What to Do about a Ruptured Breast Implant

Women who are dissatisfied with the size or shape of their breasts can benefit significantly from breast augmentation. As with any surgical procedure, however, there are associated risks, including implant rupture. Here, Dr. Bruce Hermann and our Denton, TX, team explore the causes and symptoms of a ruptured breast implant, as well as the various treatments available. 

Implant Safety Improvements

New developments in the safety of silicone breast implants have eliminated the problems of earlier implants. For example, there are now "gummy bear" implants filled with a safer silicone gel. During your consultation, Dr. Hermann will help you choose the right implant.

Common Causes of Ruptured Breast Implants

Unfortunately, there are many different reasons why a breast implant may rupture, including:

  • Wrinkling or folding of the outer implant shell
  • Natural deterioration from many years of wear
  • Poor surgical technique
  • Damage to the implant during breast augmentation or a separate procedure
  • Trauma or injury to the chest
  • Excessive pressure

How to Tell If Your Implant Has Ruptured

The most obvious warning signs of a ruptured breast implant will depend heavily on whether your implant is saline or silicone. 

Saline Implants

Ruptures are easiest to detect in saline breast implants. In fact, because the saline leaks out rapidly, the breast will usually deflate. Fortunately, since saline is sterile saltwater, it is usually absorbed by the body with no negative side effects. However, if you suspect a saline implant rupture, it is advisable to schedule an evaluation as soon as possible.

Other side effects of a ruptured saline implant can include rippling or folding, which can further undermine the appearance of your breast. Some women report nipple sensitivity, tenderness of the skin, or even breast pain. In certain cases, the breast may develop capsular contracture, an immune response that can lead to overly firm, painful tissue.

The best way to treat a ruptured implant is to remove it.

Silicone Implants

Unlike saline, silicone gel is designed to stick together even when an implant ruptures. While the gel will leak out, it will be slowly, over a much longer period of time. Consequently, it can be difficult to identify a rupture. In fact, ruptures in silicone implants may not be detected until years later. That is why routine MRIs are essential.

While silicone gel does not typically spread outside of the capsule of scar tissue that forms around an implant, it still can. Unfortunately, silicone is much more hazardous to your overall health: if it reaches other organs or lymph nodes, you may develop a host of different health problems.

While many patients with a silicone breast implant rupture do not notice any symptoms, it is still important to keep an eye out. Some of the most common signs include:

  • Tenderness
  • Numbness
  • Swelling
  • Burning
  • Tingling
  • Pain
Doctor holding implant in hand
Breast implants can be damaged or deteriorate gradually over time.

Treating a Ruptured Breast Implant

In most cases, the best way to treat a ruptured implant is to remove it. Depending on the case, Dr. Hermann may recommend removing and replacing both implants for optimal results, even if one is still intact. While most patients choose to replace the affected implant with a new one, some women may opt not to.

During revision surgery, Dr. Hermann will work carefully to minimize scarring by using the incision lines from the previous procedure whenever possible. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia so that you can remain comfortable throughout

Rest Assured That You Are in Capable Hands

If you suspect a breast implant rupture, we encourage you to contact our office right away to diagnose your condition and explore your options for treatment. As a convenience to our patients, we accept CareCredit® and United Medical Credit financing. To schedule an appointment, give us a call at (940) 387-4900.

Dr. Hermann

North Texas Breast & Plastic Surgery Center

Dr. Bruce Hermann has trained under world-renowned plastic surgeons and implements the BodyLogic™ system to achieve optimal surgical outcomes. We accept financing so every patient can access our advanced treatments:

  • CareCredit®
  • United Medical Credit

To speak with the North Texas Breast & Plastic Surgery Center team about your cosmetic goals, request an appointment online or call (940) 387-4900.

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"Dr. Hermann is one of the finest plastic surgeons in the city of Denton. Dr. Hermann recently removed my breast implants and gave me a beautiful lift." Kathy
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