Saline Breast Implant Rupture in Scottsdale
Saline breast implant rupture occurs when the implant used in a breast augmentation procedure sustains a leak, and the implant itself deflates in size. In general, saline implants have very long-lasting, durable qualities and most women will never experience an implant rupture. However, even when placed under perfect circumstances, implant rupture and deflation can occasionally occur.
The saline implant consists of a soft silicone shell filled with a saltwater solution called saline. The silicone shell of the implant can experience tearing or damage under extreme conditions. In rare cases, just as with any other medical device, the implant itself is faulty. Once ruptured, the saline leaks into the body, where it gradually, naturally absorbs over time. This is known as saline implant deflation.
There are a few different procedures that can address saline implant rupture, but the treatment of choice always involves surgical removal of the ruptured implant. Scottsdale plastic surgeon Dr. Ashley Howarth is an expert at removing and replacing ruptured breast implants.
What Causes a Saline Implant to Rupture?
There are many theories and factors oftentimes linked to saline implant rupture. For instance, trauma to the breast from a fall or motor vehicle accident could cause a saline implant to become damaged and rupture. In other cases, too much compression during a mammogram can cause the saline implant to leak. Some physicians believe that capsular contracture, a tightening of tissue around the implant, is a concurrent risk factor for saline implant deflation.
Surgeons fill a saline implant after placing it during breast augmentation surgery. In some cases, overfilling or underfilling a saline implant, or overhandling an implant during surgery, may eventually lead to implant rupture. Occasionally the implant itself is faulty, and a breach of the outer shell or valve develops, causing saline to leak. Finally, saline implants are not lifetime devices. As saline implants age, the risk of sustaining rupture generally increases.
What Does Saline Implant Deflation Look Like?
The most common sign of a saline implant rupture is a change in the size of the breast. Usually, one breast may look noticeably smaller, or even feel less full or firm, than the other. Sometimes, a deflation occurs quickly, in minutes, if the silicone shell is significantly torn. However, other times the leakage is slow, and can take months before the asymmetry is noticeable.
Symptoms of Leaking Saline Breast Implant
Generally speaking, the deflated breast appears smaller, droopier, flat, or misshapen. When there is a sudden deflation, the altered aesthetics can feel particularly distressing. If you are concerned that your saline implant has ruptured, it makes sense to visit a trusted plastic surgeon for prompt evaluation.
Is a Leaking Saline Implant Dangerous?
In general, a leaking saline implant is not dangerous. Saline is a saltwater solution commonly used in intravenous fluids and deemed safe for the body. If saline leaks into the body, it will gradually, naturally absorb and process just like any other fluid entering the body. In fact, some women choose saline implants over silicone because there is a small chance of rupture with any type of breast implant.
How to Correct a Saline Implant Rupture with Revision Surgery?
The most common way to correct a saline implant rupture is with implant replacement surgery in Scottsdale, AZ. Typically performed through the initial surgical incision, implant replacement surgery is generally similar to the original implant placement. In fact, some women describe the recovery as easier.
Occasionally, a woman does not wish to have her implants replaced after having saline implants removed. In these cases, many women choose to undergo a breast lift or other aesthetic procedures to address excess tissue or stretched skin from the former breast implants.
Oftentimes, a woman may choose to enlarge her implant size or change her implant type while undergoing removal and replacement of a deflated implant. During the pre-procedure consultation, a surgeon can address any recommended alternatives and aesthetic options to achieve optimal results.
How Soon Do I Need to Have My Implant Replaced if it has Ruptured?
While not a medical emergency, any unexpected change in your breast size warrants an evaluation by your surgeon. Incidentally, you do not necessarily need to see the same surgeon who placed your saline implants. Any plastic surgeon whom you trust and find qualified, can perform an evaluation, and make appropriate recommendations for your specific case.
Usually, when a saline implant has ruptured, most women have both implants removed and replaced to ensure optimal symmetry. Also, because the original implants have already experienced some of the natural aging process, it makes sense to replace both implants to have a fresh start in the process.
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon Dr. Ashley Howarth
Dr. Ashley Howarth, a leading female plastic surgeon in Scottsdale, is highly trained in treating cases of saline implant rupture. If you are concerned that your saline implant has ruptured, the first step is to make a consultative appointment at our office. Expertly trained at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Howarth can perform a careful evaluation, review your history, and develop a best-practice care plan based on her findings.
Dr. Howarth will skillfully address your saline implant rupture, working within your personalized goals, and carefully develop a surgical plan that yields optimal results. If you are considering any breast enhancement or breast revision surgery, Dr. Ashley Howarth can assist you through the process with care, confidence, and compassion.