Summary: A new study suggests that MRIs are really the way to go when you’re trying to detect a ruptured Silicone breast implant. There are many options for women who have a rupture, including doing nothing, as the breast itself often heals over the implant, containing any rupture. If nothing else, this helps demonstrate how safe, effective, and reliable modern breast implants are.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, something can go wrong with a breast implant. It’s not unheard of (and it’s pretty rare), but it’s also not something to panic about. Indeed, most breast implants need some kind of regular maintenance (as they’re only approved to last for about twenty years).
So, that’s important to remember: even though a silicone breast implant may rupture, it likely won’t “deflate,” especially if it’s a newer implant. It’s also important to note that there is absolutely no risk of cancer or rheumatoid arthritis or connective tissue damage from any kind of rupture. Rupture sounds big, but it’s not always an emergency. In fact, when you get a breast augmentation or reconstructive surgery, the implant is put into a kind of pocket in the breast. This pocket heals over, in a sense, so any silicone that might leak out is going to be trapped in this pocket.
This can make a rupture kind of difficult to notice. If you suspect a ruptured implant, look for slight changes in the shape or feel of your breast. You may also notice inflammation or pain, or softening or hardening of the suspected breast (in which case, some scar tissue may have formed). But many women don’t present symptoms, and so the choice to treat the rupture is left to the woman’s discretion and preferences.
As there are a couple of ways your surgeon might go about diagnosing your ruptured implants, researchers have been looking for the most efficient. In a study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, scientists concluded that an MRI is the safest and most reliable way of diagnosing a ruptured implant. That said, they were careful to point out that in the cases of women with breast reductions or reconstructive breast surgery, an ultrasound should be used first, relying on an MRI only to deliver final confirmation.
In fact, the FDA recommends routine MRIs to rule out asymptomatic “silent” ruptures.
Choose the Implant for You
Because of its capacity for so-called “silent” ruptures, some doctors, such as the New Jersey plastic surgeons at East Coast Advanced Plastic Surgery, prefer that patients be open to the options which will best suit their desired results and timeline. There are benefits and drawbacks to each type of breast implant one might desire, so this should always be discussed during a consultation with your cosmetic surgeon.
Breast implants, like many cosmetic medical procedures, are not permanent fixtures, though with proper care they can last quite a long time. Overall, however, most women are incredibly happy with their breast augmentation or reconstructive surgeries, and find that, with little maintenance, their implants are safe and reliable. So if breast implants are something you’d like to discuss with your surgeon, schedule a consultation today.