How can you tell if your breast implants are ruptured? It’s not always easy to diagnose a ruptured implant without the help of a qualified plastic surgeon, or an MRI scan, but in this blog, we will explore what to look out for and what to do if you suspect your implant has ruptured.
What is a Breast Implant Rupture?
Before looking at ways to determine if your breast implant is ruptured, it helps to understand what a rupture is and how they occur.
Breast implant ruptures are defined as a small tear in the breast implant itself which causes the filling to leak out into the surrounding breast tissue. Now, ruptures are most common in older implants but can happen at any time which is why we recommend undergoing regular screenings.
Ruptures can happen with both saline, and silicone implants and whilst it is not considered to pose a health risk, you should consult a trained surgeon.
Some ruptures can be difficult to notice, a ruptured breast implant can cause surrounding breast tissue to become irritated, and you may experience:
- Pain or swelling
- Hardening of the breast
- Changes in size or shape
With saline implants, the first thing people commonly notice is a significant change in the overall shape and size of the breast as well as some localised tenderness to the area. Now, saline implants are filled with a sterile saltwater solution that can be absorbed by the body.
If you have silicone implants, it may be a little more difficult to tell. When a silicone implant ruptures, the silicone generally stays around the breast tissue so you may not notice any visible changes. This is known as a silent rupture. However, with a silent breast implant rupture, you may notice a significant hardening of the breast or pain around the area if the scar tissue becomes irritated.
Again, silicone isn’t considered to pose any health risk, but the fluid can sometimes leak outside of the breast capsule and cannot be removed.
Treatment for a ruptured breast implant
If you suspect your breast implant has ruptured, it is important that you speak to your surgeon, or book a scan at one of our Implant Health clinics where our team of specialist surgeons and radiologists will arrange a thorough assessment of your implant, and surrounding breast to determine a suitable course of action.
Typically, a surgeon will recommend a small surgery to remove the ruptured implant, treat the scar tissue if necessary and replace the implant if necessary.
It is important to remember that breast implants are not guaranteed to last a lifetime. Most implants have a lifespan of approximately 10 years, and after that may require changing or removal.
For more information on breast implant ruptures, or to book a screening at one of our implant Health clinics, contact our team.