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Ruptured Implant in High Point, NC

Woman covering her breast with her arms

When women undergo breast augmentation surgery, they have silicone or saline implants inserted into their chests to enhance the appearance of their breasts. Over time, however, implants can begin to weaken, causing them to rupture.

Implant rupture can occur by trauma to the breast or when a tear in the implant has compromised the outer shell.

Although it is often not dangerous to you physically, a ruptured implant can cause pain, discomfort, and aesthetic irregularities, such as swelling, firmness, or deflation. Because of these issues, a ruptured implant should be addressed in a timely manner to prevent any further complications.

Dr. Willard and his team at Piedmont Plastic Surgery offer a wide range of procedures to remedy ruptured implants, including breast implant removals and breast implant revisions in High Point, North Carolina.

Am I a Candidate for Breast Implant Removal or Revision?

If you experience a rupture or are unhappy with the look or size of your breast implants, you may be a candidate for breast implant removal or revision. Through comprehensive consultations and examinations, we customize the breast removal and revision process to ensure you are happy with your results.

How Do I Know If My Implants Have Ruptured?

All implants will inevitably fail.

Most implants have a lifespan of 10 to 20 years, though some have been known to last longer. However, there is no guarantee that an implant will last any certain amount of time. You may take great care of your health and implants and still have to deal with a rupture.

In general, implant rupture can occur when there is repetitive rubbing along the natural creases of the implant — this rubbing can wear down the shell and cause it to tear.

Additionally, external trauma or a defect within the implant can cause them to rupture. Patients experiencing the following symptoms may be suffering from a ruptured implant:

  • A tingling sensation
  • Discomfort
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Visible deflation of the breast

Though these symptoms present a clear issue, an implant can rupture without any noticeable symptoms; this complication is known as a silent rupture. Silent ruptures are more likely to occur with silicone implants since the cohesive silicone should remain within the capsule.

Saline implants are known to “deflate” soon after rupture.

What Should I Do If My Implants Have Ruptured?

If you think that your breast implant may have ruptured, it is important that you make an appointment at Piedmont Plastic Surgery in High Point, North Carolina.

During your appointment, Dr. Willard can order an MRI scan or a mammogram to detect and confirm whether or not you have a ruptured implant.

If a rupture is found, Dr. Willard will remove the ruptured implant with or without replacement.

What Are My Options for Correcting Ruptured Implants?

Correcting a ruptured implant typically involves the patient undergoing a breast implant removal and/or exchange procedure. With a breast implant exchange (breast revision), the ruptured implant is removed and replaced with a new, healthy implant.

Specific aspects and approaches with this procedure can depend on the patient’s implant type, the original incision, and the severity of the rupture.

While your body will naturally absorb the saline solution, a leaking silicone implant may require the breast pocket to be carefully cleaned to prevent any complications. Additionally, the tissue capsule may be removed before your new implant is placed.

Will My Breast Implant Exchange Procedure Be Painful?

Because breast implant removal and implant exchange are performed under general anesthesia, you will not experience any pain or discomfort during the surgery. However, you may feel some discomfort during the week after your procedure.

If you wish to receive further care and treatment after your breast implants have been removed or replaced, you can request to spend the night at the Comfort Cottage with a nurse available to help you.

Medication can be taken to alleviate any pain you may experience; however, if pain persists or increases, it is important that you contact Dr. Willard immediately.

Can I Change My Implant Size During a Breast Implant Exchange?

During your implant exchange, you will be able to change implant size (up or down) if you desire to do so. However, this would require removing both breast implants instead of only the ruptured one. Because of this, many patients choose to keep the same implant size.

Which Implant Type Should I Have for My Replacement?

Both types of implant material (saline and silicone) offer beneficial results to women looking to have a larger, fuller breast appearance. While silicone implants tend to resemble the natural feel and look of breast tissue, saline implants also have a natural feel and can give you a transformative appearance.

Which Is Safer: Saline or Silicone Implants?

Because saline implants are made of saline (essentially salt water), the ruptured material is absorbed naturally by your body. Silicone is not absorbed by the body and must be surgically removed. Fortunately, modern silicone implants are made with a cohesive gel that tends to remain in place even in the event of the rupture. This makes today’s silicone implants much safer than previous models.

How Often Should I Get My New Implants Checked for Ruptures?

The FDA recommends that you have your silicone implants checked by MRI three years after surgery, with regular checks every two years after that.

What If I Don’t Want to Replace My Implants?

If the patient no longer wants breasts implants, the implants can be removed without replacement. A capsulectomy is usually performed during breast implant removal to excise the scar tissue that surrounds the breast implant. While this can sometimes be performed using an en bloc technique, where the implant and surrounding scar tissue are removed together, this technique is not appropriate or possible with every patient. Often, the scar tissue will be removed separately from the implant, either in one piece or in multiple pieces.

Recovery from capsulectomy surgery is about two weeks, after which time, patients can expect to feel physical and emotional relief.

Can I Combine Any Other Procedures with My Breast Implant Removal?

Many patients opt to have a breast lift following their breast implant removal to correct sagging. While replacing the ruptured implant will restore its shape and volume, it may not be able to correct excess skin or sagging caused by heavy breasts or the natural aging process. In some cases, a breast lift can be done at the same time as the removal; other times, it may be necessary to wait for three to six months after breast implant removal. This staged approach is often only necessary when there may be pre-existing health conditions or other circumstances, such as the patient being a smoker.

How Should I Prepare For My Breast Implant Removal or Exchange Procedure?

Before breast implant removal or revision, Dr. Willard will prepare you for the specific treatment and procedure you have designed at your consultation. For most surgeries however, these tips will help:

  • Quit smoking and using any nicotine products
  • Do not take any blood-thinning medications including aspirin
  • Be up to date on current lab testing to ensure eligibility for the procedure

All of this will be discussed during your consultation, so you can go into the procedure as knowledgeable and prepared as possible and to ensure success.

What Will My Breast Implant Exchange Recovery Be Like?

Recovery from your breast implant exchange generally takes four to six weeks.

During this time, you will likely experience swelling and bruising in your breasts as well as pain and tightness in the surgical area.

You will need to wear a compression garment and surgical bra after your surgery, as this will help speed up your recovery time and ensure proper results. It is also important that you allow your body to rest and heal during your recovery. This means refraining from any strenuous activities, including exercise and lifting anything of weight.

You will be able to return to your normal, daily activities once Dr. Willard clears you to do so.

Are There Any Risks Associated With Breast Implant Removal?

As with any surgical procedure, breast implant removal can carry some risks including:

  • Bleeding
  • Asymmetry
  • Infection
  • Loose skin
  • General dissatisfaction with the appearance of your breasts

To minimize risks, it’s always advisable to follow your surgeon’s preoperative and postoperative instructions carefully, and to get clearance for any activities during the recovery period.