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Diagnosis Of Ruptured Breast Implant

The diagnosis of ruptured implants is very different between saline and silicone implants. Diagnosis of a ruptured saline implant is made clinically by simply examining the woman’s breast, determining if the size is smaller and there’s asymmetry. So it’s clinical diagnosis. You do not require any type of testing to determine an obvious rupture of a saline saltwater implant.

Diagnosing silicone implants can be more tricky, and those are very difficult to determine unless you do an MRI. Some women will do an ultrasound and a mammogram, and those are really not sensitive and/or specific for rupture of silicone gel. The MRI’s considered the gold standard for silicone diagnosis of rupture, and it’s what we refer to as a linguine sign on the MRI that shows the actual crack in the shell of the implant and the rupture of a silicone gel implant.

When you’re determining whether your implants are ruptured, on silicone again, it’s more of a higher maintenance product, and we require an MRI. The FDA usually requires an MRI two years after your original silicone implant surgery, and then every three years subsequently to determine the integrity of the shell of the implant. Saline implants, again, there’s no testing usually required because it’s an obvious clinical diagnosis just on examination.

Now, women ask, “What’s the downsize of leaving a ruptured implant in the body?” I like to remove it within 30 days. The problem is, if it’s silicone and it’s been ruptured for a long time, the older silicone gel implants can go from intracapsular to extracapsular and literally leak throughout the body and into lymphatic tissues. So silicone ruptures should be taken care of as soon as possible. Saline ruptures, it’s saltwater so there’s nothing really in there that’s going to hurt you. It’s a saline saltwater solution. However, the pocket will scar up, and it will close upon the implant and shrink and more scar tissue can form, so I like to get ruptured saline implants out within 30 days as well.

For more information regarding ruptured breast implants view this page.