, the pocket around the implant might need to be enlarged and the other breast will need surgery as well in order to aesthetically balance the pair. This situation is not in any way a medical emergency, but the surgery is easier for you if done in the first several weeks after the saline implant leaks. The reason for this is because as the implant starts leaking, even a thin and normal capsule around the implant will start contracting around the deflating implant and thicken. When that happens, Dr. Teitelbaum needs to remove some or all of the scar tissue, which makes for a bigger operation. If done quickly, the old implant usually can just be removed and replaced. Sometimes while awaiting surgery, Dr. Teitelbaum will use a needle to extract fluid from the good implant in order to correct the asymmetry. It may sound bizarre, but it is less invasive than drawing blood from a vein in your arm.
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