At North Raleigh Plastic Surgery, Dr. Ortiz performs countless breast augmentation procedures each year. During the initial consultation, many patients ask about the risks of breast implant ruptures and what to do if that happens. Fortunately, breast implant ruptures are very rare, but to help you stay safe and healthy, Dr. Ortiz, a leading board-certified plastic surgeon in Raleigh, is sharing the signs of a rupture as well as the best treatment options.
Signs of a Saline Breast Implant Rupture
Saline breast implants have an outer shell made from a silicone elastomer and are placed, empty, into the breast. The implant is then filled with a saline, or saltwater, solution to the predetermined volume to get the results the patient wants.
When a saline breast implant ruptures, it is generally apparent within just 24 hours because the breast noticeably shrinks in size, or takes on a “deflated” appearance as the volume has emptied. The saline solution is perfectly safe to be absorbed into your body and poses no risk to your health.
Signs of a Silicone Breast Implant Rupture
Silicone breast implants are filled with a thick gel, so if a rupture or leak occurs, it’s generally not noticeable as it leaks at a significantly slower rate and is generally trapped in the tissue surrounding the breast. Because of this, silicone breast implant ruptures are generally referred to as “silent ruptures.”
However, over time, your body may react to the leak, causing symptoms such as:
- Changes in the size or shape of the breast
- Hardening as scar tissue builds up around the area.
- Pain and soreness in the breast
- A lumpy or rippled appearance
Treatment Options for a Breast Implant Rupture
As soon as you become aware that your saline implant has ruptured or you are experiencing pain or a change of appearance in your breast if you have silicone implants, it’s important to contact your plastic surgeon. They will perform an MRI or an ultrasound to determine if the implant has ruptured and if so, they will likely recommend surgically removing the implant.
At this time, you have a few options of what to do when your implant is removed.
Replace the Implant
A new implant can be inserted immediately after the ruptured one has been removed. If you would prefer a different size or would prefer to change from saline to silicone or vice versa, discuss your preference for a breast implant revision with your plastic surgeon.
Remove the Implants
Some women choose to remove both the ruptured and the other implants altogether. If you prefer this option, it’s important to consider that the breasts may have changed shape, lost volume, or will sag without the implants. A breast lift may be the right step to take next and can also be performed at the same time as your implant removal.
Having Regular Implant Revisions
Breast implants are not designed to last a lifetime. Instead, the typical lifespan for them is around 10-20 years, depending on the type of implant. Keeping them longer than this may raise your risk of a rupture, so it’s important to consult with a plastic surgeon about a breast implant revision if your implants are reaching the 10-year mark. At your consultation, you can discuss your next steps, whether you prefer to have new implants that are the same size as your old ones, change the size, or if you no longer want to have implants, whether a breast lift may be the best option.
Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Ortiz Today to Discuss Breast Implant Revision
If you suspect your breast implants have ruptured or you’re ready to replace your current implants or choose breast implant removal, Dr. Ortiz can discuss your options and help you meet your goals. To learn more, call us at 919-532-2270 or fill out the form below.