When Breast Implants Rupture
When breast implants drift, lose integrity or create noticeable patterns or distortions on the surface, breast explant surgery is the recommended solution.
The rupture of an implant is as serious as it sounds. You will experience swelling and pain, and quickly lose the natural shape and symmetry of the breasts. Although researchers have never definitively linked silicone to serious health conditions, it is also not wise to allow silicone that has breached the wall of the implant to migrate within the body.
Below, trusted Bay Area plastic surgeon Dr. Alexander Ereso reviews what every breast augmentation patient should know about implant rupture.
All implants, whether saline or silicone gel, feature a silicone shell that maintains the shape of the implant and prevents leakage of the contents within. When this exterior shell develops a tear, it is called a rupture.
Whether and how soon your implants rupture is partly based on a surprising variable: the precision of your surgeon. A comprehensive study* in 2013 found that damage to an implant during insertion is responsible for a majority of ruptures that occur at a later date. This foundational damage is usually caused by the fine surgical instruments used during the procedure.
Expulsion of the implant material may also result when the valve of the silicone shell no longer has an adequate seal. The likelihood of a rupture increases over time. It’s important to keep in mind that even the most expertly placed implant won’t last forever.
Severity of Ruptures
Saline is essentially salt water, one of the basic building blocks of life, and so leakage of a saline implant is less serious than a silicone gel rupture. Your body will not absorb silicone, and it can travel throughout the body via the lymph system. It may lodge in the lungs and create tiny, solid nodules where it settles.
Implants rupture in different ways. Some tears result in little or no seepage and zero pain. Sometimes the only way to discover this so-called “silent rupture” is with an MRI scan. Even minor tears can change your breast profile by distorting the shape of the implant. Many types of tears will generate severe pain.
Dr. Ereso performs explant surgery to remove a ruptured implant, and also remove any silicone gel and scar tissue. After removal, options include choosing new implants or an autologous procedurethat restores an appealing shape by using your own tissue to fill the void and sculpt an elegant profile.
If you would like to learn more about breast augmentation or explant surgery, schedule a personal consultation with trusted Bay Area plastic surgeon Dr. Alexander Ereso by calling (650) 964-6600, or email his Mountain View office today.
*[Plast Reconstr Surg.Â 2013 Nov;132(5):1128-1137. Breast implant rupture: causes, incidence, clinical impact, and management: Neal Handel,Â M Emily Garcia,Â Roger Wixtrom]