What Do I Do If My Breast Implant Has Ruptured?

Breast augmentation is a popular cosmetic procedure that involves the insertion of breast implants to enhance the size and shape of the breasts. While most breast implant surgeries are successful and long-lasting, there is always a possibility of complications, one of which is a ruptured breast implant. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what you should do if you suspect your breast implant has ruptured and the available treatment options.

Signs and Symptoms of a Ruptured Breast Implant

A ruptured breast implant occurs when the outer shell of the implant, either silicone gel or saline solution, is compromised. The signs and symptoms of a ruptured breast implant can vary depending on the type of implant:

Silicone Gel Implants:

  • Silent Rupture: In some cases, a silicone gel implant can rupture without any noticeable symptoms. This is known as a “silent rupture.” Regular monitoring with imaging, such as MRI, is recommended for silicone gel implants to detect silent ruptures.
  • Change in Breast Shape: A noticeable change in the shape, size, or contour of the breast.
  • Breast Pain or Tenderness: Discomfort or tenderness in the breast area.
  • Lump or Hardening: The formation of a lump or hardening of the breast due to the leakage of silicone gel.

Saline Implants:

  • Deflation: A saline implant will visibly deflate when it ruptures, leading to a noticeable decrease in breast size.
  • Change in Breast Shape: Like silicone gel implants, a change in breast shape may occur.
  • Visible Wrinkling or Rippling: The implant may wrinkle or ripple under the skin.

Immediate Steps to Take If You Suspect a Rupture

If you suspect that your breast implant has ruptured, it’s essential to take immediate steps to address the situation:

  1. Contact Your Surgeon: Reach out to the board-certified plastic surgeon who performed your breast augmentation surgery. They will guide you on the next steps and arrange for an examination.
  2. Avoid Manipulation: Refrain from pressing or manipulating the breast as this may exacerbate the situation.
  3. Monitor Symptoms: Pay close attention to any changes in your breasts and document your symptoms.

Treatment Options for Ruptured Breast Implants

The treatment for a ruptured breast implant will depend on several factors, including the type of implant and the extent of the rupture. Here are the treatment options available:

Surgical Intervention: Implant Removal and Replacement

Silicone Gel Implants:

  • Implant Removal: In cases of silicone gel implant rupture, the surgeon will remove the compromised implant, along with any leaked silicone gel.
  • Implant Replacement: Following removal, a new silicone gel implant may be inserted to replace the ruptured one.
  • Capsulectomy: In some cases, the surgeon may also remove the scar tissue (capsule) surrounding the implant if it has thickened or hardened.

Saline Implants:

  • Implant Removal: A deflated saline implant should be removed.
  • Implant Replacement: If desired, a new saline implant can be inserted during the same procedure.

Non-Surgical Options and Considerations

In some cases, especially when dealing with silicone gel implants, the leaked gel may be localized within the breast capsule and not spread throughout the body. Non-surgical options include:

  • Close Monitoring: If a silent rupture is detected and the gel is contained, you and your surgeon may opt for continued monitoring without immediate surgery.
  • Breast Lift: If you choose not to replace the ruptured implant, a breast lift may be recommended to improve the appearance of the breast.

How Do I Schedule a Consultation?

If you suspect your breast implant has ruptured or if you have concerns about your breast augmentation, it’s crucial to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon experienced in breast surgery. To find a qualified surgeon, research professionals in your area and look for their certifications and patient reviews.

During the consultation, your surgeon will assess your condition, discuss treatment options, and help you make an informed decision regarding the removal and replacement of your breast implants. They will also address any concerns you may have about the procedure, recovery, and potential outcomes.

In conclusion, a ruptured breast implant is a situation that requires prompt attention and evaluation by a qualified plastic surgeon. With the guidance of an experienced surgeon, you can explore your treatment options and make an educated decision.