According to a guidance issued by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, an estimated 50,000 British women may need to have their breast implants removed if rupture is detected in one or both implants.
The guidance was issued after an inquiry by the French Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons revealed the PIP implants contain an illegal, untested silicone gel and are abnormally susceptible to rupture.
Unlike women with the faulty PIP breast implants, women who undergo breast augmentation with the safe, FDA-approved breast implants used in the U.S. have a choice about when and how to address the unlikely event of a rupture caused by implant malfunction or breast trauma.
It is easy to detect a rupture in saline breast implants, as the implants will deflate and experience noticeable volume loss. Silicone gel breast implants, on the other hand, require an MRI to detect ruptures because the signs are not as obvious.
When ruptured breast implants do not cause problems with breast appearance or health, occasionally women will choose to forego revision surgery, however most pursue corrective surgery.
Options for corrective surgery include:
Most women opt for breast augmentation revision to replace ruptured implants and maintain the size and shape of their augmented breasts, while others choose breast explant surgery, or breast implant removal, and do not have the ruptured implants replaced.
When breast implants are removed without replacement, a breast liftmay be recommended to remove the excess skin that stretched to accommodate your previous implants. A breast lift with augmentation revision may also be recommended if your breasts have experienced ptosis, or sagging, since the initial breast augmentation surgery.
If you experience a breast implant rupture, don’t panic, as there is no immediate health risk with FDA-approved implants. Consult a board-certified plastic surgeon with significant experience performing breast revision surgery and discuss all possible options, so you and your surgeon can decide whether breast implant exchange or removal, with or without breast lift surgery, is best for you.