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It is an indisputable fact that silicone breast implants can help make a woman’s breasts larger, more attractive and youthful in appearance.

Would you believe me if I told you that, in very rare situations, they also may be able to save your life?




What if I the real answer is “yes” though “maybe” may be more precise?

Regardless of your answer, it still may not be in quite the way that you were thinking.

Implants, as an integral part of a breast augmentation or even in the process of breast reconstruction, can have a very positive impact on one’s life such as regards happiness, self-esteem, body image, etc. that just may translate into better health. And with that, very maybe, a slightly longer life.

But this is not a question of philosophy, psychosomatics or even general health.

How about if the question is posed more specifically (and, perhaps, morbidly) as: “Can your breast implants actually protect you from severe injury or even death?”

Would you believe that the answer to this is definitely yes?

If so, then you are right.

Interestingly, there are quite a few examples of this.

From personal experience, I can cite at least one patient whose silicone breast implants were believed to have saved her from both death and even severe injury. This involved a high speed head-on collision that crushed and totaled her car including breaking the steering wheel which she impacted with her augmented breasts. Aside from some soreness, she walked away from the accident without requiring for hospitalization and not even sustaining any fractured ribs.

Perhaps even more dramatically, there are a handful of case reports in the medical literature of women sustaining gunshot wounds to their chest but surviving due to the presence and serendipitous protective effects of their breast implants. The most recent report was published earlier this year by McEvenue et al in Plastic Surgery Case Studies. This details the case of a 30 year old female who was shot in the top portion of her left breast at close range by an allegedly unknown assailant while walking down the street. She actually took herself to the emergency room because of the pain she was experiencing along with the associated bleeding. Ultimately, she had surgical treatment that included removal of both silicone breast implants which were in a submuscular pocket and did extremely well.

Gun shot wound of left breast

The operative findings and ballistics were what was so amazing.

It was determined that she was shot in her left breast straight one at relatively close range with a .40 caliber bullet (which is larger and more powerful than the commonly used 9mm). Of course, directly behind here is the heart and lungs so this could easily have been a lethal shot that killed her. Instead, her 450cc smooth surfaced silicone breast implant on that left side altered the trajectory of the bullet so that it veered to her right side, penetrating the right breast and implant and ending up in the fat layer of her skin just below that breast. These findings were supported by surgical findings, examination of the implants and CT scans.

If this woman would have either had a saline implant or much smaller silicone implant, most likely she would have just become another statistic rather than one very lucky person saved by her silicone breast implant body armor!

To learn more about breast implants and breast augmentation surgery or to schedule your complimentary consultation, you can contact our office by phone at (480) 451-3000 or by email.

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


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