One of the complications that can occur with silicone breast implants is rupture of the implant. People are concerned that if there is a rupture, the silicone will harm your body and cause problems or disease as it is exposed to the surrounding soft tissue. The silicone breast implants currently on the market are better than the ones we had twenty or thirty years ago. With advances in surgical instruments as well as better implants, the risk of rupture is very low.
Rupture of an implant can occur, but it is most likely to happen years later as the implant ages or if you have a major impact to the breast during an accident or trauma. But what happens if the implant ruptures? Will it cause harm? Can you die? Can you develop an immune disease? The answer to these questions is that even when they rupture, silicone implants do not cause any harm in the body.
Typically, the patient is not going to notice a decrease in the volume of the breast, because the highly cohesive implant allows the silicone to stay within the boundaries of the capsule that has formed around the implant. So, patients who complain of rupture of a breast implant typically have some sort of pain or discomfort that was not there prior to the trauma or incident that caused the rupture. The pain feels like a soreness, or like there is something not right with the breast. It is very challenging to identify it by just palpating the breast, particularly if you have developed a capsular contracture secondary to the extrusion of the silicone. One of the standard ways to determine if you have a rupture of a silicone implant is to perform an MRI. An MRI scanner is a sensitive machine that is used to visualize the soft tissue of the body.
So, what happens if your breast implant ruptures? Well, for a start, you are going to need revision surgery. In other words, an incision will be made, and depending on the factors that have contributed to changes in your breast, a specific surgery will be recommended to provide a better shape. If you believe you have a ruptured implant, discuss this with your plastic surgeon. A test like an MRI will help confirm the rupture of the implant, and subsequently a plan will be made to correct the breast after removal of the ruptured silicone implant.