Breast implants, like any other medical device, can fail. They are not guaranteed to last a lifetime, and future surgery may be required to replace one or both implants.
When an implant ruptures, the gel material is usually contained within the scar tissue/capsule surrounding the implant (intracapsular rupture).
Rupture can occur as a result of an injury, from no apparent cause or during mammography. Rupture of a silicone breast implant is most often undetected (silent rupture). It is possible to damage an implant at the time of surgery.
In some cases, the gel may escape beyond the capsule layer and go into the breast tissue itself (extracapsular rupture and gel migration) or to more distant locations. Migrated silicone gel may be difficult or even impossible to remove. Free or migrated silicone is not dangerous. In fact, silicone is in lots of other places in the body and poses no increased health risk.
Treating Ruptured Implants
It is impossible to predict how your body will respond in the incidence of a rupture, however, it is not an emergency.
Damaged or broken implants cannot be repaired. They must be replaced or removed.
An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is advised to evaluate the possibility of implant rupture, yet it may not be 100% accurate in diagnosing implant integrity. It is important to contact your surgeon if you suspect a rupture so that they can investigate and confirm.
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