For years, the FDA has strongly recommended that people who have silicone breast implants be screened five to six years after their initial breast augmentation surgery, followed by two to three-year screenings after, to check for so-called “silent rupture.” And until recently, the best way to do this was with an MRI scan, which can be expensive and intimidating. Fortunately, Tucson Plastic Surgery is equipped with the latest in breast imaging technology, capable of monitoring for breast implant rupture in a simple, short, highly effective way.
The reason silent rupture is important to detect early is not due to serious health risks, but rather to lessen the chance of negative side effects from occurring, as well as maintaining your aesthetic results. Both saline and silicone breast implants are filled with sterile material, so there’s no risk to the body in either case of leaking.
However, a silent rupture in either type of implant can lead to a few additional conditions, including deformation of breast appearance, asymmetry between the breasts, and capsular contracture.
Recent developments in ultrasound technology have allowed an alternative to the slightly more accurate MRI scan with high-resolution ultrasound. Ultrasound technology utilizes devices that emit high-frequency sound waves that bounce off internal tissues and return to the sensor to create a visual of the various types of tissue under the skin. This is done in our office in a quick, 20 to 30-minute appointment that requires no loud, claustrophobic devices, only the ultrasound device, and a laptop.
The benefits extend beyond comfort, as not everyone with breast implants can have MRI scans, such as people with pacemakers or metal implants anywhere in their body. You won’t even need to take off jewelry for this procedure.
Tucson Plastic Surgery uses the revolutionary Butterfly iQ+ ultrasound device, a high-resolution transmitter and receiver that has multiple imaging modes to give our plastic surgeons, Dr. Mahabir and Dr. Kurtovic, a high-quality image of the internal structure of the breast and implant. This state-of-the-art technology allows us to detect breast implant rupture in both saline and silicone implants nearly as well as the preferred MRI technique, with many benefits in a quicker, more comfortable way.
If you think at any time that your breast implants may be leaking or ruptured, call us to schedule an appointment right away. And because rupture doesn’t always produce significant symptoms, it’s also best to schedule regular check-ups with our team every few years after you get your implants initially.
If you’ve had your breast augmentation with implants performed at Tucson Plastic Surgery, any and all of your breast implant check-ups are totally cost-free. However, even if another doctor put your implants in initially, we still offer these services for any breast augmentation patient, although you will have to pay a consultation fee through your insurance provider.
If your breast implant, whether saline or silicone, ruptures at any time, it (as well as the other one, even if it’s intact) will need to be removed or replaced. This is done out of an abundance of caution for the risk of side effects such as capsular contracture, as well as for maintaining aesthetic results.
We’ll talk with you during your breast implant screening appointment about your options for corrective surgery, which is often partially covered by the extended 20-year warranty provided by our breast implant partner, Sientra. Whether you want them removed or replaced, our board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Raman Mahabir is here to help get the look that best meets your aesthetic goals.
Whether you’ve had your implants for just a few years or over a decade, they’re always at a small risk of rupturing due to wear and tear or impact. When this happens, it can adversely affect your appearance as well as cause pain and discomfort, which is why regular monitoring is important. To schedule your ultrasound breast implant screening, call our office or contact us online today.