Breast augmentation surgery has a longstanding history of success and lasting results. Still, one of the questions we hear most frequently in our Reno office is “could my breast implants pop?” Because so many patients inquire about this, we presume there are many more who wonder in silence. If you have a concern that breast implants can pop, you may resist getting the body-enhancing surgery that you want. Here, we discuss the potential for leakage and rupture and what it means for you.
We wouldn’t say that breast implants can pop. “Pop” is such a dramatic word; it may bring up an image of being embraced in a strong bear-hug with a loved one and experiencing a literal, loud, explosion in your chest. This is not what would happen if a breast implant were to rupture, which is possible.
Fortunately, breast implant ruptures don’t occur very often. The National Center for Biotechnology Information released a study suggesting that this happens in only about 15% of cases. Their research also noted that older breast implants are more likely to be affected, likely due to natural deterioration. One potential cause of rupture is that the breasts are directly injured in some type of accident such as a car collision. For implants to burst, the pressure on them must be intense.
More commonly than injury, we see breast implants affected by capsular contracture. During breast implant surgery, silicone or saline sacs are inserted into a pocket of tissue. It is natural for some scarring to develop. However, some women’s bodies scar too much, leading to the extreme tightening of the tissue around one or both implants. Capsular contracture affects approximately 10.5% of patients and may occur around both saline and silicone implants, though some studies suggest a lower instance of extensive scarring around more form-stable implants (gummy bear implants).
If Breast Implants Rupture
Breast implant rupture sounds alarming but is actually an easy fix. In fact, it is possible for a silicone breast implant to leak or break without any significant evidence. When rupture occurs in a silicone implant, deflation is so discreet that it may not be noticed for years. Saline implants, on the other hand, typically deflate more dramatically. In either situation, the solution is to either replace the affected implant or remove both implants.