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I am seeing more and more women in consultation in my office with deflation of their saline breast implants. In fact, twice this month we had women who presented with the development of pain around their breast implant with an associated distortion of the breast shape secondary to breast implant valve failure.

It has been my experience that the development of a capsular contracture around the breast implant changes not only the shape of the breast implant capsule complex, but may incorporate around the valve of the saline implant (as shown in the image above).

Either continued contraction of the breast capsule resulting in a change in the surface area to volume ratio and/or ingrowth of the capsule to the valve disrupts the valve and allows the saline to extravasate. These women often present with continued pain and the apparent deflation of the implant can be distressing to the patient.

In these cases I recommend that women undergo removal and replacement of their breast implants and capsulectomy. Many women are opting now to exchange their saline implants for silicone gel breast implants.After these surgeries, patients are very happy with the new contour of their implants and their pain is often markedly improved.

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