Saline and Silicone Breast Implant Rupture

How do breast implants rupture or break?


Breast implant failure can and does occur for many reasons, depending upon the type of implant you choose. Even though breast augmentation is one of the most successful of all cosmetic procedures, the reality is that at some point breast implants can and will fail. Saline and silicone breast implants fail in different ways so you should consider the difference between the two before making your final implant selection.

Eventually all implants may fatigue and develop a hole in the outer shell. It naturally happens over time as a result of the motion within the implant wall. A tear may develop in the outer shell due to the pressure of the implant contents from your natural motion. Manufacturers have improved the durability of implants significantly, but implant failure is still a possible problem after placement.

From 1992 to 2006, the most common implant was filled with saline. Silicone implants were only used in breast implant trials during that time and were proven to be safe and effective. The FDA approved them for use again in November of 2006. Therefore most of the implants that are getting older today and subject to fatigue are saline.


Saline Breast Implant Rupture


When a rupture develops in the outer shell of a saline-filled breast implant, the saline solution leaks harmlessly into the surrounding tissue and is absorbed by the body. Meanwhile, however, the implant deflates rapidly, and is very noticeable! The deflation of a saline implant can happen in as little as a day, or as long as a week or more.

In either case, the saline implant failure is quite obvious as the breast loses the volume it had when the implant was full. While this is problematic, of course, some women consider this to be an advantage since it is much more difficult to tell if a silicone implant has actually ruptured. Since the failure occurs very quickly with saline, the woman knows she needs to visit with her plastic surgeon quickly.


Silicone Breast Implant Rupture


In contemporary silicone-filled breast implants, the cohesive silicone gel is rather thick and sticky and is bonded together. Even when cut in half with a knife, the implant holds itself together. Unless the hole developing in the implant is very large, the gel is not likely to squeeze out. Even with a large hole, while the silicone may bulge out of the tear, it will eventually fall back in due to its thick, viscous consistency. Therefore silicone breast implant failure is less noticeable and might only be detected during a mammography.

There is no indestructible implant. Both saline and silicone are subject to failure. Since saline implants are subject to rapid deflation, it increases the possibility that the patient will need to replace the implant at some point in her lifetime. In most cases, even upon failure, silicone breast implants will cause no noticeable change in appearance or feel.

Upon evidence of implant failure you will need to visit your plastic surgeon. While the rupture of implants are not as common as in the past,  it remains as one of the important factors to consider when choosing your implant. Be prepared to ask your doctor their recommendations about the differences between saline and silicone.


Breast Implant Durability


Breast implant failure is a real probability in all breast implants. You should keep these reference points in mind if you decide to get breast implants:

* All breast implants will fail over time. While cohesive gel implants are considered more durable, the fact is that you will probably have to replace the implants within about ten years. Age of the implant therefore is a factor in implant failure.

* You should avoid high risk activities which place significan pressure or compression on the breasts. Simply be careful with high impact and vigorous sporting activities and try not to fall on your chest or receive any trauma to your breasts.

* Your plastic surgeon will give you after-care instructions. Be sure to follow them! Attend all follow up appointments with your doctor and avoid any contraindicated activities as advised. With proper care and attention your implants should last a long time.

Breast implant surgery can help you realize the dream of the beautiful breasts you have always wanted. If you choose your plastic surgeon carefully, you can be assured that they will do everything possible to insure excellent results free from any unwanted complications. After your breast augmentation surgery, it is up to you to maintain your new breasts by avoiding anything which will compromise or injure them.

If you do your research thoroughly, and follow the instructions from your doctor you are already doing what you can do prevent breast implant failure. Be sure to get medical attention immediately should you suspect that your implants have failed. With proper care and attention, breast implants can be a very satisfying lifestyle choice. Follow the instructions of your doctor throughout your consultations.

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