Breast Implant "Swallowed" by Body During Pilates

MakenzieR on 16 Dec 2011 at 12:00pm

“Woman's breast implant 'swallowed' by her body during pilates” says FOX News.  “The woman [59], a cancer survivor, had undergone a double mastectomy and had then gotten breast implants. Her ribs had also been weakened after a heart operation.” 

Freaking out yet?  Not surprising if you have, want, or know someone with breast implants.  Even if they don't do Pilates!

What FOX doesn’t really answer is: Could this happen again?

“This news story conveys two messages,” says Dr. Peter Aldea, who has performed breast augmentation for over 15 years.  “One, the almost anything, however unlikely, can happen. And two, that it makes no sense whatsoever.

breast implant swallowed by body“In all my professional career in plastic surgery I have never seen, heard or read of such a complication involving breast implants. It just does not happen and you are more likely to be hit by lightning than have this happen to you.”

He’s not alone -- so far all the doctors that have responded to this story agree it’s a freak occurrence because of her surgery.

And that’s exactly what the New England Journal of Medicine, FOX’s resource, reports.  The space between two of her ribs (intercostal space) was unstable due to previous heart valve surgery.  The Valsalva move she performed pushed the implant through the scar tissue area, where it caught between outer membranes of her lungs (pleural cavity).

As Dr. Tom Pousti reminds us, all “complications should be considered and weighed against the ‘pros’ of the procedure when you're deciding whether to proceed with breast augmentation surgery.”

So, if you’ve had surgery that involved going through your ribcage, this could maybe-but-probably-not happen to you when the moon is in the seventh house and you’re trying to exhale with your airways closed.  But remember that breast implants have been around since the middle of the 20th century, and nearly 300,000 augmentations were performed in 2010 alone.  According to our research, this is the first time one has ever been "swallowed."

FYI, the Pilates-loving woman didn't feel any pain when it happened, and has had the implant removed and replaced in the right position.

In other news: breast implants explode on airplanes. (Borat voice: NOT!)