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Breast implant rupture. How does it happen what is the likelihood, prevention and more…


Breast implants are not designed to last a lifetime. In fact, it’s estimated that about one in four women who have breast implants will eventually need to have them removed or replaced. The most common reason for this is a condition called capsular contracture, which occurs when the scar tissue around the implant hardens and begins to squeeze the implant. However, another potential complication is the rupture of the implant itself.

What is a breast implant rupture?

A breast implant rupture is a serious complication that can occur after breast augmentation surgery. The “shell” of the implant is a thin, outer casing that is filled with either saline or silicone gel. Over time, this shell can degrade and break, causing the contents of the implant to leak out. In some cases, the leakage is slow and gradual, while in other cases it can be sudden and severe.

Causes of breast implant rupture

Breast implants can rupture for a number of reasons, including:

  • Excessive force or trauma to the breast
  • Infection
  • Ageing
  • A defect in the implant itself
  • Degradation of the surrounding breast tissue
  • Capsular contracture (scar tissue around the implant that squeezes and hardens)

If you have breast implants, it’s important to be aware of the potential for rupture and to visit your doctor regularly for checkups. If your implant does rupture, you will likely need surgery to remove and replace the implant.

Symptoms of a ruptured breast implant

Symptoms of a ruptured breast implant may include the following:

  • Changes in the contour or shape of the breast
  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Hardening
  • Increased sensitivity
  • Numbness and burning sensation in the breast or nipple area.

The risk of breast implant rupture increases with time, so it’s important to monitor your breast implants and have regular follow up visits with your plastic surgeon.

Screening for breast implant rupture

One of the best things you can do for your breast implants is to get annual checkups . A physical examination can help to catch a rupture early, before it causes any serious damage. There are two main types of screening: MRI and ultrasound. MRI is the most effective method, but it is also the most expensive. Ultrasound is less expensive, but it is not as effective at detecting small ruptures.

Ruptured breast implant removal surgery

What is ruptured breast implant removal?

Ruptured breast implant removal is a surgical procedure to remove a ruptured silicone gel or saline-filled breast implant. In most cases, the surrounding scar tissue capsule is also removed.

How ruptured breast implant removal works

During ruptured breast implant removal surgery, your surgeon will make an incision in the same place as your original Breast Augmentation surgery. If possible, they’ll use the same incision to remove the implant and capsule. In some cases, though, a new incision may be needed. Once the implant and capsule are removed, your surgeon will close the incisions with stitches.

This type of surgery is generally performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning you won’t need to stay overnight in the hospital. The surgery usually takes one to two hours, and you can typically go home the same day.

After ruptured breast implant removal surgery, you’ll likely have some swelling and discomfort. After ruptured breast implant removal surgery, patients can expect some bruising and swelling. However, these side effects should resolve within a week or two.

How long does it take to recover from ruptured breast implant removal?

Recovery times vary from person to person, but you can typically expect to take it easy for at least a few weeks before resuming normal activities.

Common questions about breast implant rupture

What happens when a breast implant ruptures

When a breast implant ruptures, it can cause a number of different symptoms. Some women may experience pain or tenderness in the breast, while others may see a change in the shape or size of the breast. In some cases, the implant may leak silicone gel or saline solution, which can cause inflammation and swelling. If the rupture is not treated promptly, it can also lead to an infection. As a result, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible if you think your implant has ruptured. With prompt treatment, most women are able to recover from a rupture without any long-term complications.

 How long can you go with a ruptured breast implant? Is it an emergency?

In most cases, a ruptured implant will need to be removed within 24 hours. However, if the implant has not caused any damage to the surrounding tissue, it can be left in place for up to six weeks while waiting for a replacement implant. In general, however, it is best to have the implant removed and replaced as soon as possible to avoid further complications.

Can a ruptured implant make you sick?

There is a small risk of infection after a rupture, and the silicone gel can cause problems if it leaks into the surrounding tissues. In rare cases, a rupture can trigger an autoimmune reaction, causing symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain, and rash.

Does insurance cover removal of ruptured breast implants?

Health insurance companies have been increasingly reluctant to cover the removal of ruptured breast implants in recent years. In most cases, they will only pay for the removal if it is considered medically necessary, and even then they often require patients to pay a large portion of the costs out-of-pocket. This can be a significant financial burden for many women, who often face steep costs for the original surgery as well.

As a result, many women are forced to choose between leaving their implants in and living with the risks of leakage or rupture, or paying for the removal themselves. However, there are a few options available for those who cannot afford to pay for the surgery. Some charities and non-profit organizations offer financial assistance for implant removal, and some doctors offer payment plans or reduced rates for patients in need. 

How do I know if my breast implant is infected?

The most common signs of an infection are redness, warmth, swelling, and pain around the implant site. You may also experience fever, chills, and fatigue. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor right away. An infection can cause serious complications. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for the best possible outcome.

Do ruptured implants have to be removed? 

In most cases, a ruptured implant will need to be removed and replaced with a new one. However, if the rupture is small and doesn’t cause any symptoms, your doctor may recommend leaving the implant in place. They will then closely monitor you for any signs of further rupture or other complications.

How much does it cost to replace a ruptured breast implant?

The cost of this surgery can vary depending on the severity of the rupture and the type of implants being used. In general, the surgery to repair a ruptured breast implant will cost between $3,000 and $5,000. However, if the rupture is severe or if the implants need to be replaced, the cost can rise to $10,000 or more. While this may seem like a lot of money, it is important to remember that ruptured breast implants can cause serious health problems if left untreated. As a result, the cost of surgery is often worth it for many women.

What happens when breast implants are removed and not replaced?

If the woman decides not to have new implants put in, she will be left with a significant amount of extra skin. This skin can cause a number of problems, including pain, rashes, and difficulty finding clothes that fit properly. In some cases, women who have their implants removed also end up with sagging breasts. For these women, undergoing a breast lift procedure may be necessary in order to achieve the desired results. Overall, removing breast implants is a fairly common procedure that usually leads to good results.

Do breast implants rupture easily? 

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the likelihood of a rupture is less than one percent for silicone implants and about two percent for saline implants. Of course, these numbers may be higher for women who have had their implants for many years or who have had previous surgeries. 

How do you know if your breast implant has ruptured?

The most obvious sign of breast implant rupture is a sudden change in the shape or size of your breast. You might also notice that your breast feels hard or lumpy, and you may have pain or tenderness. In some cases, you might see leaking from the implant site. If you think your implant has ruptured, it’s important to see a doctor right away. While implants are generally safe, a rupture can cause complications such as infection or scarring. 

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