How Can I Tell if my Silicone Implant Has Ruptured?

I got silicone implants six months ago. 5 days ago my friend threw me over his shoulder, as a fireman would, and I remember my left breast smashing so hard into his back that I immediately feared it had just ruptured. I can't really say I have any symptoms of leakage but the underneath of my breast, where I can feel the implant, feels a bit lumpy and not as smooth as the right, almost as if it was folding over inside. Could my doctor palpate enough to tell if this implant has now busted?

Doctor Answers 10

Detecting Ruptured Gel Implant

While sometime apparent on physical examination, diagnosis of a ruptured gel breast implant is best accomplished with an MRI.  

I suggest that you seek a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who will examine you, order an MRI,  and discuss treatment should the breast implant prove to ruptured.

New York Plastic Surgeon

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Possible Implant Rupture

Newer silicone implants are very difficult to rupture, but I can understand your concerns and fears.  Your surgeon will likely not be able to feel if the implant is ruptured.  He/she can order the special MRI scan that could detect a rupture.  It is consider the best method of detection other than surgically removing the implant and looking at it.  Don't panic.  Even if your implant is broken there is no danger to your health.  Remain calm and optimistic until you find out what has happened.  You may well be surprised to find that your implant is still intact.

Lori H. Saltz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Concern for possible silicone gel implant rupture

Silicone gel implants are made extremely well and they can take quite a bit of force (more than many would think).  Usually if there is an acute rupture of the implant, the capsule will tend to harden and contract but you probably would not see that yet at 5 days. I would agree that you need to see a board certified plastic surgeon, they would need to examine you, and an MRI would be definitive.  If you elected to "watch it" and the breast began to harden over the next few months then that would be fairly indicative of a ruptured gel implant that may need to be replaced.  I hope this helps!


James F. Boynton, M.D., F.A.C.S.


Silicone Gel Implant Rupture?

I'm sorry to hear about your situation;  hopefully you did not sustain significant enough “trauma” to rupture the rather resilient silicone gel implant.

Unfortunately, physical examination is not  always reliable  in detecting a silicone gel implant rupture. Nevertheless it would be good for you to see your plastic surgeon and have him/her order an MRI study if either one of you remain concerned.

I hope this helps.

Silicone implant rupture

Typically there are no findings on an examination. You will need to get an MRI to see if the implant is ruptured. You should call your surgeon to get this arranged is you fear that it is.

See your plastic surgeon and consider a MRI to detect implant rupture.

Thank you for your question. The fact that your implant has changed shape or feels different after trauma suggest the possibility of implant rupture. It is important to see your plastic surgeon and possibly have a MRI exam.

Implants and rupture

While it is unlikely your implant ruptured from that  maneuver, it is a good idea to check it out. You should go for an exam with your doctor.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Silicone implant rupture detection


The new silicone implants are difficult to rupture thanks to a thicker shell and cohesive (gummy bear) silicone that is semi-solid.  An MRI can help determine if an implant rupture has occured.  Examination alone will not likely be able to definitively determine if a rupture has occured.  Another way to determine if rupture is present is to have your plastic surgeon to open up a small portion of the incision under local and in a sterile fashion and to see if silicone can be detected.  This is also becoming a less viable method since the new silicone is semi-solid.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

Detecting A Ruptured Silicone Implant

Unfortunately physical exam is not very reliable in detecting a possible ruptured gel/silicone implant. Long standing rupture could potentially render the breast harder to the touch but that is not always accurate either. The best solution is seeing a board certified plastic surgeon and obtaining an MRI scan. 

Shahin Fazilat, MD
Mountain View Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Silicone Breast Implants and Detection of Rupture


It can be very difficult to tell if a silicone breast implant has ruptured based on physical exam alone.

1.  MRI to Detect Silicone Implant Rupture-  the gold-standard for detecting a silicone breast implant rupture is an MRI.  According to FDA recommendations, MRIs should be performed for standard silicone breast implant monitoring 3 years after placement, and then every other year there after.

2.  Physical Exam Findings of Silicone Implant Rupture-  there are few findings on physical exam that suggest recent silicone implant rupture.  Unlike saline implant rupture, there is not a significant decrease in size when a silicone implant has ruptured.  However, over time, a ruptured silicone implant may cause the breast to feel harder or softer, change shape, or you may experience a change in sensation or burning pain over the affected breast.

If you are worried, it is best to be examined by your plastic surgeon who will likely suggest watchful waiting or possibly an MRI if you or your surgeon is particularly concerned.

Jaime Perez, M.D.

Breast Implant Specialist in Tampa, Florida

Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa, Florida

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 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.