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What Signs Will I See with Breast Implant Leakage?

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When a breast implant ruptures — sometimes referred to as a breast implant “leak” — it will need to be removed and/or replaced. However, it is not always easy to identify a ruptured breast implant on your own. To determine with certainty whether your breast implant may have ruptured or otherwise become damaged, you’ll need to be evaluated by a knowledgeable and experienced plastic surgeon. At Phillip Dauwe, M.D. Plastic Surgery, board-certified Dallas, TX plastic surgeon Dr. Phillip Dauwe is committed to ensuring patients are well educated about their breast implants and familiar with what signs and symptoms may mean they should schedule an appointment to evaluate for possible breast implant leakage. Keep reading to learn more about breast implant rupture, including how it is diagnosed and what happens after a rupture is detected.

What causes a breast implant to rupture?

There are several potential causes of a breast implant leak or rupture. Many patients worry that they may have ruptured an implant by putting too much pressure on their chest — like when sleeping on their stomach or even getting a particularly tight hug. In reality, these types of behaviors are relatively low risk for implant rupture, though extreme pressure — like one may incur during a car accident or fall — can cause damage to an implant. Some of the most common causes of breast implant rupture include:

  • Trauma
  • Excessive pressure/force
  • Surgical error during breast augmentation
  • Surgical error during another procedure, such as a biopsy
  • Old, worn, cracked, or damaged implants

How can I tell if my breast implant is leaking?

The signs of a breast implant rupture can vary based on what type of implant the patient has, in addition to a number of individual factors, like the size of the implant and the patient’s body type. When a saline implant ruptures, the saline fluid that fills the shell will almost immediately leak out into the surrounding area, where it will be safely resorbed by the body. This will cause visible deflation and asymmetry, making saline implant ruptures relatively easy to identify. Silicone implant ruptures can be much more difficult to diagnose and, in many cases, do not cause any significant symptoms. Instead, they may be detected on a routine imaging study performed for another reason. Still, many patients do experience symptoms of a silicone breast implant rupture, which may include:

  • Change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Pain
  • Hardness of the breast
  • Swelling
  • Redness

Even when a ruptured implant is not causing symptoms, it should always be replaced or removed to avoid complications that can impact the patient’s overall health and comfort.

What should I do if my breast implant ruptures?

If you suspect that you may have a ruptured breast implant, or if a rupture or leak has been detected on an imaging study, be sure to contact Dr. Dauwe as soon as possible. Depending on your individual case factors, Dr. Dauwe will perform a physical examination and may order new or additional imaging studies, such as an MRI, to confirm the rupture. Based on the findings of his evaluation, Dr. Dauwe will recommend the most appropriate course of action for your breast implant replacement or removal with breast revision surgery.

Suspect a leak in your breast implant? Schedule a consultation for breast revision surgery in Dallas, TX today

Even if your ruptured breast implant isn’t causing noticeable or unwanted symptoms, it is still important to have your implants evaluated to determine whether a removal or replacement may be required. To learn more about your options after a breast implant rupture, call Phillip Dauwe, M.D. Plastic Surgery in Dallas, TX to schedule your private consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Phillip Dauwe.

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