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 77
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
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.
Breast Implant leaks
You did not mention whether your implants are saline or silicone gel. If they are saline, you would know your implants are leaking because they would decrease in size and become softer over 48 hours as the saline is resorbed by the body. It sounds as if you have capsular contracture as that would change the shape of the implant from dome shaped to more spherical or even irregular in shape as you described. The constant pressure of the contracture can cause the silicone gel implant to leak but you would not know for sure without an MRI or often times a mammogram and/or sonogram can demonstrate leakage. In extreme cases, physical exam can reliably discern a leaking implants.
Signs of leaking breast implant
If you notice any change in your breast you should ask for a check with your surgeons.
Signs of leaking implant can varies from the finding of a lump, to rippling, to asymmetry to burning sensation.
In some cases you will not notice anything for a long while.
Even your surgeon might not be able to confirm a leakage without other investigations.
Ultrasounds have a margin of error and MRI the same but are more accurate.
If You are worried you should see your surgeon and have an MRI.
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.