Silicone implants do not last forever. Typically, they last for about a decade, but any implant could potentially rupture. When this occurs, the implant must be replaced. It is important that this surgical procedure occurs within a short period after the rupture. A rupture may not be identified immediately.
Symptoms of a Silicone Implant Rupture
Various symptoms could be a sign that your implant has ruptured. These include:
- Pain, soreness, swelling
- Altered size
- Softer or harder texture
- Tingling sensation
Diagnosing a Silicone Implant Rupture
To identify a rupture, an imaging test may be necessary. Some women test for a rupture every two or three years as a proactive measure. If you are experiencing uncomfortable symptoms, we advise you to meet with our plastic surgeon and make plans to have the implant replaced. Called a “silent rupture,” some women have implants that are leaking, with the silicone gel trapped in the fibrous capsule that has developed around the implant, and experience no painful or uncomfortable symptoms. These cases should be resolved as early as possible after being discovered.
What causes a silicone implant to rupture?
Over the years, the technology behind manufacturing silicone implants has advanced. The latest generation of silicone implants are far superior than those manufactured in the past. Even so, as with any man-made product, they can rupture. Various issues can lead to a rupture, including:
- Faulty implant
- Capsular contracture
- Trauma (impact)
- Aging implant
If You Have Silicone Breast Implants
If you have had breast augmentation and had silicone implants placed, it is important to understand that these devices don’t last forever – you should be aware that at some point, they will need replacement. A rupture can make your next surgery much sooner than expected, or may occur long past the typical 10-year replacement date.
How do I tell if my silicone implant is leaking?
Any silicone implant could begin leaking as it ages. While the FDA has determined after extensive research that silicone is safe, reactions can occur. Every person is different; some have no reaction, while others feel hard pockets in the breast, inflammation, or feel tired or ill. If you have concerns about silicone implants and the risk of the gel leaking into the body, at Allure Esthetic Plastic Surgery we can replace your implants with saline, remove them altogether and repair your breast tissue with a breast lift, or replace the implants with a latest generation of silicone implant.
Why choose silicone implants?
Some women will have better results with a silicone implant, with augmented breasts feeling more like the “real thing.” These implants are pre-filled and require a larger incision than saline implants. Saline implants are filled after insertion. Silicone implants have a very realistic feel and look, and are lighter, which reduces the risk of the implants slipping into the wrong position. The implants are placed with one of several surgical procedures. Dr. Sajan works to limit incision size for the benefit of his patients. New silicone implants, including “gummy bear” versions filled with a cohesive gel, hold their shape better, with reduced risk of wrinkling or rippling. If a rupture occurs, the gel is held within the body capsule, rather than leaking further into the body. They come in various shapes and sizes, including teardrop, round, and textured.
Surgical Replacement of Silicone Implants After a Rupture
The surgical procedure to replace ruptured silicone implants is similar to your original augmentation surgery. It is important to replace the implant without delay, as the pocket in which it has been placed will naturally contract. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, under general anesthesia, and typically requires about one hour to complete. The new implant will be placed through the original incision in many cases. The first step is a face-to-face consultation with Dr. Sajan so we can determine what procedure will be most effective for you.
Remove and Replace: Ruptured Silicone Implants
If it is confirmed that one of your silicone implants is ruptured, it is recommended that it is removed and replaced as soon as possible. If the implants are older versions, it is often best to replace both in the same surgery. Even if you are not experiencing any symptoms, the risk is that the area around the implant will naturally shrink and tighten, making the correction surgery more complex. If you have concerns about silicone implant rupture, we urge you to reach out to us for testing and to plan replacement surgery.
As with your original implants, after the procedure it is normal to experience some swelling. You will need to restrict motion and physical activities during the healing process. Most patients can return comfortably to work after about one week, but should avoid any strenuous exercise or other physical activity for one month.
Allure Esthetic Plastic Surgery: Premier Breast Augmentation Surgeon in Seattle
Dr. Sajan is recognized for his impressive surgical skills and beautiful outcomes in breast augmentation. His depth of knowledge and experience is a great benefit to his patients. If you have a ruptured silicone implant, Dr. Sajan can meet with you personally to discuss the best way to move forward to remove the implant and replace it. Some patients make the decision to replace silicone with saline, or may choose to remove the implants altogether.
A breast lift is typically needed after implant removal. This will reshape your natural breast tissue and remove excess skin so your natural breasts look as they should. No matter what you decide, we are here to help you achieve the result you envision for yourself, whether total removal of implants, replacement with a smaller or larger size, or replacement one of the latest generation of saline implants.
En Bloc: Advanced Surgical Procedure for Implant Replacement
Dr. Sajan can perform your replacement surgery with the En Bloc technique. In this process, the breast implant along with any scar tissue is removed as a unit. This advanced procedure has been proven to be helpful in protecting the new implants from rupture and in creating the softest, most natural look and feel.