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, which can cause them to rupture. Implant rupture can occur by trauma to the breast or when a tear has compromised the outer shell. Although it is not harmful to you physically, a ruptured implant should be addressed in a timely manner to prevent any further complications.
All implants eventually fail. 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. External trauma or a defect within the implant can also cause them to rupture. Patients experiencing the following symptoms may have a ruptured implant:
- A tingling sensation
- 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; saline implant ruptures are more detectable because the implant and breast will visibly deflate. Dr. Willard can use an MRI scan or a mammogram to detect and confirm whether or not you have a ruptured implant.
Correcting Ruptured Implants
Correcting a ruptured implant typically involves the patient undergoing a breast implant exchange procedure. With a breast implant exchange, the ruptured implant is removed and replaced with a new, intact 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. Additionally, the capsule may be removed before your new implant is placed.
If the patient no longer wants breasts implants, they can be removed without replacement. A capsulectomy is usually performed during breast implant removal to excise the scar tissue that surrounds the breast implant. Recovery from capsulectomy surgery is about two weeks, after which time, patients can expect to feel physical and emotional relief. Many patients also opt to have a breast lift in conjunction with breast implant removal to correct sagging, which would necessitate a longer recovery.
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.