(Updated for 2019)
Breast augmentation is an incredibly safe cosmetic surgery procedure, but breast implant ruptures do happen from time to time. There are many causes of implant rupture so predicting a rupture can be hard.
However, if you’ve had a breast augmentation or are planning to have one, educating yourself on the signs of breast implant failure is important for your safety as well as early detection.
Recognizing when a breast implant failure happens could be easy or hard depending on which type of implant you choose. Saline implant ruptures are much easier to detect and pose no risk to your health. When a saline implant fails, the saline solution drains out quickly, usually in a matter of days.
Most women realize their saline implant has failed fairly quickly since the implant is deflated and the affected breast might appear oddly shaped. The sterilized saline solution that leaked out is not hazardous and can be absorbed into the body.
A silicone implant failure, on the other hand, is much harder to detect. Since the silicone gel is thicker in consistency, the leak is very slow and it usually takes a very long time before realizing there is a leak. The only way to know for certain that there is damage to the silicone implant is with an MRI.
Breast implant failure can be caused by a variety of problems. In some cases, the problem occurs when the implants are filled above or below the manufacturer’s recommended fill range.
Other times, texturing of a saline implant can result in excessive wrinkling and premature wear, causing the implant to fail. Even regular wear and tear can cause breast implant deflation, and your lifestyle definitely plays a role in how long your breast implants will last.
A deflated implant can be safely and successfully removed and replaced surgically in a procedure similar to the original breast augmentation surgery. Typically your same breast augmentation incision is used to approach the deflated implant.
Your breast implants may be under warranty, which helps with the cost of replacement.
Recovery from breast implant repair surgery is usually easier than the original surgery since the pectoralis muscle has already been stretched.