One of the risks of having breast implants is that they may rupture at any point after breast augmentation. If you believe one of your breast implants has ruptured, Dr. Boyd can correct this complication by performing revisionary breast surgery.
What Are Ruptured Implants?
A ruptured implant refers to when the shell of the breast implant loses its integrity and splits or tears. This is also called implant failure. Depending on various factors including the type of implant, implant failure may cause noticeable breast asymmetry, pain, and/or capsular contracture. Capsular contracture may occur after implant failure as a result of microporous leakage or ‘bleed’ through the implant shell and subsequent calcification of the scar tissue surrounding loose particulate silicone. Full-blown implant rupture can happen at any time, but it most often occurs with older implants. While there is no known danger to your health from ruptured implants, a ruptured implant should be replaced as soon as possible to improve the appearance of your breasts and reduce the risk of subsequent capsular contracture.
Who Is At Risk?
Breast implants all have about a six to 10 percent risk of rupturing at some point. Almost all breast implants will eventually rupture or deflate, but it may take 10 or more years for this to occur. Defective implants, which are uncommon, are more likely to rupture than sound implants. The risk of rupture is higher for saline implants that have been overfilled or underfilled. Implants may also be more likely to rupture if they are damaged during insertion, if the woman’s chest is injured, or if the implant is inserted using the transumbilical technique. Additionally, breast implants may be more likely to rupture due to capsular contracture, from normal aging, or during breast examinations or procedures such as mammography or cyst aspiration. You may be able to minimize your risk of ruptured implants by avoiding trauma to your breasts.
How Can I Recognize Ruptured Implants?
When saline implants rupture, they will partially or completely deflate. They cause obvious asymmetry that becomes obvious within 24 hours. Your only real indicators of implant rupture with silicone implants are pain, hardness, noticeable distortion, or capsular contracture. Rupture of a silicone implant is best detected by an MRI, and the FDA recommends that women with breast implants undergo MRIs on a regular basis to test for implant rupture. While an MRI is a highly effective way of identifying implant failure, it is not entirely foolproof. If implant rupture is suspected and there is evidence of capsular contracture and/or pain, Dr. Boyd will most likely recommend revisionary breast surgery to replace the implant.
How Can Breast Revision Surgery Correct Ruptured Implants?
Revisionary breast surgery usually involves replacement of the opposite implant as well as the ruptured one. Any confirmed or suspected implant rupture should be investigated right away, as the scar tissue may begin to contract and close off the space in the breast pocket. If you have saline implants, Dr. Boyd should be able to clinically detect implant rupture because of the noticeable asymmetries between the breasts. If you have silicone implants, Dr. Boyd may request an MRI to confirm implant rupture. If implant rupture has occurred, Dr. Boyd will likely advise removal of the excess scar tissue together with the ruptured implant and any loose silicone. In the case of saline implants, he will only need to remove the implant shell, as most or all of the saline will have been safely absorbed by the body. Since implants are continually improving in quality, it is typically recommended that you have both implants replaced with new ones, even when only one has ruptured. The patient has the option of undergoing a breast lift, re-augmentation, a combination of both, or permanent removal of the implants after implant failure. Breast revision can successfully correct ruptured implants and restore aesthetic balance and beauty to your figure.
If one of your implants has ruptured, schedule your consultation for revisionary breast surgery with Dr. Boyd. Please call our office at (310) 597-4734 or fill our online contact form today.