Breast Revision Surgery for Ruptured Breast Implants

Breast revision surgery following a breast augmentation can be considered to be an expected eventuality if given a long enough time. The reason for this is that breast implants, whether silicone or saline, are not permanent in nature – at some point in time they will lose their integrity (intactness) and need to be replaced or removed. Typically, saline implants don’t last nearly as long as their silicone counterparts, with some deflating even in the first year after surgery (though this is somewhat uncommon). Many do last 10 or more years with some surpassing 20 years.

Silicone breast implants, in contrast, do last considerably longer than the saline ones. I have seen several patients with earlier generation implants (that were less durable in nature) whose implants remained intact for over 30 to 35 years after their breast augmentation. Given the ensuing advancements in the technology, information and manufacturing processes, the silicone implants available today should maintain their integrity significantly longer on average than previous ones.

The following patient, who was in her mid 60’s, saw me in consultation for treatment of her recently diagnosed ruptured silicone breast implants which had been placed 24 years previously for a breast enlargement (Fig. A, C, and E – left column). She also had a substantial deformity of her left breast that was related to fluid accumulation rather than directly to the silicone.

A.) Rupture silicone breast implants

B.) After breast revision surgery – frontal view

C.) Ruptured silicone breast implants

D.) After breast revision surgery – side view

E.) Ruptured silicone breast implants

F.) After breast revision surgery – oblique view

A majority of women with non-intact silicone breast implants will not experience noticeable changes in appearance as this patient did. For them, the diagnosis is often made incidentally from a routine mammogram or ultrasound and sometimes confirmed with an MRI.

During her surgery, I removed her ruptured breast implants (and the associated free silicone) which had been placed above the muscle. Capsulectomies, which are the removal of the capsules (scar tissue) that surrounds the implants, were also performed.

She later underwent a secondary breast augmentation using ultra-high profile silicone breast implants placed in a submuscular pocket (Fig. B, D and F – right column). She has been quite thrilled with her outcome.

Maybe these new ones will provide her another good 40 years. Wouldn’t that be something: partially sexy at … 105!!

For more information on breast revision surgery, breast augmentation, breast implants or for any other plastic surgery procedure that I perform, please call my office at 480-451-3000. At the same time, you can also schedule a complimentary consultation with me.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

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