Even with the technical advancements of breast enhancement procedures, complications can occur after surgery that contribute to situations that may require further care and, in some cases, for the implant to be removed.
Ruptured Breast Implants
Implants can become ruptured and leak. Depending on whether you have a silicone or saline implant, this rupture may be immediately obvious and require attention, or it may occur over time and be more difficult to detect.
If you do have a ruptured implant you may experience hard spots near your implant, soreness, swelling, burning, or tingling. You may also notice a decrease in size or a change of shape. A lot of times there are no symptoms at all, and the ruptured implant is only discovered at a routine check-up.
In the case of saline implant ruptures, one may notice that their breasts have “deflated” or reduced in size. Saline ruptures are usually very rapid, though slow leaks can occur as well. In the case of a saline implant rupture and leak, the body will absorb the liquid. It’s usually harmless, unless the implant had developed fungus or bacteria, which could cause an infection. If you have saline implants and notice your breasts seem deflated or reduced in size, you should check with the doctor immediately to see if you may need antibiotics.
In the case of a silicone implant rupture, the leak might be slow, taking months for you to notice. Routine check-ups are recommended in order to catch a rupture before it leaks into the body and causes further problems.
An MRI or ultrasound are methods of inspecting the breasts and checking for ruptures.
There are two types of silicone implant ruptures. The first is that the rupture is contained within the capsule, the casing of scar tissue that grows around the implant after it’s surgically installed. In this case, no silicone has leaked into the body. The other type of rupture is potentially more dangerous, and that is when the leakage seeps past the capsule and into the body. The silicone can leak into your lymph nodes and lungs, where it is difficult or even impossible to remove. Patients should know that this is quite rare.
If you do have ruptured breast implants, it is best to remove them right away. Dr. Esmailian is a skilled double board-certified plastic surgeon who is an expert at the removal of breast implants. Often surgeons can be well versed in breast augmentation, but may not be as gifted in breast implant removal or replacement surgeries. For this reason, choosing your breast implant removal surgeon is much more important.
Many patients end up not choosing their original doctor who performed the procedure in the first place, though they may have been very happy with their post-op figure. Surgeons skilled in breast enhancement procedures may even refer their patients to an expert in breast removal and or replacement surgeries to ensure it is done correctly.