Can a breast implant rupture?
I will have to have one of my breasts removed due to cancer, and am considering getting a cosmetic implant. How likely is it that they leak or rupture? I'd rather do without if it's safer.
Sorry to hear that you were diagnosed with breast cancer and have to have a mastectomy (breast removal). I would definitely recommend that you set up a consultation with a plastics surgeon who does a fair amount of breast reconstruction do discuss your options with them. I will give you some basic information about different techniques for breast reconstruction, but every surgeon is different, and the surgeon you choose may recommend one technique over another, which is why it is important to ask these questions of your personal surgeon. When thinking of breast reconstruction I like to break things into 2 main groups: autologous tissue (tissue from your own body), and synthetic implants (like silicone). Two of the most common autologous flaps are TRAM flaps and DIEP flaps. TRAM flaps (Transverse Rectus Abdominus Myocutaneous flap) are typically performed as rotational flaps where a vascular pedicle is left intact, and the tissue is rotated up to the chest and sculpted into a breast. DIEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator) flaps are done as "free" flaps where the tissue and its blood supply are completely removed from the donor site and moved to the chest where they are hooked back up to a new blood supply. (like an auto-transplant). The synthetic implants usually first need a tissue expander to be placed at the desired site, which is slowly filled with saline over time to make a pocket that the final permanent implant will fit into. There are many different types of implants but most are either saline, silicone, or a composite. They are all very safe, and there is a low risk of rupture, but there are some case reports of ruptured implants. As I mentioned however this risk is low. I would again recommend having this discussion with your plastic surgeon at your initial consultation. Best of luck to you, and I hope this helps.
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