Silent Rupture: A Problem For Some Women More Than Others

by | Aug 10, 2022 | Breast Augmentation Surgery, Breast Implant Complications

Silent ruptures aren’t just a regularly occurring event that happens to all women. Silent ruptures happen to woman with breast implants, but more specifically women with silicone gel breast implants.

Studies Show Rupture Rates are Very Different

Breast implants, no matter if they’re filled with silicone gel or saline, have the potential to rupture. If a traditional saline “water balloon” implant or an IDEAL IMPLANT Structured Saline breast implant ruptures, women know immediately by looking in the mirror. And the saline is safely absorbed by the body. Only women with silicone gel breast implants experience a silent rupture.

And rupture rates are quite different for each implant too. IDEAL IMPLANTS have a 3.7% rupture rate within the first 10 years. Compare this to silicone gel implants whose 10-year rupture rates can range from 8.7 – 24.2%, depending on the manufacturer and model of implant.

Silicone gel implants, often called “gummy bear” implants, are made with somewhat cohesive silicone gel designed to mimic the feel of human tissue. Because the silicone gel tends to remain within the capsular scar tissue if the implant shell ruptures, the volume of the breast remains the same. This is why patients are not aware that an implant has ruptured, hence the name “silent rupture.” A ruptured implant may remain undiscovered for years and only found through an abnormal mammogram, lump, pain or capsular contracture.

Out of Sight, But Top of Mind

While silent ruptures are out of sight to surgeons and women, ruptures are not out of mind to women. Clinical data from a January 2022 study of 584 women with current types of silicone gel breast implants in place for 3 to 20 years showed that 10.6% of the women had an implant rupture they were unaware of, a silent rupture. When asked about their feelings about silent rupture, unsurprisingly, women reported significant concerns and anxiety about it. Just about every woman would like to know whether their silicone gel implant is ruptured. 95.2 percent want the ruptured implant removed.

Each woman in the study received high-resolution ultrasound (HRUS) scans of their breast implants, which is what led to the concerning discovery of a 10.6% incidence rate of silent rupture in women with silicone gel implants. Publicly available statistics compiled by plastic surgery organizations show that over 3 million women in the U.S. have silicone gel implants. So this study data indicates that over 300,000 women in the U.S. may have silent ruptures that they are unaware of.

Scary, isn’t it?

Women Have Choices in Implants Today, And the Smart Choice is Clear

Because of silent rupture risks, the FDA recommends regular MRI or ultrasound scans for women who have silicone gel implants to monitor integrity of their implants. In their document titled Breast Implants – Certain Labeling Recommendations to Improve Patient Communication, the FDA states about silicone gel implants: “Even if you have no symptoms, you should have your first ultrasound or MRI at 5-6 years after your initial implant surgery and then every 2-3 years thereafter. If you have symptoms at any time or uncertain ultrasound results for breast implant rupture, an MRI is recommended.”

Women can avoid the risk of silent rupture and the need for ultrasound scans to monitor for rupture by choosing a saline-filled implant, so they can detect a rupture by simply looking in the mirror. IDEAL IMPLANTS are saline-filled. But because of their internal structure, deliver the same natural look and feel as silicone gel with the safety and peace of mind that comes with saline. What’s not to love!

Nothing that ever ruptures should ever be silent. Sounds so ominous, doesn’t it? And you shouldn’t have to schedule expensive MRI or ultrasound scans for your implants every few years. Take a closer look at the smarter choice – IDEAL IMPLANTS.