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What Happens If Breast Implants Leak?

Published on February 1, 2019

Cosmetic breast augmentation procedures have gained huge popularity for the past few years. Women are opting for implants and breast lifts for multiple reasons. A breast implant can change the shape and size of your breast and give you a well-rounded cleavage.

There has always been a concern about the safety of breast implants. What will happen if the implants rupture inside your breast? Let us understand what happens in detail.

Firstly, everything depends on the type of implants that you choose. There are two main types of implants – saline water implants and silicone gel implants.

Your breast implant may leak in case of a rupture. Your implants may rupture due to multiple reasons – error during surgery, a nasty fall, and even too much pressure exerted during a mammogram. Whatever be the reason, once the implant ruptures, the filling inside is bound to leak. The implications of the leak will be different depending on the type of implants you have.

What Happens When Your Breast Implant Ruptures

If you have a saline breast implant, the rupture is very easy to spot. Your breast will change shape within a matter of a few days. This happens as the saline water leaks out from the implant and absorbs slowly into your body. The good part about it is that the saline water that leaks is harmless to your body and will easily be absorbed within.

If you have a silicone gel implant in your breast, it may be a while after the rupture that you actually notice it. This is because even if the implant cracks or breaks, the silicone gel that leaks stays put in the body.

Depending on the nature of the rupture, the silicone gel might spread outside your breast and into and around the lymph nodes in your chest area. There is no need to be alarmed as this is not life-threatening.

However, if you get a feeling that your silicone implant has ruptured, you should immediately consult your cosmetic surgeon who will recommend a surgery for removal of the implant and any loose silicone gel from your body. At the end of it, silicone gel is a foreign substance in your body and there is no need to keep it inside if your implant has leaked.

The main problem with silicone breast implant ruptures is that they can be detected only through an MRI. Hence it is recommended by the FDA to go for an MRI at least within three years after the silicone breast implant surgery and then once in two years after that.

These MRI scans are most often not covered by an insurance policy and over the course of time; these scans may prove more expensive than the actual breast implant surgery.

The most important thing to do before considering a breast implant surgery is to talk to a trusted plastic surgeon, understand the procedure, the pros and cons, the risks associated with it, the possible side effects, and only then make an informed decision.

Schedule Your Plastic Surgery Consultation in Boston

Interested in learning more about the details behind breast implants, including what steps to take if you experience a leak? Contact our office to schedule a consultation with skilled plastic surgeon Dr. Richard A. Bartlett. With over 25 years of experience and names as one of Boston’s most trusted plastic surgeons, Dr. Bartlett will help you throughout your entire plastic surgery journey.