The detection of breast implant rupture using ultrasound

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Because little or no information exists about the life span of silicone implants, there is a need for a non-invasive and sensitive diagnostic tool for assessing their integrity. It is extremely difficult to diagnose rupture of these implants clinically. The aims of this study were to assess how many of our patients - in particular asymptomatic women - had ruptured implants and whether or not ultrasound was an effective tool in excluding rupture and reassuring anxious patients. All patients in the south east of Scotland who had a silicone gel-filled breast implant inserted between the years 1982-1991 were invited to take part in an investigation into morbidity due to silicone implants. We screened 307 asymptomatic patients with 385 implants and only found one patient with a ruptured silicone implant. One other patient had a ruptured saline implant and one implant was found to have leaked. We found ultrasound to be a quick, reliable, cheap and safe method of screening for implant rupture which can be used to reassure an anxious patient that her implants are intact.




Park, A. J., Walsh, J., Reddy, P. S. V., Chetty, U., & Watson, A. C. H. (1996). The detection of breast implant rupture using ultrasound. British Journal of Plastic Surgery, 49(5), 299–301.

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