A substantial number of women all around the world are currently enjoying the benefits of breast implants. In 2013, it was estimated that there were roughly 300,000 breast enhancement procedures done in the U.S.
Here at our Encino breast enhancement surgery practice, we understand the importance of making an informed decision before agreeing to have breast implants. By and large, understanding the possible risks and complications of having breast implants is one of the things that should be carefully weighed and considered before coming up with an informed decision. During personal consultations, questions on breast implant rupture is frequently asked about.
What exactly are implant ruptures?
The risk of implant rupture increases over time. By and large, a fibrous capsule forms around the implant shell following implant placement. In intracapsular ruptures, the fibrous capsule remains intact while the implant’s outer shell weakens and breaks. The implant’s contents usually do not extravasate in this type of rupture, making detection difficult on physical assessment or via mammography.
On the other hand, an extracapsular rupture may cause the contents to extravasate resulting to a change in the implant contours. This kind of rupture also implies that an intracapsular rupture is also happening.
Currently, an MRI scan is the gold standard for detecting implant ruptures. A high-resolution ultrasound may also be initially done for patients who are still speculating on an implant rupture but find an MRI scan expensive.
When Saline Implants Break
Saline implant ruptures tend to happen quickly resulting to sudden deflation of the implant and a consequent reduction in the size and shape of your breasts. The saline (saltwater) solution may be absorbed into the rest of the body’s tissues and is actually harmless unless fungi or bacteria is present in the filling of the implant which may lead to infection.
When Silicone Implants Break
Majority of silicone implant ruptures happen silently and the individual may not be aware of it. When a traditional saline implant ruptures, the silicone filling can either remain within the capsule (intracapsular) or travel locally (extracapsular). Newer types of silicone implants such as the cohesive gel implants (also known as gummy bear implants) are designed not to locally migrate to surrounding tissues of the body.
Research by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reveals that silicone implant ruptures may lead to symptoms similar to that of fibromyalgia. Rupture silicone implants should be removed immediately as the longer the silicone migrates to surrounding tissues, the greater the risk of it traveling to areas where it may be difficult to remove such as in the lungs and lymph nodes.
Possible Symptoms of Implant Rupture
As mentioned earlier, most ruptures (particularly silicone) may be silent and present with no symptoms at all. However, the following symptoms may be present in certain cases:
- pain and discomfort in the breasts or chest area
- unusual redness and/or swelling
- burning or tingling sensation
- change in the size and/or shape of the breasts
- presence of lumps in the breasts and/or in the armpits
If you think you’re experiencing implant rupture, you should get in touch with your plastic surgeon right away. If you’d like to learn more about breast implants and breast enhancement procedures, we encourage you to get in touch us.
Call us at 818.380.3130 or fill out this contact form today to set up an appointment with us. Dr. Matthew Malamet serves patients from Encino, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, and surrounding areas. We look forward to your visit!