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Can Vigorous Activity Lead to an Increased Risk of Saline Implant Rupture?

I've come across articles and Q&A's forums which cited that one of the risks of saline breast implants is rupture or leakage attributed to pressure or excessive force being placed on the chest, mammography or even vigorous love making. Is this true? Has anyone experienced this?

Doctor Answers (20)

Implants are Durable, Not Indestructible

+2

Saline and silicone implants are remarkably durable, but not indestructable.

Capsule contracture can create folds in an implant surface that can lead to weakening of the shell.  When the weakened shell is subjected to trauma (mammography, chest injury), the weak area can give way and the implant leaks/deflates.

Motion is good for the implants durability because motion prevents capsule contracture and folds. That seems to be one of the reasons that implants under the muscle have a lower rate of capsule contracture.

By all means continue your vigorous exercise and lovemaking: it's good for your implants (and you)!

Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Breast implant rupture

+2

Activity can't rupture a breast implant. In fact, if you were left in the exam room alone with a sample breast implant you wouldn't be physically capable of rupturing it since they are made so incredibly resistant. If you puncture it with a needle, of course it will leak but otherwise you have nothing to really worry about it this regard.

Best Wishes,

DoctorMeade

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

I have not encountered this

+2

The implants are very durable and your normal life activities shouldn't change by having them. The only time I was involved in a case where there was a suspicion about traumatic implant rupture was after a car accident. However, the implant didn't rupture for 6 months so it wasn't really possible to say it was from the accident.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Implants are not Indestructible, but...

+2

It is very unlikely that normal daily activities, or even vigorous exercise or sexual activities, can cause rupture or leakage of either saline or silicone breast implants. I have seen patients who have recently been involved in automobile accidents where there is an obvious breast injury from the seat-belt shoulder strap, who have developed encapsulation and/or implant rupture as a consequence. Implant rupture is certainly a well-known risk of mammography, however it is questionable whether mammography causes the rupture of silicone implants, rather than diagnosing a previously "silent" rupture that the patient was unaware of.

Saline or silicone implant rupture is most often attributable to the age of the implant (increasing risk as the implant age increases), and leakage of saline implants generally involves failure of the valve through which the saline is introduced into the implant. There is rarely a "catastrophic" rupture of a saline implant, with total deflation all at once. Rather, the implant usually develops a pin-hole leak which loses fluid gradually from the implant, with the "slow leak" causing a gradual deflation which can become complete over time. Rupture of a silicone implant, on the other hand, does not cause a loss of volume of the breast, but may cause the shape or feel of the breast to change, often becoming softer or "mushier".

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Implant life-time warranty

+1

Breast augmentation does not cause any physical or activity limitations. Implant corporations such as, Mentor, Allergan, Inamed, or Natrelle offer life-time warrantys on the implants. If in case of a malfunction, defect, or rupture, the corporation gives you a certain amount to cover most of the costs of the anesthesiologist and the surgery center fees. I definitely recommend consulting with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss the best and safest possible options for you. However, unless the implant is actually punctured, there should not be any type of physical or excessive amount of pressure to cause the implant to rupture. Good luck and take care!

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 626 reviews

Implant rupture

+1

Vigorous activity is unlikely to rupture implants.  This is a common concern, though.  The most frequent cause of rupture is fold fatigue.  If you have an implant that is chronically folded on a corner or ripple, the material is weakened until rupture.  Capsular contracture contributes to this.  There is little need to modify your daily activities following breast augmentation.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Rupture of a breast implant after exercise

+1

Breast implants are manufactured medical devices and have an intrinsic rupture capacity.  Vigorous exercise will not place them at higher risk of rupture, but blunt trauma and the presence of capsular contracture may increase the risk. 

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Breast implant rupture

+1

Both saline and silicone implant are made of very strong materials.  The outer shells are generally very resistant to rupture.  Rarely, there can be a manufacturing defect that leads to an early rupture.  Usually, a rupture occurs when the shell of the implant weakens over time.  This weakening occurs as folds in the implant shell develop.  These folds weaken the shell by affecting the structure of the shell and causing a loss of strength of the material.  Rarely, is a vigorous activity solely responsible for an implant rupture.  It may contribute to a rupture in an older implant that has developed a weakened shell over time.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Implant Failure

+1

Prosthetic Breast Implants are soft and feel natural because they are made of pliable materials (silicone shells) filled with isotonic saline solution (salt water). These shells are similar to paperclips, in that, over time, the folds produced by their inherent "naturalness" bend back and forth and will eventual crack and break....breaking the shell allows the saline/salt water to leak into the surrounding tissues and deflates. 

It not typical for "vigorous" activity, such as you spoke of, to cause a rupture, but reports do exist of occurrences such as this and even as seemingly innocent as routine mammograms (operator dependent!). My sense is that the longer your saline implants have been in your body, bending back and forth at the folds like a paperclip, the higher likelihood that they may rupture and the small the magnitude of  the "event" maybe.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Saline implants dont rupture because of sex.

+1

Saline implants don't rupture because of sex, but they may rupture during sex -- or with any other activity for that matter.  The main reason for rupture of silicon implants is because of fatigue of the shell caused by small folds that rub together thousands of times a day during normal activity.  Those areas eventually become weak and rupture.  They may rupture while you're sleeping, or skiing, or driving, or snorkeling etc etc

Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 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.

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