Can Breast Implants Pop?

Breast implants do not pop, as in burst. But they can rupture. In other words, a weak point in the shell of your implant may tear or develop a hole. When this happens, the filling of the implant begins to leak out.

A doctor showing Silicone and Saline Breast Implant to a patient

Can breast implants pop? This is one of those questions that are very common when a woman is considering getting breast implants. But truly, who in her right mind would not bother about this? It is awful enough to even imagine something as gross as a breast implant popping underneath your skin. You might probably imagine it as a balloon bursting inside your breast. If this is your idea about breast implants, you most likely will never get one. The anxiety would be way too much. But to put your mind to rest, breast implants do not pop. Yes, you heard that right.

There has never been an instance where a breast implant burst inside somebody’s body. Even if there is a severe trauma like a car accident, your breast implant cannot pop. But then, it is possible for your breast implant to rupture. There are several instances where this has happened. It happens in about 15 percent of people who have breast implants. This is quite different from the wild idea in your head of a breast implant “popping”. Think of implant rupture as a ‘leak’. It is not a ‘burst’. Meanwhile, this complication is common to both saline and silicone implants. What’s more, experts have concluded that breast implants can happen at any time. It can happen immediately after the surgery or after 10 years. It may even not happen at all.

Can Breast Implants Pop or Rupture?

Like we have said before, breast implants do not pop, as in burst. But they can rupture. In other words, a weak point in the shell of your implant may tear or develop a hole. When this happens, the filling of the implant begins to leak out.

One of the ways to know if your breast implant has ruptured is that its size would reduce rapidly. This is especially true for saline implants.

The deflation of Saline implants can happen very suddenly. It may also happen very slowly, but it never lasts longer than a few days. Within a few days after a saline implant ruptures, you will notice that the breast has lost its shape or size.

Silicone implants are not like saline implants. When they rupture, they do not deflate rapidly. This is because their filling is made up of silicone gel which would not leak as fast as liquid saline would do.

When a silicone implant ruptures, there will only be a slight reduction in size which would occur over time. It is not so easy to detect the rupture of a silicone implant. It takes a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to detect a ruptured silicone implant.

If your saline breast implant ruptures, your body can easily absorb the saline solution (literally, saltwater) that leaks out of the implant. Anyways, your body naturally contains a lot of salt and water, so no cause for alarm.

However, the story is different when it comes to silicone gel. The gel is usually cohesive and your body cannot easily absorb it. Usually, it stays for some time within the capsule of the scar tissue that forms around the breast implant. But after a while, it can begin to migrate to other areas of the body.

This is why many doctors would advise you to go for an MRI scan three years post-surgery if you get silicone implants. And the first scan, you should go for a scan again at every two-year interval so that you can detect if there is a leak.

How Can You Correct a Breast Implant Rupture?

The only way to correct a breast implant rupture is surgery. This is true for both saline and silicone breast implants. Once an implant ruptures, you will have to remove it surgically. There is no other way out.

Depending on the situation, your cosmetic surgeon may also decide to remove the capsule of scar tissue that surrounds the ruptured implant. If removing the scar tissue is not necessary, your surgeon would only have to cut through it with small incisions.

When one implant ruptures, the implants in both breasts have to be removed. You cannot remove one and leave the other. It doesn’t matter whether the other implant as ruptured or not. The best thing is to remove both and replace them if you so desire.

What if your implant is a silicone implant and the gel has migrated beyond the scar tissue? There is no cause for alarm. Your cosmetic surgeon would simply remove the leaked silicone when he is removing the ruptured implant.

Most often than not, if you decide that you want the implants to be replaced, your surgeon would do that in the same surgery. He would place the new implant after removing the ruptured on before closing up the incision.

It is possible that your surgeon would advise that you get another type of implant, different from the one that ruptured. Talk to your surgeon about this.

Another way to correct a ruptured implant is by doing what they call autologous reconstruction. This means that your breast would be reconstructed using a flap of tissue from another part of your body.

After removing the ruptured implant, you may opt for autologous reconstruction instead of getting a new set of implants. If you opt for autologous reconstruction, you would not have to bother about the risk of having a rupture ever again.

The only thing is that autologous reconstruction is more complex than breast implant surgery. More so, it would take a longer time for you to recover.

Can breast implants pop?

What Can You Do To Reduce The Risk of Rupture?

To be honest, in some cases, there is absolutely nothing that you can do. However, you may be able to significantly reduce your risk if you avoid certain actions like dangerous sports and things that may cause physical trauma around the chest region.

Moreover, it is important to discuss with your surgeon before the surgery about things that may increase the risk of rupture. Remember that most implants come with a warranty. Certain activities may void the warranty of your implants. Find out before the surgery.

If there is enough breast tissue to cover the implant, the implant may enjoy more protection again rupture caused by physical trauma. It becomes even better of your implant is placed under the chest muscle, and not over it. The muscle can protect the implant from some forms of trauma.

Can breast implants pop? No, they can’t, but they can rupture. If you have the picture of a balloon bursting inside your breast, throw it away because it can never happen. Breast implants are generally safe and complications like implant ruptures are even quite rare.

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