Symptoms of Breast Implant Rupture?

I have an opening in my incision with a steady flow of clear fluid leaking out. Could this be a rupture in my implant? What symptoms or signs will help me figure out if my implant is ruptured?

Doctor Answers 14

Open wound after breast implant

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Thanks for your question -

The situation you describe is concerning.

Typically saline breast implant ruptures are very readily apparent. Deflation of the implant in question is usually rapid. Silicone implant ruptures can be more difficult to diagnose.

The real concern from your description is a chronic infection of the implant. Infected implants can release fluid as your body tries to fight the infection. The fluid is part of the inflammatory process and likely not from within the implant.

Any open wound in association with a breast implant is very concerning. Treatment may include needing to have the implant removed. Talk to your plastic surgeon immediately.

I hope this helps.

See your surgeon

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It sounds like you have a collection of fluid around the implant, and it is possibly infected-- this needs to be evaluated right away by your surgeon. Please call him as soon as possible to set up a follow up appointment.

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Leaking breast implant

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You have not specified whether this is a saline or silicone.

In either event, it really doesn't matter and your should seek a plastic surgeon's advice.

It is likely that you will need the implants to be replaced.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Breast implant rupture is unlikely

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Dear Imoe,

The condition you are describing sounds like a dehissence of your incision. The fluid leaking out is likely tissue fluid and not the implant leaking.

If you have saline implants, a rupture would lead to rapid deflation of the implant within a couple of days

If you have a silicone implant, a rupture would lead to leakage of silicone which is very sticky and thick. Almost like clear gum.

Regardless of your particular circumstances, an opening of the incision warrants IMMEDIATE attention by your doctor.

IMPORTANT: When selecting a qualified plastic surgeon, make sure that they are certified by "The American Board of Plastic Surgery". This is the only board recognized by "The American Board of Medical Specialties" in the field of plastic surgery.

Unfortunately, there are many unqualified individuals out there posing as plastic surgeons, who prey on uninformed consumers. Checking their credentials is the best way to protect yourself.

Good luck with your condition.

A. Peter Salas, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Get to your surgeon tomorrow

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Leak or no leak, you need to get to your surgeon ASAP.  An exposed implant is an infected implant by definition.  You will need revisionary surgery and possibly removal of the implants for awhile (3-6 months).  So, get in and good luck!

You need to see your surgeon

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It is not normal to have an opening in your incision nor to have fluid coming you. You need to call your surgeon have them evaluate you. If your implant is exposed, you may need surgery. If it is a saline implant and fluid is coming out of your incision, then there may be a leak. If so, your breast should be getting smaller as the implant is deflating. If you have a silicone implant and fluid is coming out then you may have an infection. If you have silicone coming out then you would definitely have a leak. In any case, what you are describing is very unusual and needs to be evaluated. Good luck.

See your surgeon

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This is a complicated question to answer without knowing more details and without examining you. You should definitely call your surgeon right away.

This is most likely a seroma pocket, which is a pocket of fluid around your implant. If you have an opening and there is clear fluid leaking out, that would be my best guess. This is especially true if you do not have any signs of infection: fever, redness, pain. The implant is at high risk for infection.

If this is a saline implant rupture, then you should notice a change in size of the implant. This is not likely to be a rupture in a silicone implant.

in either case, your surgeon needs to take action, which may include taking you back to the operating room, opening the incision, cleaning the pocket of the implant, replacing the implant, and putting you on antibiotics. If the pocket is infected, then the implant should be removed. Good luck.

Sirish Maddali, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon

Breast Implant Rupture Symptoms

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Often there are no symptoms associated with silicone implant rupture, for saline implants you can just look in the mirror to see if you are flat. For silicone implants prior to 2006, ruptures occur at rates of approximately 1-2% per year for the first ten years then markedly increases after that time period. A rupture or deflation of the implant may be experienced at any point after the initial augmentation; this complication may be increased by an under-filling or overfilling of saline solution into the implant, excessive compression, trauma, and other causes. (If the implant shell if not filled with the correct amount of saline, there may be a crease or fold in the shell which often leads to a rupture). You will be able to self-diagnose the need for an implant exchange (if using a saline implant) because if the current implant ruptures, the breast will shrink to approximately its preoperative size. A silicone implant that has a rupture is usually noted on a routine mammogram or MRI scan. In either case although the situation needs to be corrected on a timely basis, it is not dangerous to your health from our current knowledge base. Silicone implants after 2006 are more cohesive and less likely to leak.

Fluid from a breast

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If you have fluid draining from your breast, you may have a chronic infection or a seroma.  But you should see your surgeon ASAP to be evaluated.

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

You may have a chronic seroma after breast implants.

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This does not sound like a leaking implant.  You may have a chronic seroma (liquid accumulation ) after breast augmentation.  You need a sonogram to help diagnose problem.  See your doctor.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

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.