Trauma to Chest Cause Implant Rupture?

I have 20year old silicone breast left one is incapsulated.My right one is soft and flatter.I had a bycicle accident about a month ago and smacked both sides of my chest on the cement.Ever since then i have had alot of pain in my chest on both sides. It's a piercing pain through my chest into my back,and my left upper to mid abdomen area.This pain is persistant and evrry day now .It is especially worse at night.I know my implants are leaking.But my insurance won't pay for me to have them removed.Please help!

Doctor Answers 6

Implant Rupture Cause

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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. For implants 20 yrs old your chance of rupture even without a bike accident is about 80%. 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. Most insurance companies will pay for removal but not replacement.

Ruptured Silicone Gel Implants?

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Thank you for the question.

I think you will be best off by in person evaluation by a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon.  Given that the implants have been in place for 20 years and you're dealing with encapsulation,  it will likely be in your best interests  to have the implants removed and replaced.  Capsulectomy  may also be necessary.

Best wishes.

Chest trauma

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If you sustain significant chest trauma after falling, you need to not just get an evaluation of your implants but also make sure that you did not break a rib, etc...

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

Breast implants and trauma to chest

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It takes a significant amount of force to rupture an implant. However, depending upon the age of the implants, the thickness of the implant shell, and most importantly, the extent of the trauma to the chest, the bicycle accident could have caused your implant to rupture. The best thing to do at this point is to definitely get it checked out, especially since you are in pain. Get an MRI done. This will let you know if there is a leak or not. If there isn't, you accident may have caused trauma to other parts of your body causing the pain.

Insurance will not cover cosmetic procedures. However, you cannot ignore this if it has ruptured. There are several financing options available. Some places offer financial programs that include interest free repayment options. Other places may work out a payment plan with you.

Best regards,

Dr. Speron

Sam Speron, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Remove your ruptured 20 year old silicone breast implants.

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I don't understand your question: Are you asking if your implant is ruptured or asking for insurance to cover. IF the former is your question: yes, it is possible that trauma caused your implant to rupture but more likely that general wear and tear is responsible. IF the latter is your question: yes, it is unlikely that insurance will cover the implant removal and they certainly will not cover implant replacement. In any event, you should have the 20 year old silicone implants removed. The longer you delay this procedure, the more likely a more extensive procedure will be required.

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

Chest Trauma and Breast Implants

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Can chest trauma rupture breast implants? That would depend on the age of the implants, thickness of the implant shell and, most importantly, the extent of the chest trauma.

It takes a considerable amount of sudden compression to stress an implant to the point of breaking. Being enthusiastically bear hugged will not rupture new implants but MAY rupture very old, thin walled implants. On the other hand, being in a head on car collision and having the steering column hit the chest and break the sternum (chest bone) would probably rupture breast implants. (We had such a case a few years back).

Would a fall off a bike be associated with bilateral implant rupture? Maybe. The best way to find out is to obtain a MRI and find out if you have any hairline fractures or implant leaking.

As regards corrective surgery on the implants, insurance should pay for reconstructive Plastic surgery. No insurance company that I know pays for cosmetic surgery or revision of cosmetic surgery.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis 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.