What are Mammary Implants
Mammary implants are medical devices inserted under the breast tissue or chest muscle to increase breast size (augmentation) or to replace breast tissue that has been removed due to cancer or trauma, or that has failed to develop properly due to a severe breast abnormality (reconstruction). However, like any medical device, they carry the risk of complications, one of which is rupture.
Understanding Implant Rupture
Breast implant rupture is a complication that can occur at any time after surgery. It can be intracapsular, when the implant material is confined by the scar tissue around it, or extracapsular, when the implant material leaks out. The rupture of silicone implants is often insidious, potentially causing problems at any time.
Causes and Symptoms
Ruptures can be caused by trauma, compression, or wear and tear over time. If rupture occurs in the first 10 years, it is often due to a defect in the implant itself. Saline implant ruptures are usually noticeable by a change in breast appearance, while silicone implant ruptures may be silent and require imaging to detect. Ruptured silicone breast implants can cause breast pain or changes in the contour or shape of the breast.
Diagnosis and Treatment
If you suspect that an implant might have ruptured, it’s important to talk to your plastic surgeon. An imaging test, such as an MRI or ultrasound, can show whether the implant has ruptured. If you have a silent rupture — one that’s not causing signs or symptoms — your plastic surgeon will explain possible treatment options. Some women take a wait-and-see approach, while others prefer to remove or replace the ruptured implant.
If a mammary implant ruptures, the treatment options include:
- Removal of the implant: The ruptured implant is surgically removed.
- Replacement of the implant: A new implant can be inserted at the same time as the removal of the ruptured one.
- Removal of the capsule: The normal scar tissue that forms around the implant can be removed.
If the ruptured implant is causing signs or symptoms, the surgeon will likely recommend surgical removal. If you want, a new implant can usually be inserted at the same time. If you no longer want breast implants, you might want a breast lift or other corrective surgery. It’s important to note that breast implants aren’t guaranteed to last a lifetime. Therefore, continue to have yearly clinical breast exams by your doctor. If there are new changes, see a plastic surgeon for monitoring and to review treatment options.
In conclusion, while mammary implants can enhance self-esteem and quality of life for many women, they are not without risks. Implant rupture is a serious complication that requires immediate attention and possibly surgical intervention. Therefore, it’s crucial for anyone considering breast augmentation or reconstruction to understand these risks and discuss them thoroughly with their specialist in plastic surgery.
If you want to learn more details about these surgeries, you can check our website and our blog. For a personalized assessment of your case, we recommend a consultation without any obligation. Phone: 628 893 3420 / 631 685 440
Dr. José Salvador
Plastic & Aesthetic Surgery
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