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Ruptured Implant

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donnadio
donnadio Member Posts: 674
edited September 2022 in Breast Reconstruction

Hello All!

It has been awhile since being here. Had BC back in 2008 and had surgery and BIL/MX and immediate reconstruction in1-2009 .Opted for silicone implants as at that time did not have enough to do anything else from tummy etc. Was very thin and with a leaky gut to add to the equation !!! I had a recent MRI as it never was done since surgery and have a intracapsular rupture on right breast. It does not appear on the outside and do not think there is any leakage since it stated intracapsular?! I have to see a surgeon here and will once I get more informed if possible. I moved from IL to here in Tucson, and do not have a good handle of doctors and care here as I did in IL!!

Anyone have a ruptured implant or issues since their surgery and what you opted to do?!

Thank you in advance as I know this forum has the best info and still recommend it to those who are recently diagnosed. I never would of gotten through my BC journey without this forum. Most of which I am still in touch with today! Such a gift!

Donna

Tucson,AZ

(Edited by Mods to remove personal information)

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Comments

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,085
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    Thank you for your kind words, Donna!

    We're sorry you didn't get any answer yet. We're bumping your thread so that hopefully someone experienced will read it and give you some advice.

    Hugs,

    The Mods

  • thomcat
    thomcat Member Posts: 9
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    Hi Donna,

    It's been quite a while since I've been out here, also. I was dx'd in 2006 and had a unilateral left mastectomy with immediate recon. I opted for a saline implant because there was so much controversy with silicone. I got what you could call good results for saline but I always felt like I had a ziplock bag filled with water on my chest. I also never had the valve removed which sat on my rib cage. I got used to it but due to weight fluctuations from time to time, it would get inflamed.

    Fast forward to this past Feb and I felt like something odd was going on because the implant appeared not to sit so high on my chest. Long story short, it ruptured. Within a week I had lost about 90% of the saline. Luckily, it was just absorbed by my body. I paid my PS a visit and he informed me we had to remove it and exchange, if I wanted. I elected to exchange but went with silicone this time. I'm about a little over a week post op and all is well. I suppose I'll be subject to the MRIs to check for leakage. Hardest part so far is complying with the no lifting restrictions.

    Good luck with finding a new PS you can trust to get your problem resolved!


    Cathy

  • donnadio
    donnadio Member Posts: 674
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    Hi Cathy!

    Thank you very much for sharing your background on your implant situation! I did locate a PS and will be making an appointment soon. I do not see the collapse and I have no idea if I have any leakage as it said on report "inter capsular"? I just think I will go with same replacementas you did!

    I hope you are healing nicely and I am sure it is not like the original recon surgery!!

    I quess this is a issue that will occur and not sure what life is for implants but not many options !!

    Thank you again!

    Donna





  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,227
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    donna - most silicone implants have a limited warranty, so if you have a leak the implants themselves will most likely be covered by the manufacturer for replacement if you choose the same ones, and with some there are other types of things covered as well, possibly including replacing the contralateral implant if you had bi-lateral surgery initially. Inquire with your PS about that. You most likely received cohesive gel implants if your surgery was in 2009 which would mean the gel inside would not run out like saline would. A "silent rupture" (or rupture you were unaware of, not due to a trauma or known event) seems to have leaked into the cavity, or capsule, behind the pectoral muscle created to hold the implant. Intracapsular means that the gel is contained there and hasn't leaked anywhere else. Good luck!

  • thomcat
    thomcat Member Posts: 9
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    Good point, SpecialK. I've taken a closer look at the warranties offered now because when I was originally dx'd, I didn't even think of that and my PS didn't mention it. I was just 10 years shy of the extended warranty and had I purchased, it would've helped pay for some of the costs not covered by insurance. I am purchasing it this time around

  • donnadio
    donnadio Member Posts: 674
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    Very good information! I knew about the warranty and since we moved from Illinois and area of my surgery , cannot locate my paperwork on the implants! Wonder if PS office would have record or wait until they are placed for s/n's?!

    My surgery was in2009 and not ten year mark yet.

    Thank you for great info !!!!

    Hugs,

    Donna

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,227
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    thomcat - I was unaware that there were additional warranties that one could purchase, but when I just checked Mentor's site it appears that this is limited to saline implants. I learn something new here everyday! Thank you! There is a limited warranty built-in, with additional coverage available. I think it is smart to purchase the additional coverage if you can. The included limited warranty for silicone appears to have a higher dollar limit than the saline, most likely why there is no additional warranty to purchase.

    donna - have your new PS request the records from your old PS, they should be able to supply the info (plus model and serial numbers for your implants themselves) and that way you won't be charged a records fee for the copy. The Medical Records department in the hospital you had surgery in can also supply you with the surgical report and it will contain the model and serial number information as well. I have gotten all copies of my surgical reports (I have had a lot of surgery, lol!) and some of the facilities charged me a nominal fee, $.50-$1 per page, others gave it to me gratis.

