Unfortunately, breast implants do not last forever; they are not considered “lifetime devices”. Surveillance depends on the type of implant used for your breast augmentation. Saline (salt water) implants typically require annual breast exams by your Plastic Surgeon or GYN/Primary Care Doctor, as these implants typically leak or rupture in an obvious fashion. There is usually a sudden loss of volume leading to an asymmetry in the breasts.
On the other hand, silicone gel breast implants will typically leak in a silent fashion. Physical breast exam is usually unreliable, and the patient or surgeon may not recognize any change in the breasts. Therefore, the FDA and implant manufactures recommend MRI surveillance of silicone gel breast implants used for augmentation, beginning 3 years after your initial operation, and then every other year following for the life of the implant.
What should you do if the implants have ruptured? Fortunately, there is no health hazard associated with either saline or silicone implant rupture. However, once a rupture has been diagnosed, your Plastic Surgeon will likely recommend either removal or replacement of your breast implants.
You may replace your current implant with an implant of similar fill or alternative fill (silicone for saline). If you choose to remove your implants only, there likely will be some deflated (droopy) appearance of your breasts as changes associated with your initial augmentation are not necessarily reversible.
Is breast implant rupture an emergency? No, but management of the breast implant is time sensitive. Therefore, earlier diagnosis and treatment makes for better outcomes.
Looking for a personalized approach for your Tampa Breast Augmentation Consultation? Contact a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon like Dr. Isidoros Moraitis at 727-773-9796, who offers over a decade of experience and skill with Breast Augmentation Surgery.