What are the Signs of a Ruptured Breast Implant?

By: Dr. Sean Kelishadi, M.D. FACS


Most women do not experience complications with their breast implants, but there are some potential issues that can occur. It is important to understand what signs and symptoms to watch for that may mean your breast implant has become compromised and needs to be removed or replaced. In this blog, Orange County’s premier board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Sean Kelishadi, owner and founder of SSK Plastic Surgery, offers helpful information on how to recognize a ruptured breast implant and what to do if you suspect that your saline or silicone gel breast implant is ruptured.

How do breast implants rupture?

There are several potential causes of a ruptured breast implant, including:

  • Trauma
  • High-force impact
  • Compromised implant structure
  • Worn/weakened implant over time
  • Surgical error
  • Implant is “stuck” by needle during a biopsy or similar procedure

Do saline implants rupture more easily than silicone implants?

No. Both saline and silicone implants have fairly similar risk rates for rupture, both of which are low.

How do I know if my breast implant is ruptured?

The difference in the construction of saline and silicone gel implants means that the signs of rupture will also differ for each type of implant. When a saline implant ruptures, it is almost immediately noticeable, as the saline solution leaks from the shell (being safely resorbed by the body) and the implant deflates. This causes a visible asymmetry between the ruptured implant and the intact implant. In the event that the shell of a silicone gel implant becomes ruptured or torn, the non-fluid gel inside remains largely in place, meaning the implant does not deflate. In fact, many instances of silicone implant rupture go unnoticed until they are detected on a routine imaging study, like an MRI. Still, signs and symptoms of silicone implant rupture to keep an eye out for include a change in the shape of your implant, visible rippling or lumps, and pain in the breast.

Are ruptured breast implants dangerous?

Ruptured breast implants, whether saline or silicone gel, are not known to cause cancer or other harmful conditions. However, some women experience painful symptoms that are often alleviated when the breast implant is removed and/or replaced. More often, a ruptured implant leads to unwanted cosmetic abnormalities — like deformed, misshapen, or asymmetric breasts — that can also be corrected with breast implant replacement (revision) surgery.

What do I do if my breast implant ruptures?

If you do sustain an implant rupture, the implant will need to be removed and replaced. Some patients choose to have their implants removed altogether if one ruptures, but this is a matter of personal preference. If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of breast implant rupture, call us to schedule your evaluation and consultation today.

Suspect a ruptured breast implant in Newport Beach, CA? We can help

Having a ruptured breast implant can understandably be alarming, but try and remember that ruptured breast implants do not cause cancer and, in most cases, do not need emergent treatment. Still, we understand that having a ruptured breast implant can be physically painful and emotionally difficult, particularly when there are visible changes in the size, shape, and other characteristics of the breast that leave you feeling self-conscious about your look. Whether you suspect a ruptured breast implant or have already had your breast implant rupture confirmed, call SSK Plastic Surgery today to schedule your private consultation with top Newport Beach board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Sean Kelishadi, and let us help restore your feminine figure and self-esteem with breast implant revision surgery.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.