If you have breast implants, it is a fact that they will eventually rupture. The older the implant is, the more likely it is to rupture. But how do you know if an implant has ruptured? What should you do if you have an implant that leaks? If you suspect you have an implant that has ruptured, you should immediately contact a plastic surgeon to learn about treatments for ruptured breast implants. At Pittsburgh Center for Plastic Surgery in Pittsburgh, Dr. Dennis Hurwitz performs breast surgery to remove and replace ruptured breast implants.
What happens when an implant leaks depends on the type of implants that you have. When a saline implant ruptures, it usually results in a fast leak. The saline solution in the implants is salt water, and it is absorbed into the body with little or no effect.
When a silicone implant ruptures, the silicone filler solution is designed to stay in place. In fact, a leak in a silicone implant could go unnoticed for several years. Once a silicone implant ruptures, there are two things that can happen. Most often, the silicone gel stays inside the thick layer of natural scar tissue that grows around the implant, known as the capsule. If this happens, the silicone should stay where it is. The other possibility is that the silicone can leak outside of the capsule and spread to other parts of the body. In either case, breast surgery is required to remove the implant shell and silicone filler material.
With a saline implant, it is typically easy to tell when you have a rupture. Because the saline leaks out quickly, you should notice a difference in the size and shape of the breast.
Detecting a rupture may not be as easy with a silicone implant. You may notice a change in the size or shape of the breast, or experience pain, swelling, numbness, or tingling. Sometimes, a “silent rupture” can occur. With a silent rupture, there may not be any symptoms, and you may have no idea the implant is compromised. For silicone implants, an MRI can determine if you have a rupture.
If you have a ruptured implant, we recommended you have it removed as soon as possible. A plastic surgeon can remove the implant shell and filler material from the capsule. The surgeon may use the same incision location that was employed in your primary breast augmentation procedure, or a new incision may be created. The implants can then be replaced with implants or a similar size or profile, or another type of implant altogether.
If you suspect you have a ruptured implant, contact our office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Dennis Hurwitz, an experienced and reputable plastic surgeon. He will examine your implant and help you determine the best treatment option for your individual case.
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