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Breast Implant Leak or Rupture Symptoms

breast implant leaksOne of the risks of having breast implants is understanding that at some point over their life span, they may rupture or leak.  Spontaneous ruptures are extremely rare; it usually takes some sort of adverse event or trauma to the breast to cause a problem.  If for some reason you feel like you may have a leak understandably, it can be a daunting and frightening feeling.  Here are some steps you can take to start the process of getting some help:

First, it’s important to examine your breasts for the signs of a leak.  A saline implant will noticeably deflate (like a flat tire); a silicone gel implant may not show any noticeable signs of change.  Try to remember if anything occurred that may have caused trauma to the breast.

Call your surgeon to make an appointment.  If you no longer have contact with your implanting physician, find a reputable plastic surgeon that specializes in implants.  If you have your implant records, that is helpful too.

The visit to your surgeon’s office will be the first step in designing your treatment plan.  The implant manufacturers offer lifetime warranties on their implants, meaning you should be eligible for a replacement if you have a deflation.  Depending on the type of implant and the year of implantation, you may also be eligible for some financial assistance to help pay for the replacement surgery.  Keep in mind, your surgeon may not be able to tell if your breast implant is ruptured just by examination (mainly in the case of silicone gel implants).  Usually, he or she will refer you for an MRI to determine if the implant is ruptured or not.

The most important thing to remember is to not panic!  Deflated and leaking implants can be replaced safely.  If you have pain or other symptoms, make sure to call your family physician as well.

Patient Care Coordinator