What is a “silent rupture?”

Ruptured Silicone Gel Breast Implant, Silent Rupture

Ruptured Silicone Gel Breast Implant

A “silent rupture” refers to a breast implant rupture that occurs without causing any sort of symptom with the patient. When this entity occurs, the implant rupture is usually not apparent to the patient nor to the examining surgeon. Advanced imaging with an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is usually required in order to visualize and therefore confirm these silicone implant ruptures.

It is important to understand that breast implants are not lifetime devices. Breast implants rupture when the shell develops a tear or hole. Rupture can occur at any time after implantation. However, ruptures are more likely to occur the longer the implant has been implanted in the breast. Known causes of implant rupture include: damage to the implant during implantation, folding or wrinkling of the implant shell, excessive force to the chest (i.e. the technique of  ‘closed capsulotomy‘…which is contraindicated), trauma (i.e. direct blunt trauma such as from a seat belt during an automobile accident), compression during mammography, and severe capsular contracture. Breast implants may also simply wear out over time.

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