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Archives for October 2012

Ultrasound May Detect Silicone Gel Breast Implant Rupture

Breast implant rupture is a known complication of breast augmentation. If a saline breast implant ruptures, the saline solution filling the implant is absorbed by the body, causing the breast to deflate. If a silicone gel breast implant ruptures, however, the silicone gel remains mostly confined to the scar capsule the body builds around the breast implant.

Because of this “silent rupture” phenomenon, the FDA recommends regular MRIs for silicone gel breast implant recipients. The expense of regular MRIs is not only a deterrent for women considering silicone gel breast implants, but also a deterrent for women getting follow-up visits with their breast surgeon if they do not experience symptoms of rupture. Now, though, it seems that ultrasound may be just as good at detecting possible breast implant rupture.

A study of breast implant imaging compared the typical MRI imaging of breast implants with ultrasound imaging performed by both the breast surgeon and a radiologist. Then the status of the breast implant was confirmed with surgery.

Researchers found that all types of imaging detected ruptures in 100% of the 29 imaged breasts that were surgically confirmed to have ruptured breast implants. Although these results are preliminary, they may mean good things for women with silicone gel breast implants. Not only will screening for rupture be less expensive, it can also be performed by a woman’s breast surgeon or other doctor as part of a routine visit.

To learn more about the most recent trends in breast augmentation with silicone gel breast implants, please contact Dr. David A. Bottger, a board-certified plastic surgeon performing breast augmentation in Philadelphia.

Silicone Gel Breast Implant Bleed May Contribute to Capsular Contractur

Capsular contracture is a poorly understood complication of breast augmentation. In capsular contracture, the scar capsule the body builds around the breast implant stiffens and becomes smaller, resulting in high pressure on the breast implant, making the breasts potentially painful and deformed. Understanding the causes of capsular contracture can help us predict when it may occur and how to prevent it.

We know that capsular contracture is more common with silicone gel breast implants than with saline breast implants, and breast surgeons have long suspected that the bleeding of silicone gel through the breast implant shell may be responsible for the difference. To test this theory, researchers placed small breast implants inside swine. Some implants were photochemically altered to simulate the higher bleed rate of generation II silicone breast implants. Then researchers implanted newer implants, puncturing some of them to simulate rupture.

Breast augmentation researchers found that the stiffness of the capsule was correlated with the amount of silicone that bled from the implant. This explains the increased risk of capsular contracture with silicone breast implants. Researchers also found that more modern implants were best at stopping silicone migration, resulting in soft capsules that would be expected to result in breasts with natural appearance and feel.

To learn more about breast augmentation risks and complications and how technology has reduced the incidence of these risks, please contact Dr. David A. Bottger, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Philadelphia.