Ruptured Becker Breast Implants
Becker implants are double lumen adjustable devices that combine the advantages of both saline and silicone gel. The outer chamber of the implant contains silicone gel and an inner lumen to which saline can be added, which allows for precise adjustments in implant size. The combination of fillers and the dual chamber approach produce enhanced projection without increasing the firmness of the breasts. Typically, these implants are used during breast reconstruction procedures as a “permanent tissue expander” because they permit gradual and temporary overinflation to create the necessary breast pocket. While rarely encountered, some patients with Becker implants do experience implant rupture and must undergo surgical correction.
Becker implants have a low rate of complications, but they can still rupture under the following circumstances:
- Excessive force or trauma to the breasts
- Injury or blow to the chest
- Gradual degradation of the implant shell
- Surgical damage
- Mechanical pressure, as from a mammogram
Symptoms of Ruptured Becker Implants
Unless a patient develops severe side effects after an implant rupture, implant failure can go unnoticed for some time. Even if there seems to be no cause for concern, patients with Becker or other silicone implants are advised to schedule MRI appointments every couple of years to assess the condition of their breasts. Patients should contact a board-certified plastic surgeon if they experience any of the following symptoms:
- Visible breast deformity
- Breasts that are firm to the touch
- Pain or tenderness
- Redness in the breasts or surrounding areas
Diagnosis of Becker Implant Rupture
While saline is used in Becker implants, implant failure does not usually result in visible deflation. Although many imaging scans are available and can detect some breast abnormalities, MRI is the ideal method for diagnosing Becker implant rupture. It is crucial for patients to schedule an appointment with a board-certified plastic surgeon if they suspect their implants have ruptured or caused any complications.
Becker implants must be removed or replaced as soon as a rupture has been confirmed. Depending on the condition of the patient and her cosmetic objectives, the implants can be removed or replaced with new implants. In some cases, capsulectomy or capsulotomy must also be performed if the capsule has been compromised.