What to Watch for & Do if You Suspect a Breast Implant Ruptured

Woman in red and white plaid button down shirt looking at her computer in her office.You have your new breast implants and are pleased with your new shape and size. But what happens if that shape and size changes? All breast implants, whether silicone or saline, have an outer shell that can potentially rupture. Saline implants can also develop valve issues that can contribute to leaks.

Knowing what to watch for and how to take care of your breast implants will help you reduce the risk of any problems or complications.

Potential Causes of Rupture

Breast implant ruptures can happen for a variety of different reasons. As the implants age, they can deteriorate. Trauma, such as sport-related injuries to the chest or auto accidents can cause ruptures. Needles used in a biopsy or excessive pressure during a mammogram can also contribute to rupture.

Signs Your Implant Has Ruptured

Signs of a breast implant rupture will depend on what type of implant you have. Saline implants that rupture or develop a valve problem will leak saline into the body relatively quickly. And the body will absorb this saline. Your breasts will lose shape and volume, appearing deflated.

Silicone implant ruptures are a little more difficult to notice and many women do not notice a rupture at all. This is because the gel inside of a silicone implant is thicker and not absorbed by the body. With new silicone implants, the outer shell may rupture, changing the shape of the breast, but not reducing the volume. The rupture can cause tissue irritation, resulting in pain and breast tenderness, lumps or hardening in the breast. In many cases, silicone ruptures are only detected using MRIs.

What to Do If You Suspect a Rupture

If you notice changes to the volume or shape of your breasts and suspect a rupture, talk with your plastic surgeon immediately. In most cases the breast implant will require removal, but you can choose to have another implant put in place, often during the same procedure.

Regular Breast Implant Monitoring and Rupture Prevention

Breast implants are not made to last forever, so regular monitoring by your plastic surgeon is essential. In the case of silicone implants, regular MRI monitoring is recommended every two years to look for silent ruptures. Avoid sports or activities that could potentially affect your breast area. When having mammograms, be sure to let the technician know you have implants and what kind they are.

 

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What to Watch for & Do if You Suspect a Breast Implant Ruptured
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What to Watch for & Do if You Suspect a Breast Implant Ruptured
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Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Alexander G. Nein of Nashville, TN explains what to watch for and do if you suspect a breast implant rupture.
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Nein Plastic Surgery
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