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How Can I Tell if My Breast Implant Is Ruptured?

By: Dr. Rolando Morales

6/19/2023

Without a doubt, one of the most common questions regarding breast augmentation is how to tell if one of your implants has been ruptured or damaged. The answer will depend on several factors, including the type of breast implants you have, the age of your implants, and others. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Rolando Morales from Morales Plastic Surgery in Houston, TX explains what causes breast implant rupture, what signs or symptoms may point to a ruptured implant, and what to do if you suspect that your breast implant has ruptured.

What causes a breast implant to rupture?

Currently, the most common causes of breast implant rupture are iatrogenic. More specifically, breast implant ruptures are most often caused by a surgeon’s instruments (syringes, scalpels, etc.) inadvertently poking or otherwise coming into contact with an implant while performing a procedure. Less common causes of breast implant rupture include trauma, though rupture rates are exceedingly low overall.

What are the signs of a ruptured breast implant?

The structure of breast implants has changed significantly over time, meaning the signs and symptoms of breast implant rupture have also evolved. In earlier implants, a liquid gel or saline solution filled a silicone sac, and when ruptured, the liquid would leak out of the bag. While the body “walled off” the liquid from flowing freely, the implant would still deflate and become asymmetric compared with the other side, making it fairly obvious that a rupture had occurred. With more modern implants, like silicone gel and “gummy bear” implants, the filling is form-stable, meaning it will not flow or leak when an implant is ruptured. Because of this, it is virtually impossible to tell with visual or physical examination alone whether or not an implant has been ruptured. Most women go many years without ever knowing their implant has been ruptured.

What should I do if I suspect a ruptured breast implant?

Some patients may notice their implants feeling a little bit different or asymmetric over time, while other patients may develop some pain or soreness in or around their implants. In most cases, these are not associated with a ruptured breast implant, but they can be. If — for any reason — you do suspect that your breast implant has been ruptured, the first thing you should do is schedule an evaluation with your plastic surgeon.

How is a ruptured breast implant diagnosed?

The only definitive way to diagnose a ruptured breast implant is with imaging studies like an MRI or by physically examining the implant itself during implant removal or replacement.

What other breast implant risks should I be aware of?

With the exceptional advances in medicine and technology over the last several decades, breast implants are considered safer than ever before and come with a low risk of side effects, though there are some potential complications to be aware of, including:

  • Implant rupture
  • Bottoming out
  • Implant displacement
  • Rotated implant
  • Breast implant illness
  • BIA-ALCL

Again, these complications are very rare but don’t hesitate to discuss your concerns with Dr. Morales and our knowledgeable team to learn more about how you can reduce your risk of breast augmentation complications and set yourself up for the most successful procedure and desirable outcome possible.

Choose an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon in Houston, TX for a safe and successful breast augmentation

When it comes to cosmetic surgery, choosing a highly qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Rolando Morales is critical for ensuring a safe procedure and stunning results. Learn more about your options for breast enhancement surgery in Houston, TX by calling Morales Plastic Surgery to schedule your consultation with Dr. Morales today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.