  • donnadio
    donnadio Member Posts: 674
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    Thank you Special K and thomcat!!! I am very relieved to know the warranties can be retrieved by PS to PS and if not, I can as you detailed for me! I moved to AZ few years back and left all my good DRS and care in IL. It has been a feat to locate good DRS and caring ones as I just had a series of tests done that was to look at my Bil MX and implants and get a baseline by CT. That is where my rupture or silent Rupture was found on Right breast!!  In addition, two lung nodules were found and led to a MRI and then a PET Scan. All so far is clear. Have to go back in 6 mos and be sure there is no size change. So the rupture was a surprise as you say, it is contained and will be seeing a highly recommended PS here in Tucson and go from there.

    I hope this now helps others in knowing the great info on warranties that Special K outlined for us!!! I quess your history of surgeries is now helping others in knowing it is important to have this info!!!

    Thank you both as I feel more informed and relieved!!!

    Big Hugs,

    Donna


  • icefishinglady
    icefishinglady Member Posts: 21
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    Hello, folks. I had bilateral mastectomy in 2012 w/reconstruction, and silicone implants installed later. DCIS/LCIS, no lymph node involvement, so all went as well as could be expected.

    Last week, I had a CT scan w/contrast, a follow-up for some lung nodules that had appeared on a scan six months ago, ordered by an oncologist. The good news is that the lung nodules, which are tiny (3mm being the largest) have not changed, nor have more appeared. Hooray for that.

    The bad news is this little tidbit: "Probable rupture of left breast implant". The report I'm seeing is very abbreviated, of course... I am going to request the full report.

    I was initially diagnosed in a small town in WI. My daughter-in-law, bless her little RN heart, insisted that I get a second opinion at the large metro clinic/hospital complex where she was employed as an ER nurse. The initial diagnosis, while accurate in some respects, missed a large area of calcification - so had I not had further studies I'd have had a lumpectomy (relatively small), radiation, all of that. The new "big city" doc was very experienced and said that I'd be losing about 2/3 of my breast to remove all of the suspicious areas. Uh, no thank you.

    I quickly moved up to the city to live with my son and his wife to get through the surgeries and recoveries (I am widowed). As I said, it all went well.

    I've since moved to a lovely small town in Wisconsin. Lovely except for the medical care/advice, that is. The first PCP I saw kept insisting that I needed mammograms, had no idea how to conduct a chest wall exam, was basically clueless, so I switched to a different provider, hoping that a D.O. would be a little more willing to do the necessary research, if she did not have answers. That's not working out well. I told her that I needed an MRI to check the implants after 3 years, she blew me off. Now, I wish I had insisted, but water over the dam.

    The situation now: my insurance company wants more than a "probable rupture", meaning I should get an MRI before I proceed with any more, I think. I just now heard from a nurse relaying information from the oncologist who ordered the CT scan; he has scheduled an ultrasound and asked that I have my mammograms from 2012 sent. After a bit of stunned silence, I told the nurse I was... surprised. Told her that from what I know, ultrasound is NOT the preferred imaging technique, that I SHOULD have had an MRI a year ago, and asked WHY they needed mammogram films from before my BILATERAL MASTECTOMY. "To compare", she answered. And, because "Doctor says!", seriously.

    Another stunned silence on my part, followed by, "Compare to WHAT? Everything is GONE".

    I gave up and let her schedule the ultrasound.

    Someone - help me, please. I've maintained my composure, more or less, while on the phone talking to people today, but inside I am losing it and I'm sure I probably entertained the neighbors while talking to a friend and blowing off some steam. I'm pretty sure there is real steam coming out of my ears right now ;-).

    MY THOUGHTS: I should probably call the really excellent and experienced plastic surgeon who performed my initial surgeries in the morning. It's only about an hour and a half away, and his staff should be able to give me some guidance, no? Or should I call the surgeon who did the mastectomies? I've lost all confidence in the local folks.

    Any advice appreciated.

  • donnadio
    donnadio Member Posts: 674
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    Hello !

