Signs of Leaking Breast Implants
- Asked by ktrees in swansea
- 5 years ago
I've had my breast implants for about 4 years. When I lie down my implants sometimes feel like a misshapen, hard lump. I can also feel the implants and some soreness. Are these signs my breast implants are leaking? How can I tell?
Hi ktrees. You could be feeling scar tissue around your implants, or you could be feeling other changes in your breasts. The only way to know for sure is to see your doctor and have him or her examine your breasts. Ideally, you should have some sort of imaging done to rule out abnormalities in your breast tissue and determine if you have problems related to your implants. In either case, you'll feel better when you know what's going on and what options you have for addressing it. Good luck, and take care.
Signs of Leaking Breast Implants
I am assuming you have silicone gel implants because with saline implants your breast would likely be much smaller. With silicone implants its difficult to tell if your implants are ruptured with a simple physical exam. A misshapen breast or mass may be an early sign of leakage. I suggest you see your plastic surgeon, who will likely order an MRI or Ultrasound of your breast to rule out rupture.
Possibly leaking implants
You did not say if they were saline or silicone, but if they were saline, I would say they are not leaking by your description. It may be just that you have hard capsules from capsular contracture, but I think you better get examined by your surgeon.
Recent Breast Implants Reviews
Breast Implants Photos
Saline implant leaks are easier to detect than silicone gel leaks. A saline implant will become obviously smaller with increased palpability. A gel implant leak may cause a change in size, firmness or shape.
Broken, Ruptured or Leaking Breast Implants
If you have saline implants then a ruptured implant and will deflate and this is immediately noticeable. However, in the case of cohesive silicone gel implants if an implant ruptures or breaks there may be no noticeable effects. Sometimes, a small calcium deposit or lump can form at the spot of the rupture which you might feel as a new bump in your breast.
You describe that your implants feel firm and misshapen, and while this can result from a ruptured implant, it could also represent a capsular contracture, which is scar tissue forming around the implant. Regardless, what you describe is concerning and it is important that you see your plastic surgeon for reevaluation.
Breast Implant leak
A leak in saline implants is identified by a ‘flat tire’ effect and a reduction in bra cup size. Leakage of a gel filled implant is much more difficult or impossible to detect on physical exam- and is so termed a “silent rupture”. Gel implant leakage is identified on an MRI study as a classic “linguine sign”, so screening MRI studies are recommended starting 3 years then every 2 years after gel implant placement. If it is broke, the recommendation is to “fix it”.
I assume you have saline implants. It sounds like you may have issues with capsular contracture and/or rupture. An MRI would diagnose the problem.
Signs of a leaking gel implant
You did not mention why you believe that your implant is leaking. With the new form of breast implants produced after 2009 there is little chance of the implant gel material migrating since the gel is more cohesive than it was prior to this time. Therefore it may be difficult to tell if it is ruptured since the implant tends to keep its original shape. The problem is non an emergency. You would need some type of diagnostic study to determine if it was actually ruptured such as a mammogram, MRI or ultrasound.
I never like the word leak with regard to today's silicone gel implants; saline is another matter
The silicone gel in all of the gel filled implants on the market today, at least those sold in the last 15 - 20 years, is essentially a solid. Some are softer than others, but essentially all of them feel and behave much like a marshmallow inside. Thus, the word "leak" in the strictest sense does not apply. Mechanically, the gel inside these implants won't run like a liquid, it won't travel to other parts of your body, and even if the outer shell of the implant ruptures, it is very likely that it won't even make it out of the implant. In the event that it does get out of the implant shell, unless the scar capsule around the implant is ruptured somehow, it won't get out of that. On the other hand, saline implants will leak even though a small crack or pinhole, and they will deflate, usually totally. Having said that, it sounds more like you have capsule contracture, which is a tightening and thickening of the scar capsule. This can certainly happen if a silicone gel implant is ruptured, but it also happens when the implants are intact. The best thing to do is to see your surgeon and have him evaluate the situation. If you decide that the best course is to remove the capsule, then I would not suggest any studies like MRI, because they won't change your plan. You are going to inspect the implant directly and remove it if it is damaged anyhow. On the other hand, if you have contracture, and you are contemplating doing nothing about it but want to know if your implant is ruptured, then an MRI may be of some value. This is because if you find a suspicion of rupture on MRI, it may help you change your mind to undergo surgery, whereas if the implant is intact on MRI you may be more comfortable observing. I hope this helps, good luck.
Leaking Breast Implants Signs & Symptoms
Your symptoms are consistent with capsular contracture, which is a result of inflammation around the implant. If your implants are silicone gel, this could be a sign of a leak. However, there are other reasons for capsular contracture, and the cause is often unknown. I would consult with your plastic surgeon, and an MRI scan may be needed to look for leakage. However, if the symptoms are only intermittent, it may not be serious. Your plastic surgeon can give you the best advice after an examination.
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.