What Causes Breast Implants to Rupture

by | May 20, 2015

What Causes Breast Implants to Rupture

There have been major advances in breast implants and breast implant procedures over the last few decades. These advances include stronger breast implant shells and higher quality material within the implants themselves which have led to improved longevity of implants.

Still, women often ask about potential complications, such as what causes breast implants to rupture. While rare, implants can rupture as they are man made devices. The good news is that implant shells have improved in quality and thus rupture rates have slightly declined with newer devices.

Some of the most common causes of breast implant ruptures include the following:

*       Intense physical pressure such as in a car accident

*       Capsular Contracture: Tightening of the capsule

*       Free rupture from defective devices

*       Aged Implant:  shells become weak over time and prone to rupture

Capsular contracture is one of the common complications associated with breast implants. It occurs when scar tissue around the implant hardens and can lead to tightening of the breast and implant. If capsular contracture is bad enough it can lead to rupture of an implant if the implant is old with a weak shell, but more commonly it just causes tightening of the breast tissue itself and can be uncomfortable.  Surgery is required to remove the scar tissue and remove and replace the implant.

Ruptures can present differently for saline and silicone implants. When a saline implant ruptures the beast size itself will decrease as the saline leaks into the breast pocket and is absorbed by the body. This is noticed almost instantaneously as the implant decompresses. Silicone however, may take a long time to show any change in shape of the breast. The reason for this is because silicone is highly cohesive or bound together and when there is a micro-rupture in the shell of an implant the silicone will keep its form and leak extremely slowly over time. In fact you may not notice any change in breast shape for years. Do not worry, silicone that leaks into the breast pocket has never been shown by FDA research to travel into the bloodstream and travel around the body. It stays within the breast pocket and when rupture is recognized simple removal of the implant and leaking silicone is performed and a new implant can be placed.

Related: How to Tell If Your Implant is Leaking

Both saline and silicone breast implants are made of material that is not toxic or harmful to your body. Both implants have silicone as the shell of both implants is made of silicone, but one is filled with saline and the other is filled with silicone. Every patient’s situation is different and rupture does not necessitate removal. If you are considering breast implants and still have concerns or questions about leaking of implants and how they are handled, we invite you to call the offices of Dr. Richard J. Brown to set up a time to talk with him. By simply taking the time to learn more about implants and how they can affect you, you will feel much more confident in moving forward with the procedure. Call us today at ​480-568-3804