A ruptured implant is a surgical complication that can sometimes occur after breast augmentation. This issue can be corrected with breast revision surgery.
What Is a Ruptured Implant?
Even though breast implants are designed to be long lasting, an implant occasionally develops a tear after insertion into the breast. When the integrity of the implant shell is compromised, it is known as implant rupture or deflation. A rupture in the shell of the implant often causes the filling (the silicone gel or saline solution) to spill out into the breast. The saline solution gets absorbed by the body, and the silicone gel is typically contained within the breast implant capsule. Sometimes implant rupture is associated with capsular contracture, in which the scar tissue constricts, and the breast becomes hard, and painful.
Am I at Risk of Experiencing Implant Rupture?
Up to 10 percent of women with breast implants are at risk of experiencing implant rupture. Your risk of rupture increases the older your implants become, though most implants will not rupture for 10 years or more. Underfilled or overfilled saline implants have a slightly higher risk of rupturing, so it is important for the surgeon to carefully assess the fill level during breast augmentation surgery. Most implants have very little chance of rupturing unless a traumatic injury takes place or you develop another complication such as capsular contracture.
How Do I Know If I Have a Ruptured Implant?
When a saline implant ruptures, it is usually obvious because the affected breast will become noticeably smaller and may appear loose or wrinkled. Your breasts will likely appear asymmetrical, indicating that there is an issue with one of the implants. A ruptured or deflated saline implant leaks the harmless saline into the body, leaving only an empty silicone shell in the breast pocket. When a silicone implant ruptures, you may not even know it because it may not cause a noticeable change in breast size. Ruptured silicone implants can leak the silicone gel into the breast pocket and may lead to capsular contracture. Women with silicone implants should get regular MRIs to detect the possibility of implant rupture because they are often undetectable to the naked eye. If you suspect that you may have a ruptured implant, Dr. Schlechter will typically recommend an MRI to accurately diagnose the issue.
How Can Breast Revision Surgery Help Me?
Breast revision surgery can replace a defective, ruptured implant and correct any associated complications. Dr. Schlechter will extract the implant shell and any loose silicone from the breast pocket. He will also remove any hardened scar tissue. Usually, Dr. Schlechter will recommend that both implants be replaced with new ones even if only one side has ruptured, as newer implants are typically higher in quality and have a lower rupture rate. Breast revision surgery with Dr. Schlechter can correct issues related to ruptured implants and can restore a balanced and attractive bustline.
Board-certified plastic surgeon Benjamin Schlechter, MD, FACS is a skilled breast revision surgeon with over 20 years of experience performing plastic surgery. If you have a ruptured implant or any concerns about your breast implants, schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Schlechter. Call us at (847) 737-5036 or complete our online contact form to book your appointment today.