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?
Signs of Leaking Breast Implants
Doctor Answers 79
Depends on the implant
Soreness and lumps should always be addressed
Signs of Leak
If you have silicone based implants then it is a litter harder to tell. The new implants don't leak everywhere so they usually present as some change in the look of feel of the implant. A breast that was completely normal for several years may begin to change in appearance or become harder or more tender. However, because the volume remains the same, there usually isn't any obvious deflation. The only sure way to tell is to get an ultrasound or MRI.
If you suspect a leak then you should see a board certified plastic surgeon to determine if you need to get further testing. If there is leak or rupture then that implant needs to be removed and exchanged for another one.
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Hard lump in the breast
Changes in the breast and new lumps of tenderness should be evaluated by a physician.
Firmness in breast
Signs of Leaking Breast Implants
Thank you for your question. It is difficult to say without examining you what exactly is happening. The hardness and discomfort you are feeling may be due to capsular contracture, which can be a difficult problem and is often managed surgically if symptomatic. Leaking saline implants will ultimately end in the deflation of the implant, which will be quite obvious; leaking or ruptured silicone implants are far more difficult to detect clinically, and usually require an MRI to diagnose. I would recommend seeing your surgeon for and in-person examination to determine the appropriate course of action.
A mishapen hard lump may be a sign of a leaking implant, or a capsular contracture
Firmness of implants can be caused by capsular contracture, a tightening process that we don't really understand but is treatable (basically by cutting the capsule and softening the breast). Implants that have leaked may feel firm because they have folded down on themselves, like a deflated beachball. You really need to see your surgeon. In my office, we also do ultrasound scans of the implants. You are clearly not comfortable and need to be evaluated. I have attached a link to my website in case you wish to read more.
Lumpy breast implant
If you have silicone implants, you should obtain a breast MRI to rule out rupture. If you have saline implants, you would know if you have a rupture because your breasts will have deflated. If you have a misshapen hard lump, that could be anything from a silicone leak to capsular contracture to a breast tumor. You should see a board-certified plastic surgeon to be evaluated.
The Difference Between Silicone and Saline Rupture
Regardless of the cause, if you think you have a rupture or another complication, the first thing you should do is see your doctor and have them examine you.
Your case does not sound like a implant rupture. A saline implant rupture would result in your breasts deflating and it is fairly obvious because one breast would look much larger than the other. A silicone rupture for the most part is not detectable clinically to the eye; you would need an MRI to detect a rupture.
It's common to be able to feel the edge of the implant in areas where there is less tissue covering them.
If you are feeling a lump in the breast tissue, you should have that examined by a doctor.
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.