Is There A High Chance Of Implants Bursting or Causing Other Problems?

My question is what is the percentage of breast augmentation going bad? I really want to get it done, but latly as i've been researching i read a lot of bad stories saying that they're breast implant burst in two weeks, now is that possible to happend? My mom had hers done a few years ago and shes doing well no problems at all, will mine turn out like how she went through?

Doctor Answers 11

Breast Enhancement Surgery

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The incidence of implant rupture is less than 1% per year basically for either saline or silicone implants in 2014

Bursting implants

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Breast implant surgery is one of the most common procedures performed. In fact, there were approximately 318,123 performed in 2010 by board-certified plastic surgeons. During my many years in practice, I have seen implants in patients that have lasted for 20-30 years. Implants are not a lifetime device, and there is no way currently to predict if, how and when a rupture will occur.

Breast implant "failure"

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Although breast implants can "fail" or cause problems, this is quite unusual. Saline implants can deflate and the body can absorb the fluid without problems other than the implant is flat and should be replaced. Old gel implants could break the outer shell and turn inside out with the gel on the outside and the shell on the inside. The newer gel implants don't do that. Because "horror stories" make better reading, they can seem to be more common than they are. By far the majority of patients who have had breast augmentations are happy. No one can guarantee that problems won't happen but they are the exception rather than the rule.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

Is There A High Chance Of Implants Bursting or Causing Other Problems?

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There is no lifetime breast implant.

A saline implant will develop a hole or tear in the 'bag' at approximately 10 to 15 years after surgery. The saline will drain out of the implant over a couple of weeks. This is a completely safe event and will be obvious to the patient, who will then have the implant(s) replaced.

A silicone gel device will fail approximately 15 to 20 years after surgery. The gel will leak out of the implant, but will be contained by the scar tissue capsule that has formed around the implant.

While every operation has a list of risks and potential complications, breast augmentation is a well-established procedure with a very high rate of patient satisfaction.

Make sure you see a capable, experienced and caring plastic surgeon and chances are that you will be very pleased.

Good luck!


Implant ruptures

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I rarely see many implant ruptures in my office and I do a LOT of breast surgery.  While no one can tell you how long an implant might last, I have seen two ladies in my office who had saline implants for 28 years before one broke (and saline implants weren't used much 28 years ago).  I have also seen a few patients recently who had their silicone gel implants done by my father in the early 1970's.  When I took them out, only one was broken!  The nice thing about saline implants is that you will definitely know it if an implant breaks.  You will have a "flat tire" within a matter of a few days.  The nice thing is that it is just saline (salt water) which your body will absorb.  The newer silicone gel implants are called cohesive gels, meaning that you can literally cut them in half and they will maintain their shape.  There is less risk of silicone "leaking out." 

Edwin C. Pound, III, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Risks of breast implants are rare, but can occur.

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(VIDEO INCLUDED) Breast implants are relatively safe. Complications such as implant rupture, malposition, leaking, and capsular contracture (or scarring around the implant) are possible but rare.  The actual statistics are available and your board certified plastic surgeon can give you the actual percentages.  The key is that these complications can be minimized when the breast augmentation is performed by an experienced surgeon. I also use a special implant delivery device called a Keller Funnel that decreases the risk of many of these complications. It has been a huge advance for my practice and my patients get the benefit of lower pain, shorter incision, and less complications.

Low risk of implant breast failure in my experience

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First, breast implants don't "burst" or "rupture" so I think we need a better terminology to talk about what does sometimes happen. The implant shell can open up from wear over time, so with a saline implant this is called a deflation because the saline is harmlessly absorbed into the body and the implant goes flat. Silicone gel in implants is cohesive, meaning that it is semisolid so the shell can be sliced wide open and the gel doesn't spill out; it is a silent event, despite the image that people have of implants exploding. In my experience of more than 20 years and thousands of augmentation patients, I would estimate the implant failure rate at no more than 1 or 2 percent.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Breast Augmentation Complications

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You are smart to be considering the risks associated with breast augmentation surgery.  These risks include leakage, encapsulation, loss of sensation, interference with mammography, movement of the implants and the probable need for further surgery in your lifetime.  You may find the link below to be helpful. 

Best Wishes.

Breast Augmentation Complication Rates Are Low

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Across the board, breast augmentation rates should be extremely low.  Each surgeon is different, and some are more skilled than others which can play into complication rates.  Those who do a lot of breast aesthetic and reconstruction rates should have an overall complication rate for breast augmentations in the 2-3 % range.  The vast majority of women do extremely well and have no problems with the surgery or post-op long term.  The internet often acts as a vehicle for patients to express their unhappiness and frustration with things gone bad, but for every person that you read about with complications, there are probably one hundred that are doing fine.  I hope this helps.

Risk of Leaking Implants

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Breast Implants have probably been studied more extensively than any other implant in medicine. Of all the issues I see with women who have had implants, leakage or deflation, is among the most uncommon. The risk over ten years in any given women is probably less than 6-8 %. Inadvertent damage to implant during surgery and the presence of manufacturing flaws are responsible for these deflations. The odds are great that you will not have a problem with this but nevertheless there is a relatively high re-operation rate with breast augmentation as presented in medical literature. This may be due to wanting to change the implant size, hardening of the implant due to scarring and of course deflation. Most women having this operation are satisfied however. It's certainly good to get your concerns addressed before surgery so you can make an informed decision. Best of Luck Dr Harrell

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.