It’s only natural to have some concerns over a potential leak or rupture after breast augmentation. Although both of these events are actually pretty rare (implants carry just a 1 percent failure rate per year), it’s a good idea to know to recognize a breach in your breast implants, and what your next step should be if you suspect a problem.
Recognizing the Telltale Signs
Depending on whether you have saline or silicone implants, the warning signs of a leak or rupture may be very different.
- Saline implants normally visibly and quickly deflate, usually over the course of just a few hours. The saline liquid rapidly leaks out, and is absorbed into the bloodstream. The affected breast typically becomes noticeably smaller, or may change shape and take on a deflated appearance.
- Silicone implants are filled with a thick gel that’s designed to stay in place even if the outer shell is damaged. Additionally, the body forms a capsule of scar tissue around the implant, so if any silicone were to leave the shell, it would still be contained. In the event of a leak, the breast doesn’t usually change in appearance and there may not be any noticeable symptoms. For this reason, a leak in a silicone implant is often called a “silent rupture.”
If you do think that a leak or rupture is a possibility, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with your surgeon as soon as possible for proper diagnosis and implant replacement if needed.