Proud Winner of Best Clinic UK at the 2024
Laurel Wreath for AwardsAesthetics Medicine AwardsLaurel Wreath for Awards

Articles

What Happens If A Breast Implant Ruptures?

What happens when a breast implant ruptures, what does it feel like, and what can you do? We explore everything you need to know.

Tagged: Body & Breast

Author: Mr. Bryan Mayou, MB ChB FRCS

Date: 30th January 2023

Medically Reviewed by:  Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396)

Last reviewed: 5th April 2024

If you have ever considered having a Breast Augmentation with breast implants, you may already be aware that there is a risk they can rupture.

Although it is a rare complication, there is always a risk of breast implant rupture with silicone or saline implants. It is important that you know the implant rupture symptoms to look for so you can identify a ruptured breast implant and seek prompt medical assistance.

What are the signs of a breast implant rupture?

There are two main types of breast implants:

  • Saline implants
  • Silicone implants

Both of these types of implants have very different symptoms that may indicate a rupture, so it’s important to know what to look out for for your specific procedure.

Saline breast implant rupture

Saline breast implants are filled with sterile salt water. If a saline breast implants ruptures, the body will absorb this liquid with no risk to health. Any rupture in a saline implant is usually very obvious and implant leak symptoms include a dramatic change in the appearance of the breast very quickly. The affected breast will effectively ‘deflate’, losing its size and changing shape. This may happen over the course of several days as the saline is reabsorbed into the body.

The shell of the ruptured breast implant will stay in your breast, until it is removed by a surgeon.

 

Signs of silicone implant rupture

Silicone implants are generally more durable than saline implants, offering a more natural look and feel. As silicone is thicker than saline, any breast implant leaks tend to stay inside the implant or within the capsule when it ruptures, so a silicone implant rupture is not always obvious immediately. This is known as a silent rupture.

Silent rupture breast implant symptoms can include a decrease in breast size, change in breast shape, pain, tenderness, numbness, swelling, burning or changes in sensation in the breast. It is important to be aware that a silicone breast implant rupture won’t always cause noticeable symptoms. An imaging scan, such as an MRI or ultrasound, will be able to confirm a suspected rupture.

Your surgeon will carry out a Breast Implant Removal with a Capsulectomy to ensure all of the silicone from the popped silicone implant has been removed safely.


Is a ruptured breast implant dangerous?

If a saline implant ruptures, then the water is safely reabsorbed into the body, with no ill-effects. 

A silent silicone implant rupture is not considered a medical emergency, but you should see your surgeon as soon as you think your breast implant has burst or you notice any symptoms of a ruptured implant.

Silicone implant supture side effects can include capsular contracture. This is caused by your body recognising the implant as a foreign body and forming hardened scar tissue around the implant. Common signs of this include tightness, pain, tenderness and changes to the appearance of the affected breast. Leaking silicone may also migrate to other parts of the body if the leak is not dealt with promptly.

There is no evidence to suggest that ruptured breast implants cause breast cancer, reproductive problems, rheumatoid arthritis or any other problems with connective tissue.

What should I do if I suspect my breast implant has ruptured?

If you have any breast implant rupture symptoms, or are worried that your breast implant may have burst, you should contact your surgeon, or the clinic where you had your breast implants inserted straight away. Ruptured breast implants will need to be removed or replaced as soon as a rupture is diagnosed. By getting the problem treated promptly, fewer complications such as scar tissue developing will occur.

All patients at Cadogan Clinic have 24/7 access to our specialist cosmetic nurses for up to two years following their surgery. This means you have comprehensive support throughout your recovery period and beyond should you have any questions or concerns.

How is a breast implant rupture treated?

Breast implant rupture is treated by removing the ruptured implant or implants and replacing them, if that is what the patient wants. 

Breast Implant Replacement Surgery can be carried out to correct complications, such as breast implant rupture, and can also be combined with other procedures, such as Mastopexy. Implants can also be replaced to change the size or shape of the breasts, depending on patient preference. Breast implants can be removed and replaced during the same procedure. 

Breast Implant Replacement Surgery is performed under general anaesthetic and lasts between one and two hours depending on the size and shape of the replacement implants, the surgical technique and whether any combination surgery is carried out at the same time.

Your surgeon will remove the original implants via incisions made on the original scar site. If silicone implants are being removed, you may also need to have a Capsulectomy to ensure all of the leaked silicone has been removed safely.

Following Breast Implant Removal Surgery, your incisions will be dressed and you will need to wear a support bra or compression garment for the duration of the recovery period in order to reduce swelling and aid your healing.

The results of the Breast Implant Removal Surgery will depend upon the size of the implant removed and the quality and quantity of the remaining breast tissue. Sometimes scar tissue will also need to be removed during this procedure. If the breast tissue has stretched from having an implant placed inside, you may wish to consider a Mastopexy to reposition the breast.

This process is slightly different for if your breast implant has moved, though this is still a correctional surgery we can perform too.

Can I have my ruptured breast implants removed by the NHS

As a breast implant rupture isn't usually considered a medical emergency the NHS would not remove ruptured breast implants. Breast Implant Removal is usually carried out in a private clinic and can be performed by a different surgeon from the one who initially inserted them.

However, if for any reason a breast implant rupture had resulted in a medical emergency, the NHS may be able to perform the procedure, if doing this would protect the patient's health. It is not the responsibility of the NHS to maintain your cosmetic results, so they would not be able to either replace the implants or perform another procedure alongside the removal of the breast implants.

Choosing surgical excellence

If you decide to undergo Breast implant replacement or removal surgery, it is important you choose a surgeon with the right training, skills and insurance to safely carry out the procedure. Only registered doctors can perform cosmetic surgery in England. A reputable cosmetic surgeon will be registered with a professional association such as the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) or the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS).

You should always book a consultation before deciding to have a breast implant replacement, breast implant removal or any other surgery. An in-depth consultation will offer you the opportunity to ask questions around the cost of your breast implant removal and replacement or about the procedure, recovery and any potential risks.

We have invited a selection of the country's very best consultants to join us at the Cadogan Clinic so that you can be sure that whatever the nature of your treatment, you will be seeing one of the top practitioners in the country.

At the Cadogan Clinic we only work with the very best surgeons and nursing staff at our specialist facilities in Chelsea, London. Our emphasis is on providing safe, high quality surgery and excellent value for money to all of our patients.


Words From Our Founder

Mr. Bryan Mayou

Breast implant rupture is a known risk of breast implants, and it's essential to address any changes promptly. While it may not always cause pain, noticing alterations in the shape, size, or feeling of the breast is significant. Seeking evaluation and treatment swiftly is crucial to prevent further damage and ensure the best possible outcome for the breast. Our priority is patient safety and well-being, and we encourage individuals to prioritise their health by promptly addressing any concerns regarding their breast implants.
Mr. Bryan Mayou

Treatments mentioned in this article




Trustpilot

Laurel Wreath for Awards

2024

Aesthetics Medicine Awards

Clinic of the Year

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2024

Aesthetics Medicine Awards

London Region’s Clinic of the Year

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2024

Aesthetics Awards

Best Clinic London

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2023

Aesthetic Awards

Highly Commended Best Clinic in London

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2021

Aesthetics Awards

Highly Commended

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2021

My Face My Body

Best Clinic Winner

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2020

My Face My Body

Best Clinic Winner

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2019

My Face My Body

Winner

Laurel Wreath for Awards

0207 901 8500

Get in touch Sign Up