Breast Implant Rupture Symptoms + How to Address It

Breast implant rupture symptoms may be experienced by women who go for breast implants. These symptoms are of different types and may be easily noticed. Read on to find out more about these symptoms and how to address them.

Breast implants have two main types, silicone and saline implants. The silicone implants come with an outer shell made of silicone and this can potentially be ruptured by a tear or hole. The saline breast implants also come with a valve that is susceptible to failure resulting in a leak. The chances of having a ruptured implant increase with the number of years the implant stays. Knowing the different breast implant rupture symptoms will help you know when your implants are ruptured. After your surgery, your doctor would have probably shown you how to monitor your implants and advised that you return for help if you notice any changes. 

Of course, these all invoke fear in any normal female human being. Right? Who would want that? But knowledge is once again key in putting it all in perspective. Implant rupture may occur as a normal effect of an aging implant, through trauma during a motor accident, biopsy needle insertion, or several other factors. A study conducted in 2013 revealed that about fifty-one to sixty-four percent of silicone breast implant ruptures resulted from damage from surgical instruments during surgery. When saline implants valve leaks or cultures the saline content is removed immediately usually within days. The breast takes on a deflated appearance which is an obvious sign of rupture. The body absorbs this leaked saltwater. 

Breast Implant Rupture Symptoms 

For silicone implant, upon rupturing the gel escapes more slowly when compared to saline content due to its thick nature. It might take longer before a ruptured silicone implant is noticed because of this slow discharge. It may even go unnoticed and the body does not absorb the gel. 

Women who opt for silicone implants usually go for routine mammograms to examine their implants. A mammogram gives a better view of the implants and easily detects any rupture.

The silicone gel breast implants sold before the year 1992 in the US have a higher risk of leaking beyond the scar tissue capsule if a rupture happens. 

The liquid gel may spread to other body parts like the lungs or lymph nodes. Your body may for me more scarred tissue as a response to this silicone which may distort the shape of the breasts or make you uncomfortable. 

In rare cases, silicone granuloma lumps may develop in the armpit, chest area, arm, or anywhere in the body. 

Since 2006 till date, the silicone breast implants available in the US have thicker shells with an increased cohesive gel content. If the rupture occurs with this, the shell tears, this is known as gel fracture. The result of this is a compromised appearance and shape of implants. 

Signs of a ruptured silicone implant can include increasing breast pain, breast firmness, altered breast size and shape, and swelling

Capsular contracture may also occur as a result of this rupture. Silicone ruptures are commonly called ‘silent future” because it has no noticeable symptoms. 

Screening For Rupture

The food and drug administration recommends people with silicone implants to frequently for MRI screen at least three years lost first surgery and then every two years after. 

It might be challenging to get health insurance so you should discuss with your doctor if something can be worked out. 

As soon as you think your breast implants are ruptured go to your surgeon for examination. Your surgeon will most likely ask for an MRI as this gives a good view of the implants and can help in checking for any leaks. 

The MRI equipment is specifically designed for breast imaging and is popular considered the best for viewing implant rupture. 

However, just like other tests of a similar nature, there is the possibility of getting inaccurate results. The rupture may not appear on the test or an intact good implant may seem to be ruptured in the MRI.

Corrective Surgery 

When a silicone or saline breast implant ruptures the implant needs to be removed surgically. The plastic surgeon may remove the implant together with the surrounding scar tissue capsule or make small incisions on the capsule to cut it open. 

If both breasts have implants the surgeon will most likely remove both. Even if it’s only that has been ruptured. If your silicone breast implants leaked past the capsule, the surgeon will have to take out the leaked silicone. 

If you want to get new implants, usually your surgeon will insert them immediately after removing the ruptured lines. You might be advised to change to another implant.

A second option is to reconstruct your breast with tissue extracted from another body part. It is called autologous reconstruction. You can do this instead of getting new breast implants. 

Autologous reconstruction eliminates any risk of future rupture or any other complications associated with breast implants. However, this reconstruction surgery has complex and time-consuming. The recovery time will be much longer too. 


Breast implant or documentation surgeries are one of the fastest cosmetic procedures in the world today, especially in developed countries. There are different reasons why women go for this surgery, some go for cosmetic reasons, to alter their breast continue, size, and shape. 

Women who had to have a mastectomy procedure that is the removal of one or both breasts may opt for implants. 

Getting a breast implant is a major life-changing decision. If you are deciding to go for it, whatever your reasons may be, make sure that you are informed about all possible side effects of which implant rupture is part. 

Have a detailed discussion with your doctor about your decision. You can write as many questions as you have and let your doctor go over them with you. If possible, seeing a plastic surgeon will be best. 

If after this you still decide to go then before or after your surgery your surgeon will tell you about breast implant rupture symptoms and how to watch out for them. Other complications can arise from this surgery and you should also be informed about them.  The best part is to weigh your options well before you ever dive into them. 

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