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Common Causes of Uncommon Breast Implant Ruptures

Although uncommon, breast implant ruptures are still possible following breast augmentation or reconstruction. Potential causes can include:

  • Wear and tear: The risk of rupture increases around 5 or 6 years after your initial breast augmentation, with a slightly sharper rise about 10 years after. This is because the implant shells age, which generally makes them more susceptible to tears or ruptures simply because the material is getting older. Even people that get knee replacements understand that their prosthesis will not last forever.
  • Direct trauma: Your breasts could be compressed in a motor vehicle accident or a fall, and this direct pressure could cause an implant shell to rupture.
  • Breast biopsies: A needle inserted during a biopsy could potentially puncture an implant.
  • Fold flaws: Implant folding may cause a tear or rupture. Folding may occur because of thin breast tissue surrounding the implant or capsular contracture.

Should I Be Worried About Ruptures?

Although ruptures are uncommon, they can still occur. However, decades of research and studies show no significant health risks posed by ruptures. If a Saline implant ruptures, the fluid will be harmlessly absorbed by the body. With today’s cohesive gel implants, a Silicone rupture will tend to hold its shape and stay inside the implant shell; but even if some were to leak into the body, research hasn’t found any evidence of health risks. Although, we do not discredit individual stories.

Silent vs. Obvious Ruptures

When a cohesive silicone gel implant ruptures, it is called a silent rupture because you most likely won’t notice it. The shape of the breasts is maintained because the gel mostly remains inside the implant shell. For this reason, regular follow-up appointments are recommended, and beneficial. Every 1-2 years, your surgeon will examine the breasts for any signs of issues. MRIs or other imaging technology may be used to scan for ruptures. A saline implant rupture tends to be more obvious because the fluid will completely leave the implant shell over the course of a few days. Your breast will most likely look deflated and less full, so it is important

to contact your surgeon if you have any questions or concerns. For both saline and silicone ruptures, a breast implant removal can be performed. At that point, new implants can be placed; this is a great opportunity to update any of the features such as size or shape.

Learn More from Our Experienced Breast Surgeon

To arrange a consultation with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon, contact Burgess Plastic Surgery at 503-699-6464. Dr. Burgess has been performing breast augmentation for many years, and she looks forward to helping you decide if this procedure is right for you.

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8:00am - 5:00pm

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8:00am - 4:00pm

Saturday hours available by appointment

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