Skip to main content

Diagnosing Implant Problems

Posted June 27, 2018 in Implant Problems

Most women who receive breast implants never have an ounce of problems with them and can enjoy the benefits of their enhanced breasts for years and years. Unfortunately, a small number of women do experience implant-related complications that need to be surgically addressed. While no one wants to be faced with implant trouble, it is comforting to know that these complications are a simple fix and not something you need to worry about.

Hands Holding Breast Silicone Implant

Capsular Contracture

A layer of scar tissue forms around any foreign object inserted into the body. This scar tissue is generally not a problem; however, in a small percentage of patients, the scar tissue begins to “squeeze” the implant. This constricting movement is known as capsular contracture. Capsular contracture not only results in pain and discomfort but also in a misshapen and hard breast. While there is an ongoing debate about which implant material (silicone or saline) is more prone to capsular contracture, studies have proven that this condition can result from either silicone or saline implants.

What Are the Symptoms?

The first symptom of capsular contracture is a change in the shape of the breasts. As capsular contracture progresses, your implants will begin to feel firm or tight, and you may eventually experience pain when any pressure is applied to them.

How Can This Be Fixed?

Capsular contracture is fixed through surgery. Dr. Rey will remove your implant, release the constricting scar tissue, and insert a new implant. This secondary surgery can usually be performed using the same incisions as your initial surgery and, therefore, will create no further scarring.

Implant Rupture

Breast implants are long lasting and reliable. However, they are not always indestructible, and implant rupture is possible with both silicone and saline implants. Just as the name implies, implant rupture occurs when the implant shell breaks open and the inside of the implant leaks into the body. While this sounds scary, implant ruptures are easily fixed and do not present any threat to your health.

What Are the Symptoms?

Implant rupture is easier to identify with saline implants; since saline implants are filled with a sterile saline solution, if the shell ruptures and the saline comes out, your breast will noticeably “deflate.” It’s not as easy to identify a silicone implant rupture because the silicone material often stays in place. You may only realize that your silicone implant has ruptured after an MRI has been done on your breasts. Silicone ruptures can result in pain or swelling of the breasts, a change in the breast shape or texture, and/or unexplained “lumps” in the breast.

How Can This Be Fixed?

Much like capsular contracture, implant ruptures can only be fixed surgically. Dr. Rey will go in and make sure that all ruptured material is removed and that the breast pocket is cleaned before inserting a new implant.

If you have experienced any problems with your breast implants, contact Dr. Rey right away at 310-205-3107.