Ruptured breast implants occur when the shell of the implant breaks or ruptures.
Diagnosis and Symptoms: Silicone vs. Saline
The presentation of a breast implant rupture is different depending on the type of implant. Saline breast implants will deflate and the involved breast will lose volume compared to the other side. The saline will be absorbed by the body. Silicone implants may rupture without any noticeable change in volume. The modern cohesive gel silicone implant will likely hold its shape, and it may be difficult to determine if the implant has ruptured. Silicone implant ruptures may be detected on MRI. Silicone implant ruptures may be intracapsular or extracapsular. This means that the contents of the implant may be contained within the body’s natural capsule around the implant(intracapsular) or the contents may be displaced outside of the capsule(extracapsular).
Treatment of a ruptured saline implant involves removal of the ruptured implant and possible replacement with a new implant. In cases where the implants are older or the patient would like to change sizes both implants may be removed and replaced. On the side where the implant rupture has occurred a capsulectomy or capsulotomy may be required. A capsulectomy or capsulotomy involves either removing the capsule that surrounds the implant or making releasing incisions in the capsule to accommodate the new implant. After capsulotomy or capsulectomy the new implant may be placed.
Treatment of a ruptured silicone implant also involves removal of the ruptured implant and possible replacement with a new implant. If the implant rupture is intracapsular then the procedure will involve a total capsulectomy and implant removal on the ruptured side. If the implant rupture is extracapsular then the procedure will involve a total capsulectomy and implant removal as well as removal of silicone that has leaked outside the capsule. In some cases, a new implant pocket will be made either above or below the muscle. Once the silicone implant and capsule have been removed and the pocket is clean, a new implant may be placed.
If you have a breast implant rupture or are concerned that you may have a breast implant rupture, make an appointment with a board certified plastic surgeon like Dr. David Bray, Jr., M.D. To make an appointment call 310-326-9400.