23 October 2018

What should I do if my implant tears or develops a hole?

Tearing, or rupture, is a very common complication in breast implants. The life of an implant can vary considerably, depending on when it was made, or if it has suffered an accidental blow.

What are the symptoms of a ruptured breast implant?

The symptoms of a torn silicone breast implant are:

  • Pain or swelling
  • Changes in the breast size or shape
  • Lumps
  • Breast hardening
  • Asymmetry between the two breasts

It’s important to let your plastic surgeon know if you think your implant might have torn or developed a hole. An imaging test (MRI, ultrasound…) will be performed to confirm or rule out the rupture.

A ruptured silicone breast can go unnoticed, as the silicone tends to get trapped in the surrounding tissue. This is known as a silent rupture.

How are ruptured breast implants treated?

The therapy may vary, depending on the symptoms. There are two types of treatment for a silent implant rupture – that is, when there are no signs or symptoms. The first option is conservative management, in which patients wait for symptoms to appear. The second option is to replace the ruptured implant immediately. It’s important that your doctor explains the pros and cons of each option in full detail.
If your ruptured silicone implant present symptoms, it’s best to have it removed surgically and replaced with a new one. In conclusion: if you suspect your implant might be ruptured, it’s very important to consult your plastic surgeon and make an appointment as soon as possible. Although there’s no real risk of a serious health problem, the sooner the rupture is confirmed and treatment is performed (either replacement or complete removal) the less likely it is to suffer capsule contraction, implant extrusion, gel migration or bulging.