What Happens if a Breast Implant Ruptures?
Women who have either received breast implants or are considering them should know that they are designed to last. Improvements over the last several years have made implants extremely durable, able to withstand the stresses and activities of everyday life for years. Compared to the first generation of implants from back in the 1960’s, women with breast implants should feel confident that, for the most part, everything will stay in place for the lifetime of the implant.
However, there are cases when breast implants do rupture. Although rare, this may happen unexpectedly, long before the lifetime of the implant has been reached. While there is no way to know for sure what causes a breast implant to rupture, most experts believe it involves one of the following:
- Aging of the implant shell
- Excessive handling during the implant surgery
- Stress or trauma to the implant from intense physical activity
- Over filling or under filling of the implants.
Will I Know if There is a Rupture?
With a saline breast implant, it is fairly easy to tell that there has been a rupture. Depending on the size of the rupture, whether it is just a small leak or large break, the saline will leak out and you will notice a change in the size and shape of your breast.
Silicone breast implant ruptures may be a little more difficult to see. The capsule that develops around the implant will contain the silicone gel, preventing it from leaking or losing shape. You may notice some tenderness, swelling or burning in your breast. There are many women who have had a silicone breast implant rupture and do not even realize it for years.
What Should I Do First?
Because of the many advancements that have been made over the years with breast implants, a ruptured breast implant does not put you at a level of risk for major health issues. The best thing to do is to call your doctor and let them know that you suspect that your implant has ruptured. He or she will know exactly how to handle the situation and will be able to tell you what to do.
At the offices of Dr. Richard J. Brown, we will want to schedule an appointment right away so that Dr. Brown can take a closer look at the situation and make a decision on how to correct the problem. Often the implant will need to be removed and replaced. Dr. Brown will be able to give his recommendations once he has had a chance to visit with you.
Most importantly, do not panic if you think your breast implant has ruptured. There is very little risk for significant injury or illness. Give us a call at 480-568-3804.