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Pearce Plastic Surgery

Ruptured Breast Implant

Saline and Silicone


After breast augmentation, there is the possibility that a woman’s breast implants can rupture, rip, or suffer other damage over time. Neither saline nor silicone implants are designed to last a lifetime. Breast implant ruptures can occur when there is trauma to the outer shell of the implant as a result of aging or wear and tear. While spontaneous ruptures are rare, the chance of physical complications and discomfort can increase. If your implants have ruptured, it is important that you speak to your surgeon as soon as possible to address the issue.


Reasons for Implant Rupture…

  • Implant defect
  • Wear and tear from repetitive rubbing at the natural creases
  • External trauma to the implant

What Is the Difference Between Saline and Silicone Implant Ruptures?

Symptoms vary depending on the type of implant. While saline and silicone implants both have an outer shell made out of silicone, the filling of the implant is what matters.

Saline Implant Rupture

Saline implants filled with a saltwater solution. The rupture of a saline implant is typically very noticeable. This is because the implants will “pop” and quickly deflate, changing your breast size and shape significantly. The saltwater solution will then leak into the breast pocket and be safely absorbed by the body.

Silicone Implant Rupture

Silicone implants are filled with a cohesive gel which is not as likely to leak out as it was 20 to 30 years ago. However, the shell can rupture and expose the cohesive gel to the surrounding tissue. Silicone implant ruptures are typically localized to the breast pocket, and side effects may be minor or even unnoticeable to the naked eye. More serious side effects can include redness of the breast. The breasts may also become firm and misshapen. However, if you suspect your implants may have ruptured, contact your surgeon, and they can send you for an MRI to diagnose whether or not there is a leak.


How Do I Correct Implant Rupture?

Patients dealing with rupture can undergo breast implant revision surgery to replace the damaged implants. Dr. Pearce will assess your best options for a successful surgery and make recommendations for your procedure. He will also go over the cost of your procedure based on the level of correction that is needed.

Make sure to inform Dr. Pearce of any medications or supplements you are taking. Certain medications, such as blood thinners, will need to be stopped one to two weeks prior to your surgery to help decrease the chance of surgical and postoperative bleeding. If you are a smoker, it is best to refrain from smoking for several weeks before and after surgery.

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