The Stunning Dangers of a Breast Implant Rupture

Breast Implant Rupture a San Francisco Patient

Breast Implant Rupture a San Francisco Patient

Breast Implant Rupture will occur in a significant number of more than 300,000 women who receive breast augmentation surgery, and a significant percentage of these women.  It is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures and most women are happy with their results.  While most of these surgeries are successful, there are some cases in which risks and complications arise.

Whether you are contemplating a breast augmentation or already have one, you should be aware of the dangers of a breast implant rupture. In this post, we will talk about how to identify a rupture and what the treatment process looks like.

How Does a Breast Implant Rupture Occur?

There are three different types of implants: smooth saline, smooth silicone, and textured silicone. While all of these have an outer shell made of silicone that can develop a hole or tear, saline implants also have valves that can fail. As your implants age, their chances of leaking or rupturing increase.

Implant ruptures can occur for various reasons, such as:

  • Normal aging of the implant
  • Trauma (such as a car accident)
  • A needle inserted during a biopsy
  • Damage from surgical instruments during the initial implant surgery
  • Compression during a mammogram (with silicone implants)

Implant ruptures usually require much force and will not occur from exercise, daily activities, or manipulation of the breast.

Symptoms of a Ruptured Implant

Each type of implant will display unique warning signs when ruptured. Some ruptured implants may not even cause evident warning signs.

Smooth Saline Implants

If a saline breast implant ruptures, it will be evident. The implant will deflate, causing it to change shape and size. You may also experience pain, visible implant rippling, redness, or nipple sensitivity.

Smooth Silicone Implants

Unlike saline implants, a silicone breast implant rupture will be hard to detect immediately. The scar tissue that develops around the implant, called capsular contracture, may trap the silicone. Consequently, there may not be any symptoms, and the implant will maintain its shape despite the rupture.

Textured Silicone Implants

As with smooth silicone, textured silicone implants will keep their shape and display no rupture symptoms. When this occurs, it is known as “silent rupture.” Unfortunately, textured implants have a higher rupture rate due to their rough surface with creases and cracks.

What Happens When an Implant Ruptures?

There are two kinds of implant ruptures: saline and silicone. What happens inside your body during each rupture is different, with silicone ruptures being more severe.

Saline Rupture

If a saline implant ruptures, a clinical examination will usually suffice to diagnose the rupture since the appearance will change drastically.

The rupture can cause leakage through the implant’s valve or cracks in the shell. If this occurs, your body will absorb the leaking saline solution, which does not pose any health risks. However, you will need surgery to remove the silicone shell and insert a new implant.

Silicone Rupture

If the implant rupture is not corrected, filler gel can leak from the implant and migrate into the body’s lymphatic tissue. You can develop silicone mastitis and calcified granulomas, which would lead to painful and disfigured breasts. If you notice a change in your implant’s size or if it becomes hard, see your doctor right away.

Detecting an Implant Rupture

If you think that your implant may have ruptured, call your plastic surgeon. They can perform an imaging test such as an MRI or ultrasound to see if your implant is leaking.

MRIs are known as the most accurate tests when it comes to detecting implant leaks. The FDA recommends having an MRI three years after your initial surgery and every two years after that. These screenings will ensure the integrity of your silicone implants and can identify any silent ruptures.

Treating a Breast Ruptured Implant

If your breast implant ruptured, you need to have breast revision surgery. This surgery takes anywhere from one to three hours to complete and typically follows these steps.

Implant Removal

First, the surgeon reopens the prior incision and removes the implant from the breast. If the implants are silicone, the process is done through En Bloc removal of ruptured breast implants.

In this procedure, the surgeon takes out the implant and capsule as a whole without breaking the surrounding scar tissue. Doing this prevents any silicone from leaking into the body.

If there is not enough scar tissue to remove the capsule and implant at once, they will perform a Total Capsulectomy. The surgeon will follow the following steps.

  • Implant removal
  • Irrigation (cleaning out excess material)
  • Capsulectomy (removal of scar tissue)

Once your surgeon finishes the En Bloc removal or Total Capsulectomy, they will either replace the implants or perform a procedure to enhance your breasts’ appearance.

Implant Removal or Replacement

If your implant has ruptured, your plastic surgeon will give you several options for your surgery. You can make this choice based on how you will feel most comfortable.

Implant Removal

If you no longer want breast implants, you can expect your breasts to appear similar to how they did pre-augmentation. However, sometimes the skin is stretched out, and permanent damage occurs. In this case, you may wish to have a breast lift.

Implant Removal with a Breast Lift

During the implant removal, the surgeon will remove excess skin caused by sagging or stretching. Doing so will tighten and firm up the breast tissue and provide better support. Your surgeon may have to resize your areolas to match the new breast shape.

Implant Removal with a Breast Reduction

If you have changed your mind concerning implants or have decided that you would like to go in a different direction, you can have a breast reduction.

During a breast reduction, an incision is made near the areola and down the breast. The surgeon removes excessive tissue and reshapes the breast so it harmonizes with your figure.

Implant Removal and Replacement

Most women opt for a new set of implants after having the previous ones removed. Sometimes they request an implant of a different size or shape. Your doctor might recommend using another type of implant if your prior implant ruptured.

Get the Needed Treatment

No matter the type of implants you have, it is crucial to receive treatment as soon as possible. If you suspect a breast implant rupture, see Doctor Miguel Delgado in San Fransisco, CA. As an experienced plastic surgeon, he can make sure that your ruptured implant doesn’t compromise your health or the appearance of your breasts.

Make your appointment online or by calling our office at 415-898-4161!