Breast augmentation has been a popular procedure for many years. Though techniques and breast implant types have evolved, the ultimate outcome of this body-shaping procedure has remained consistent. Women who undergo breast augmentation typically report many uplifting benefits, such as feeling at home in their body, more in tune with their body, and more confident in their appearance. Before the surgical procedure, though, most women have questions. One of the most common questions asked about breast implants is “can they pop?”
Just imagining something like breast implants popping can feel stressful. The idea is not unlike a balloon popping; a literal burst. If this is the concept one has of breast implants, we might presume there would be a fair amount of anxiety about surgery. Let us set your mind at ease. Breast implants do not pop. There has been no instance of an implant bursting inside of the body, even in the event of a traumatic event such as a car accident. However, there have been instances of breast implants rupturing.
A breast implant rupture is different than the envisioned “pop.” Rupture is more like a leak. This complication is estimated to occur in only about 15 percent of breast augmentation cases, and it is not specific to either saline or silicone implants. Rupture can occur in either. There is also no rhyme or reason to the timing of breast implant rupture. In one study, researchers concluded that this could happen right away, after a few years, after about a decade, or it may not happen at all.
The Cause of Breast Implant Rupture
While breast implants could be damaged by physical injury, the most common cause of rupture is a condition referred to as capsular contracture. An integral aspect of breast augmentation is the creation of a capsule, a pocket in which the breast implant can sit securely. After surgery, scar tissue forms in this capsule of tissue. Usually, scarring is minor. Capsular contracture describes more extensive scarring that creates a degree of firmness around the implant. If tissue scars and becomes extraordinarily tight, it can press on the implant to the point of rupture.
If a Breast Implant Ruptures
Breast implant rupture is relatively rare. However, enough cases have occurred for surgeons to know how to correct the problem. If a breast implant ruptures, it can be removed or replaced. This can be successful with both saline and silicone implants.