The aim of this paper was to review the procedures adopted when a perforation of the sinus membrane takes place during a direct sinus lift for filling with bone graft; and the survival of implants in those cases in which perforation of the sinus membrane occurred. A bibliographical search in PUBMED was carried out of articles published from 1997 to 2008, with the key words "sinus perforation" and "membrane perforation". All articles specifying the two following criteria were included: (a) procedure in the case of perforation of the sinus membrane during direct sinus lift; and (b) the number and survival rate of implants placed in direct sinus lift with perforated and non perforated membrane. Six articles fulfilled the inclusion criteria. In all the articles the sinus lift was continued when a perforation of the sinus membrane took place. In maxillary sinus lift procedures with perforation of the membrane a 88.6% implant survival rate was obtained, and in maxillary sinus lifts with intact membrane the survival rate rose to 98%. In case of small perforation of the sinus membrane, it is possible to continue with the procedure; there is no consensus on the procedure when a perforated membrane is to be repaired, but the method of choice according to the majority of authors is to use a reservable membrane. In the case of large perforation, there is no consensus either, although the majority of authors choose to abandon the procedure. The survival of the implants diminishes when they are placed in sinus lifts with perforated membrane.