What to do if I suspect a breast implant has burst?

breast implant riskCosmetic surgery procedures in the UK are regulated and carried out to the highest possible standard; however, no operation is entirely risk-free. At your consultation and throughout your cosmetic surgery journey, the risks will be fully explained so that you hold all of the information regarding the pros and cons of each operation. In the case of breast implant risk, it is very rare that one ruptures and bursts, yet as they are man-made components, this is a risk. So, what should you do if you believe a breast implant is leaking?

Signs to look out for

Breast implants are typically made from one of two materials: silicone or saline. Silicone is a rubbery substance that is used widely in the manufacture of household products as well as in cosmetic surgery. It is a hardy material, so despite being available as a soft substance, it is hard wearing and malleable. Saline is a liquid which is comprised of salt and water.

One of the clearest indicators that your breast implant may be leaking is if one of your breasts changes size/shape. This is not a ‘normal’ thing to expect from implants, so a change would suggest that something has gone wrong and one of the implants is no longer holding as much silicone or saline as the other.

If a silicone implant leaks then this tends to happen slowly so any changes are seen more gradually. This is because the material inside the implant is thicker and therefore will take longer to leak out. In some instances, it can be years before so much silicone has leaked that it becomes noticeable. Saline on the other hand has the same properties as tap water, so if a leak happens then you’ll know about it fast. There will be a rapid deflation of the breast where the leak has occurred. As saline is purely a mix of salt and water, this is absorbed by the body and will cause you no harm.

What to do if you suspect a problem with your breast implants

If you suspect this possible breast implant risk then it is important to contact your cosmetic surgeon quickly so that this can be assessed. If you are correct in your diagnosis, a replacement implant will be required, so you will need to be booked in for a follow-up procedure.

As with any medical concerns, it is always better to be safe rather than sorry. If you suspect something isn’t right then don’t hesitate to get an expert opinion sooner rather than later. The sooner the problem is caught, the easier it is to fix.