According to FDA research, 1% of the patients with a breast implant are significantly likely to develop localized complications and reversible side effects. One of those common complications is breast implant rupture, also commonly known as capsular contracture and deflation. 

This blog post is an overview of the signs and symptoms of breast implant rupture. There are generally two types of breast implant rupture: Silicon rupture and Saline rupture. 


Silicone Implant Rupture 

Research has shown that silicone implant rupture is the most common type of implant rupture. The study has found that the overall rate of rupture incidence is 5.3 ruptures per 100 implants per year

During the silicone implant rupture, the viscous gel slowly seeps through the torn-up shell and causes scar tissue around the ruptured area. However, the early rupture is not detectable even by the patient itself. 

The body does not absorb the silicone gel leaked from the ruptured area. However, in the case of liquid silicone, the liquid slowly flows into the body cell, especially the cells of the lungs and liver through the lymphatic system. Hence, medical attention is needed as soon as possible.

The implant-based silicone rupture occurs in three ways:


Silent Rupture

Silent rupture is the early form of rupture, which is hardly noticeable. The patient and even sometimes, the healthcare practitioner cannot feel the rupture by general physical examination. Although some noticeable symptoms include:

  • Reduction in the size of the breast
  • Change in shape of the implant.
  • Reddish swelling, burning sensation, and numbness
  • Pain around the area of rupture.


Intracapsular Rupture

In this silicone implant rupture, the leaked out silicone gel stays confined around the rupture and scar tissue area. Fortunately, the leakage does not spread in the adjacent tissues.


Extracapsular Rupture

Extracapsular rupture occurs when the gel leaks out of the capsule and seeps to the various body tissues after some time, leading to inflammation of bodily organs. A recent study indicates that women suffering from extracapsular rupture are 2.7 times more prone to develop connective tissue diseases such as polymyositis and fibromyalgia.

A study by “The Research Analysis of Instrument-Retrieval Statistics of Mentor and Allergen Manufacturers” revealed that the improper handling of surgical instruments caused the 50-60% of ruptured implant cases. Because of this negligence, it is important to choose a specialized board-certified plastic surgeon. Although modern implants are quite durable and have a possibility to stay intact within at least ten years, they cannot last a lifetime.


Saline Implant Rupture 

Unlike the Silicone gel-filled implant rupture, the saline implant rupture quickly spreads after the leakage. Luckily, it has fewer side-effects than the Silicone gel-filled implant rupture. The leaked saline is reabsorbed by the surrounding tissues’ cells, leading to rapid inflammation, pain, burning sensation, numbness, and fever. As a result, the patient seeks immediate medical assistance.

A Board-Certified plastic surgeon should perform the corrective surgery for the replacement or removal of the ruptured capsule. Also, the FDA recommends screening every three years of breast augmentation to minimize the risk of implant rupture.