August 24, 2007, Newsletter Issue #32: Detecting Breast Implant Deflation

Tip of the Week

Detecting breast implant deflation will depend on the type of implants the patient has. Detecting breast implant deflation in saline implants is rather simple. These implants are filled with a saline solution which is rather thin and will leak through ruptures in the shell rather quickly. The patient will likely notice a rapid decrease in the size of the breast as the filler material exits the shell and is absorbed into the body. The solution in these implants is very similar to other bodily fluids and is typically absorbed and excreted without complications. However, once breast implant deflation is detected, the shell should be removed and, if desired, replaced.

Implant deflation in silicone breast implants can be significantly more difficult to detect because the gel used to fill these implants is much thicker than saline. Consequently, the gel will not leak out of the shell rapidly upon rupture. When a silicone breast implant ruptures, many women will not be aware of the rupture at all. Others may experience symptoms such as a change in the size or appearance of the breast, tenderness around the breast, tingling, swelling or numbness. Those who have silicone breast implants and experience these symptoms should consult their surgeon. It is recommended that patients with silicone implants be examined by the surgeon annually to determine whether or not the implants are intact and functioning properly and to undergo an MRI after three years to examine the implant for minute ruptures.

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