Saline Breast Implants - Hit w/ Paintball

I have had saline implants since 2004. I recently was stuck in the left breast with a paintball. The same breast, now is experiencing a rash around the nipple. The breast appears the same size. Is there a chance of a slight leak in the saline implant due to the impact of the paintball?

Doctor Answers 13

Trauma and injury to Breast implant for augmentation surgery with sudden rash and bruise

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If you are experiencing a leak in the implant, your breast would most likely decrease in size. It is more likely you experienced a minor bruise or hemorrhage with rising of the pigment through the skin or mammary ducts to the areola appearing as a rash.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Possible Implant Inflate Caused by Paintball?

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I would say no there is not a leak.  If there was you would have a deflate in the implant and they would not still be the same size. 

Robert N. Young, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Leaking saline breast implants.

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In the situation you describe, it is unlikely you have a ruptured implant. Saline implants are filled with salt water and water will find its way out of almost any type of hole in the implant in a very short period of time. Once the water is out of the implant your breast will be very different than the other side and it will be obvious.

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Paint Balling and Breast Implants: Breast implant won

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Sounds like you got a one in a million shot! Saline implants would have deflated over the next 12 hours after being shot, so you are likely good. Silicone implant rupture can go undetected, and may require further imaging studies if there are issues on the paintball injury side.  I hope this helps.

Andrew P. Trussler, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Breast implant leak after trauma

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Thank you for your question. The likely answer is no. If there is a leak in the saline implant, you will know shortly as the implant will essentially deflate. More commonly, the direct impact of the paintball will cause a bruise or deep hematoma (bleeding). If deep, this may manifest on the skin as an area of redness. You may even feel a "knot" or "lump" in the area of the trauma. It can takes several weeks to resolve, but should get better over time. If you do not see improvement, I recommend following up with your surgeon.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

If you have a ruptured implant it will deflate in size.

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I think it's unlikely that you have ruptured the implant if the implant is not deflated in size. Normally with a saline implant it does rupture so water is naturally absorbed by your body and the volume of your breast will decrease.

However if the rash doesn't settle, I think it would certainly be worthwhile scheduling a consultation with a plastic surgeon to assess the area and give you the best advice as to the cause of the rash.

Best wishes yours sincerely,

Adrian Richards

Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon

Surgical Director of Aurora Clinics

Paint ball hit is unlikely to cause implant deflation

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Dear Mays Landing,

The mechanism you describe is unlikely to cause implant deflation. Implants are quite strong, and if you do have a leak, it will be apparent very quickly because they are saline filled. The fact that you stated the breast looks to be the same size is confirms that your implant is still intact.

Best regards,

Lawrence Tong MD FACS FRCSC

Lawrence Tong, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon

Will paintball impact cause my implant to deflate?

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It is unlikely--but not impossible--that the blunt impact of a paintball would cause a saline implant to leak or deflate.  If the breast is the same size as it was before the trauma, and it stays the same the size over the next several days, then your implant is intact.  The rash you describe may be skin trauma from the impact, and this should resolve with time. 

Amy M. Sprole, MD
Wichita Plastic Surgeon

Saline Implant Deflation Not Usually Trauma Related

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Deflation of silicone breast implants is rarely due to trauma.  It is most commonly associated with a small hole which develops over time in the seam where two hemispheres are joined in the manufacturing process.  Futhermore, slight leaks in saline implants are also unusual; if your breasts are the same size, you almost certainly have no leak in your implants.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Paintball and breast implants

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It is unlikely that your breast implant ruptured after being struck with a paint ball.  But since it is a saline implant, if there is a rupture you will know in the next couple of days .  The breast will appear flatter than the other one.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 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.