Are My Breast Implants Ruptured?


How Do I Know If My Breast Implants Are Ruptured?

What you need to know about breast implant ruptures, the difference
between silicone and saline, and your next steps for fixing the problem.

If you Google how to find a rupture in a breast implant, chances are you’ll come across many articles naming MRI tests as the “gold standard”. What you may not know is just how expensive MRI’s can be – and most of the time it’s not even covered by insurance. If you have received a silicone gel implant, you are aware that a rupture could occur without any symptoms – this is why the FDA suggests regular scans to keep tabs on the implant’s condition. At Regional Plastic Surgery Center, Dr. Denton Watumull is proud to offer high-resolution ultrasound (HRUS) to help detect ruptures. This process is convenient for patients looking for regular check-ups since it is costs less than MRI scanning and has an excellent record for accuracy.

What is an Implant Rupture?

denton-watumull-breast-implant-rupture-scan-augmentation-silicone-saline-top10md-blogAn implant rupture is when your implant tears or develops a hole because the outer silicone shell has been compromised. With a saline implant, a leak can form out of a failed valve. Your chance of having an implant that leaks or ruptures increases due to age and weakening over time. This is why many women will opt to undergo a secondary surgery (see breast revision surgery) to get issues repaired.

Why Does an Implant Rupture?

On average, breast implants tend to last anywhere from 10 to 20 years without
problems. In terms of an early rupture though, there can be a number of reasons a
rupture might happen. Contributing factors might include:

  • Compromised surgical equipment during the breast augmentation
  • Excessive pressure on breast during a mammogram
  • Overfilling or underfilling a silicone implant
  • Umbilical incision placement
  • Capsular Contracture
  • Closed capsulotomy
  • Physical trauma

Warning Signs of a Ruptured or Deflated Implant

denton-watumull-breast-implant-rupture-scan-augmentation-silicone-saline-top10md-blog-2Silicone Implants and saline implants exhibit different signs when compromised.

Silicone Implants

When silicone ruptures, you might not know it has happened. Silicone is a gel – it is thicker and thus releases into the body much slower than saline. You are less likely to notice changes in breast size once the rupture has occurred. Typically, it will take weeks before you notice changes in shape, size, a potential increase in pain, swelling or firmness. Because silicone cannot be absorbed by the body, it is capable of leaking into the scar tissue surrounding the implant. As a result, it can be hard to detect if the
implant is ruptured without the aid of a high-resolution ultrasound.

Saline Implants

When saline ruptures, you will notice changes in breast shape and volume immediately
or within days. Saline leaks out quickly and the breast may appear somewhat deflated.
Saline is salt water and is absorbed by the body.

I Think I Might Have a Rupture – Now What?

Plastic Surgeon Dr. Denton Watumull would like to offer the HRUS breast scanning at no
cost to their first 150 patients with silicone implants placed between 2000 and
2015*. In addition to your visit, a board-certified plastic surgeon will review your results with you.

Schedule your scan with Dallas Plastic Surgeon Dr. Denton Watumull today.

Dr. Denton Watumull is a Dallas Plastic Surgeon board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery with 9 years of residency and fellowship training at UT Southwestern Medical Center and over 25 years of practice experience. Your safety and an individualized approach are of primary importance to Dr. Watumull. For more information about breast surgery options or for more information about Dr. Watumull, please visit You can schedule a cosmetic consultation with Dr. Watumull, by calling (972)470-5000.