Ruptured Breast Implant
Boca Raton, Palm Beach Florida
Breast implants are not designed to be lifetime medical devices. Ennis Plastic Surgery is prepared to handle scheduled implant replacement as well as unexpected breast implant ruptures, which requires removal and replacement. A ruptured breast implant is a potentially serious health condition. It is important that patients act quickly and decisively under the care of a trusted plastic surgeon in order to correct for a resolve the issue.
To learn about ruptured breast implant surgery, please read the guide below or contact Ennis Plastic Surgery at 561-405-9020 to book a consultation or ask us a question. We are here to help you get the look you desire.
Ruptured Breast Implant? Q&A with Dr. Ennis
What is a Breast Implant Rupture
Breast implants are likely to fail over the course of time and may break sooner, depending on use and potential for accidental rupture. It is important that patients recognize that ruptures may not be initially obvious, depending on the type of breast implant in place. For this reason, it is recommended that patients with silicone breast implants undergo regular monitoring through MRI imaging in order to screen for ruptures. The nation’s leading manufacturer of breast implants, Allergan, has been conducting on-going research over the last two decades and has made a recommendation that patients have an MRI at 3 years post-surgery and then every 2 years subsequently.
Breast implants can rupture for a variety of reasons. Any direct trauma to the breast may pierce the implant shell. Falling, sports related contact injuries and car accidents are the most common causes of direct trauma to the breast. Another reason for breast implant rupture is overfilling of saline implants, causing too much pressure. This increased pressure can lead to spontaneous rupture. Additionally, under filling a saline shell can create folds and creases, weakening the shell and posing risk for rupture. Simple material breakdown over time can cause the shell to lose structural strength and rupture.
Silicone Breast Implant Rupture
Traditional silicone implants are made with a silicone shell and filled with a thick liquid silicone filler. If the outer shell is ruptured, the silicone filler can slowly seep out of the shell, which makes it harder to notice the rupture. Cohesive silicone gel breast implants won’t leak because their interior filler is made of a solid gel material. If this type of implant should rupture, it is likely that the implant will look and feel the same. One of the benefits of a cohesive silicone gel implant is the resistance to breakage.
With silicone implants, there may or may not be symptoms noticeable without MRI imaging. Signs of a silicone rupture may include:
- Hard knots or lumps around the implant or in the underarm
- Change of shape or loss of shape
- Pain, tingling or burning in the breast
- Swelling of the breast
- Hardening of the breast
Saline Breast Implant Rupture
Saline breast implants typically rupture completely, causing a deflation of the affected breast. A broken saline implant will deflate quickly and noticeably, as the volume of the breast is rapidly lost over the course of 1-2 days. The saline implant is made of a silicone shell filled with a saltwater solution. When the implant ruptures, the saline fluid is released into the body. This solution is not harmful to the body, as it is simply saltwater. However, the remaining outer shell can cause serious complications. When deflated, the shell can fold within the breast, creating pointed edges that pose threat to damaging internal breast tissues. Rarely, a sharp edge could even break through the skin. It is important to note that the implant should be replaced within a couple of weeks to prevent the implant pocket from shrinking.
If you are suspicious of a breast implant rupture, make an appointment to review options quickly. At Ennis Plastic Surgery, we make patient satisfaction and patient health our number one priority.
Treatment for Ruptured Breast Implant
Regardless of the cause of rupture or the type of breast implant rupture, the first step in correction is through a thorough consultation with the cosmetic surgeon. During the consultation, the surgeon will identify if a rupture exists, through physical examination and potentially with MRI imaging. The surgeon will be able to generate a plan for surgical correction with the input from the patient.
Revise the Breast Augmentation
Many women utilize this procedure for an opportunity to revise their breast augmentation. Some of the most commonly performed revisions that are performed while fixing a breast implant rupture include a breast lift, implant pocket location change, increasing implant size and changing implant material.
Surgically Remove or Replace the Implants
Breast implants that have ruptured must be removed or replaced surgically. Because the implant pockets are already existing, and the breast tissues are already stretched to accommodate the implant, the surgical procedure is typically less extensive than the original augmentation. The surgical procedure will depend on the type of implant being replaced.
Replacing Rupture or Tear in Silicone and Saline Implants
If the ruptured implant is filled with saline, then it can simply be replaced. The outer shell is removed and a new saline implant is positioned. If the rupture is in a silicone implant, the surgeon will remove any remaining silicone gel and remove any scar tissue in the area. The surgeon will repair the breast implant pocket if needed as well. Then the implant will be replaced with a new one. The surgeon strives to access the breast through the existing surgical scars in order to reduce any post-surgical scarring.
Breast Implant Permanent Removal
Some women choose not to have their breast implants replaced after a rupture. If choosing to remove the breast implant, without replacement, many patients opt to have a breast lift. The breast lift is needed to remove stretched skin and create a better shape and position of the breast.
Breast Implant Removal, Before & After
Breast implant removal
Breast Implant removal, actual patient of Dr. L. Scott Ennis.
Breast Implant removal, actual patient.
Breast Implant removal, actual patient of Dr. L. Scott Ennis.
Ruptured Breast Implant Surgery Recovery
Typically, recovery from a breast implant rupture is quicker than the original augmentation procedure. Once the rupture is corrected, the surgical incisions are closed and the breasts are wrapped in a gauze bandage and compressive garment for healing. Patients should expect some swelling and discomfort initially. However, the discomfort can be controlled with medications. After the surgery, patients should avoid heavy lifting for approximately one month. Most patients can return to their normal daily tasks within several days.
The Ennis Plastic Surgery Difference
Ennis Plastic Surgery in Palm Beach is pleased to boast the expert surgical reputation as one of the leaders in breast augmentation procedures. Dr. Scott Ennis is an internationally recognized and respected plastic surgeon, specializing in complex breast procedures and implant rupture repair.
As part of ongoing breast health and implant maintenance, Ennis Plastic Surgery offers ongoing support and examinations. It is important that patients participate in ongoing regular health examinations in order to ensure the integrity of the implant and overall satisfaction and breast health. If you are concerned about the status of your breast implant or know that you have endured a breast implant rupture, please contact us to set up a consultation.