Surgeons Advise Revision For Women With Faulty French Breast Implants

Posted on June 30, 2010 | by

A guidance issued by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) advises an estimated 50,000 British women with recalled Poly Implant Prostheses (PIP) breast implants to have their implants checked for rupture within the next six months. 

If rupture is discovered in even one breast implant, the BAAPS advises having both breast implants removed, as the French Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons discovered the PIP breast implants contain an illegal, untested silicone gel substance that makes the implants abnormally susceptible to rupture.

Unlike women with the faulty PIP breast implants, women who undergo breast enlargement with the safe, FDA-approved silicone breast implants used in the U.S. have a choice about when and how to address implant malfunction in the unlikely event of a rupture.

Most women opt for breast augmentation revision to exchange their ruptured implant for a new one, while others choose breast explant surgery, or breast implant removal, and do not have their ruptured implant replaced.  

When breast implants are removed and are not replaced, a breast lift to remove the extra skin stretched by the breast implants may be recommended.  A breast lift with augmentation revision may also be recommended if the breasts have begun to sag since the initial breast augmentation surgery.

Occasionally, women may even choose to forego corrective breast surgery if their ruptured breast implants do not cause breast deformity or other unwanted effects.

Ruptures are easy to detect in saline breast implants, as the implants deflate and noticeably lose volume.  Ruptures in silicone breast implants, on the other hand, do not have such an obvious affect and cannot be conclusively detected without an MRI.

If you experience a breast implant rupture, remain calm, as there is no immediate health risk with FDA-approved implants.  Consult a board-certified plastic surgeon with significant experience performing breast repair surgery.  Once you know more about your options, you and your surgeon can decide whether breast augmentation revision, breast implant removal or breast lift surgery is right for you.