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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.