If you are considering breast implants or have already undergone breast augmentation that includes implants, you may wonder how to tell if there are signs of breast implant problems. It’s always smart to know the benefits as well as risks of any surgical procedure. Breast surgery in Houston, TX is very safe and
Dr. Leo Lapuerta is an expert and trusted surgeon with decades of successful procedures to his name; reaching out to learn more about what to expect from the procedure is an excellent starting point as you begin your journey to the body you love.
It can put your mind at ease to realize how safe breast implants are and how you can tell if you need to see your doctor about your implants. And if you’re in doubt about whether there’s an issue with existing implants, even after reviewing this information, Contact us Dr. Lapuerta today to schedule a consultation.
Safety of Silicone and Saline Breast Implants
First, let’s talk about breast implants. There are two basic options: silicone and saline implants. Each one has a unique design and benefits, as well as potential concerns to keep in mind.
Types of Implants
Silicone breast implants augment the bust size and shape using implants that are filled with silicone gel. This type of implant is popular because the gel is thick and feels like human fat that you find in natural breasts. Many women choose this type of implant for a more natural look and feel for their bust.
Saline breast implants are filled with salt water that has been sterilized. During augmentation surgery, the doctor first places the empty implants in the chest, without the solution. Once the implants are placed, they are then filled with saline. Saline implants are a more affordable option that work well for women that have more breast tissue.
What are the Risks with Breast Implants?
Silicone and saline implants have been deemed to be safe for women. However, there are some risks as you would expect with any surgery. The main risks include infection, changes in sensation for the nipple or breast – which are often temporary – and potential for pain. The implants may leak or rupture, and scar tissue can develop which causes the implant to change shape. This issue is known as capsular contracture.
These issues can be fixed, often with surgery to replace the implants or to have them removed. However, many women have no problems with their implants at all. They only need to replace them when they begin to wear out.
Breast implants can last for over ten years. Some women have gone much longer than that before they decided they needed to replace the implants. Nevertheless, there are signs if you feel that there is an issue with your implant that are important to watch out for.
Signs of Breast Implant Problems
Most of the time, there are no issues with breast implant surgery or the recovery process. In these situations, the implants cause no problems, and you may hardly think about them other than enjoying your new look. In other cases, women occasionally experience complications from the surgery or problems that arise years down the line. Here are some signs to be aware of that indicate you should see a doctor about your implants:
- Hematoma: This is a collection of blood near the incision sites, which can cause swelling and bruising along with pain. They can occur right after surgery, or later, if there is an injury to the breast.
- Infection: This issue usually occurs within a few days of surgery and can lead to removal of the implant if it doesn’t respond to antibiotics. Your doctor should advise you on recovery practices to minimize infection in the first place.
- Inflammation: Swelling and redness may occur and the breast may feel warm and painful.
- Delayed wound healing: In this situation, the site of the incision takes longer than normal to heal.
- Extrusion: The implant shows through the skin where it has broken down.
- Capsular contracture: The breast feels firm or harder than normal and may even be painful in severe cases from the tightening of scar tissue around the implant.
- Calcium deposits: Small hard lumps form around the implant, which can feel like breast cancer.
- Asymmetry: The breasts may be uneven in size or shape or the position of the breasts.
This is why it’s important to choose an experienced plastic surgeon for breast implants or any breast augmentation. Dr. Leo Lapuerta has been a certified plastic surgeon for more than 20 years and has performed thousands of breast surgeries. He has worked with patients who have had issues with their implants by performing breast revision surgery to correct the problems.
Breast Implant Ruptures
Both types of breast implants can rupture, but each type is unique in how it reacts. You need to be aware of ruptured breast implant signs to know when it has occurred so you can see your doctor.
Saline Implant Rupture Symptoms
If you have a saline implant and it ruptures, you will notice quickly. The saline will leak out and be absorbed into the body. Your breast will deflate once the saline has gone. This situation isn’t a cause for concern because the saline is a natural substance, but you will want to notify your doctor quickly. You will likely need surgery to have the shell removed, which is made of silicone. You’ll also want to have a new implant put into place for an even appearance on both sides of your chest.
When a Silicone Implant Ruptures
Ruptured silicone implant signs are different than the signs of a saline implant rupture, because the body can’t absorb the silicone gel. The silicone usually stays around the implant in the fibrous tissue, which means your breast may not lose much of its shape. For this reason, it’s often referred to as a silent rupture because there may be minimal or no symptoms of a silicone breast implant rupture.
Like with a saline implant, research doesn’t suggest that a ruptured silicone implant will cause any health problems. It’s likely that you won’t have any noticeable silicone implant rupture symptoms. You may notice a slight change in shape or the contour of your breast, or possibly experience breast pain. The best way to detect a rupture is with ultrasound or an MRI. Many doctors suggest having an MRI done regularly after five or six years in accordance to the recommendations by the US Food and Drug Administration. The idea is that regular monitoring will alert you to a ruptured implant which increases in likelihood the longer you have one. Once it’s determined that the implant has ruptured, your doctor will probably recommend that you have it removed and a new one put in.
Treatment for Breast Implant Problems
If you experience any of signs of breast implant problems, you should see a doctor. They will treat the situation with medication or in many cases, breast revision surgery or breast implant exchange. In some cases, they may need to perform breast implant removal surgery for the best results.
It is just as important to select the right surgeon for breast revision or removal as for the initial implant surgery. An experienced surgeon can often repair the problem, so you can enjoy your new look without pain, discomfort, or embarrassment.
Schedule a Free Consultation for Breast Implant Issues
If you’re considering breast implants or have concerns about your current implants, schedule a free consultation with Dr. Lapuerta. He will conduct a thorough examination and help you determine the best way to proceed. You can also review the before and after breast surgery photos to see the improvements made. Contact us today to make an appointment with a trusted plastic surgeon who can help you look and feel your best.