Can a saline breast implant be ruptured or somehow distorted from having a mammogram?

I have saline breast implants. After I got my mammogram this past December (2013) I have been having some on & off pain in my left breast. I remember when the technician was doing the mammogram she was really having a hard time with my left breast, it was actually hurting. I have also noticed that when I move a certain way I can see the closure on the implant more than before. I lived in California at the time of my surgery therefore I don't have a plastic surgeon here in Atlanta. Crystal O'Connell

Doctor Answers (9)

Implant distortion

+1
You did  not mention whether your implants were above or below your chest muscle.  Implants above the chest muscle are more prone to forming capsular contractures (scar tissue capsules that can form around the implant making it firm or distorting the way the breast looks) than implants below the chest muscle.  This may also make mammograms more difficult to perform and interpret.  It is possible that your implant technician caused a tear in the capsule surrounding your implant which could lead to some discomfort as well as distortion of the implant/breast.  If you had a rupture in your saline implant, it would have lost volume quickly and you would notice a size difference between your breasts within a matter of days.  You might want to check with a board-certified plastic surgeon who can examine you in person and give you better insight about what might be going on.


Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Implant

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Your mammogram technician my well have moved or rotated your implant so that the valve or closure of the implant may have been rotated around so that you can feel it. i recommend that you consult a local  board certified plastic surgeon.  The surgeon nay well be able to manipulate the implant so that the valve is once again in the proper position.

John M. Griffin, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Can saline breast implant be ruptured during mammogram?

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It is possible to rupture a saline breast implant during a mammogram however you would notice a definite  rapid decrease in size of the implant.

Since you're experiencing pain I am assuming that the implant size is unchanged.  If this is the case the most likely possibility is that the mammogram caused a small tear in the breast implant capsule which should heal.

Please consult a local plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  The Smart Beauty Guide is a good place to start.

Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

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Damaged implant after mammogram?

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I'm sorry that you're having difficulty with your breast implant after mammogram. Sometimes the implant can be damaged during a mammogram if the technician is unaware or not skillful. It also may be that the implant may have had some failure that is unrelated to your mammogram. I would seek out board certified plastic surgeons in the metro Atlanta area. There are several excellent surgeons in the city.

Earl Stephenson, Jr., MD, DDS
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
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Pain of the breast following a mammogram

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It would be unlikely for a mammogram to harm or distort a normal implant.  There is no such thing as a slow leak.  A pin hole leak in the implant will cause all of the fluid to leak out over a 3 -6 week period.  If you have a capsusular contracture this may account for your pain.  No way to know without an examination.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
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Pain in breast after mammogram with implants

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It is hard to say exactly what's going on with that examination. I was drawn carriage you to see a plastic surgeon so he or she can examine you.  It is unlikely that you ruptured the implant because it would likely have gone flat by now.  

Gaurav Bharti, MD
Johnson City Plastic Surgeon
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Implant Leaking

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If you had developed a leak from a mammogram seven or eight months ago, your breast volume would be significantly smaller at this point, so I don't think your pain is related to rupture. Common causes of your pain include capsular contracture, breast cysts, or chest wall inflammation. I would recommend that you see a plastic surgeon in your area for evaluation.

Donald Griffin, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
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Can a saline breast implant be ruptured or distorted from a mammogram?

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It is possible for a saline or silicone implant to rupture during a mammogram. However, implant shells do experience wear with everyday activities. A new implant can be aggressively manipulated without rupture. Sometimes an implant can be leaking and then rupture during the mammogram. 
It is also possible to tear or stretch the periprosthetic capsule which may cause the breast to look differently after a mammogram.

Steven J. Smith, MD
Knoxville Plastic Surgeon
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Ruptured implant

+1
Sorry to hear you are having difficulties. It is a possibility that any type of implant can rupture...especially a saline implant. Pain or hardness accompanied by deflation is commonly a compromise of the shell in which saline leaks out. 

Firmness can be a sign of a capsule which is the normal scar that builds around an implant but can be of varying severity. The best thing to do is schedule an exam with a board certified plastic surgeon. A well trained plastic surgeon will be able to help decipher the difference. I routinely see both deflated implants within capsules and capsular contracture that needs revision. 

Bahair Ghazi, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.