    As you can see I have a similar background to the extent of having a ruptured implant and found by a MRI and never had one since my BC in 2009.This from initially a CT to the MRI and then PETScan as they found two lung nodules on my left lung and were so far ok and to see in 6 mos if size changed . ALL of this was because when I moved from my great care in IL to AZ , I had no exams or tests to see my BIL/MX and recon and check under implants. One DR I was referred to for a growth that was benign took interest in me and seeing I was triple negative and had no real testing, was concerned. I also have now the ruptured implant to be looked at to meet with a PS here that comes highly recommended.

    Personally, if I were you as kayb says, go back to original DRS and start there. I may have to as I cannot locate my original implant papers to know for warranties etc.

    I have learned it is an ongoing journey and to be proactive, to go after what you need, especially in after care and now at least you know what you are dealing with , just need to get the right people to do it all and going back to the experts would be the best option. The PS would most likely have most of the info you need and if not, go to the surgeon as well!!!

    Good Luck!

    Donna

  • donnadio
    donnadio Member Posts: 674
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    Thank you Kay!

    This was an incredible read and almost wonder if it is worth having implants at all? Just when I think I am educated on it all, I feel why was this never explained and why would not the DR here in AZ recommend a MRI as it was a 5 year mark by time I moved here from IL. This is why it is so impt to have this kind of forum to go to as the info here is invaluable! I am to blame to, for not pursuing harder for testing and knowing about the implants. MRI's being down for implants was never communicated as after care or any kind of standard protocol and should be?! Right?

    Hope this helps you Icefishing!

  • icefishinglady
    icefishinglady Member Posts: 21
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    Thanks to everyone for the responses. I *really* appreciate them, as I feel that I have stepped into the Twilight Zone here. (Some of you may remember that old television show, if you're around my age!).

    It's *almost* funny. Yup, let's compare ultrasound of my silicone implants with 4-year-old mammograms of breasts that were removed. Righto!

    Thanks again for restoring my sanity, what little of it I have left ;-) - and for the affirmation that WE have to know what's going on, and if necessary, teach our doctors.

    For some reason, I though that going to these small-town branches of M?yo would ensure good care - that the docs would consult with the home team in Rochester, MN if they were uncertain about ANYTHING. Guess that's not happening.

    Something else came up in the CT - they saw fatty deposits in my liver and some cysts on it, as well. These are new findings. I'd called my PCP's office regarding that, after checking two years' worth of lab results and seeing no tests for liver function. The nurse was instructed to call and tell me that it's nothing to worry about, and I should lose weight, since all of my liver tests had been normal. I asked her exactly which tests she was referring to, as I could not find any results online. She looked - nope, they're not there. I suggested that since this is something new, not apparent in a CT done last September, it might be a good idea to run those tests. She was very kind and apologetic and is going to speak to the doctor.

    Yes. Twilight Zone. This rural medicine stuff is not for the faint of heart.

    (I should mention that my dad was trained as a physician - later switched to musician, of all things - and that I worked at a hospital for 7 years, albeit in Information Technology. I worked with the medical librarians and learned how and where to get solid data...)

  • icefishinglady
    icefishinglady Member Posts: 21
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    Alas, the cohesive gel implants weren't quite available when I had mine... but guess what I'll ask for when they have to be replaced?

    ALL implants eventually break down, hence the recommendation to have them checked... I was told to expect 10 years or so out of mine.


  • icefishinglady
    icefishinglady Member Posts: 21
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    Alas, the cohesive gel implants weren't quite available when I had mine... but guess what I'll ask for when they have to be replaced?

    ALL implants eventually break down, hence the recommendation to have them checked... I was told to expect 10 years or so out of mine.


  • donnadio
    donnadio Member Posts: 674
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    Thank you both! Have now a better education and hope Icefishing you do too! I am going to try calling my original PS on IL and see what info and warranty paperwork they have on my these implants. Also., they told me ten years too and not sure how long I have had this incapsular rupture as it is only 7 years for me. Thakk goodness this MRI was ordered by this one Dr.!

    GOOD info Kay on the cohesive gel vs saline!!! I have all printed out and to get read here for when I make PS appt here,

    Icefishing, it is Twilight Zone everywhere I think..!!! I just do not give in or keep going until I get what I need and deserve. IT is all impt for us to be on it and not easy!!!! Insurance dictates a lot to and there is just no standard after care and yet to see a clear and easy journey for a woman that I have met. Please keep us posted.

    Donna

  • icefishinglady
    icefishinglady Member Posts: 21
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    Yes - I ran across that info, as well. Guess they didn't all get the memo. The one thing that I question within that document is the seemingly lackadaisical attitude toward having the leaking implant removed. I've read some relatively recent info that seems to indicate that the leakers should be taken care of ASAP to avoid migration of the silicone into nearby lymph nodes or other tissues. Of course, at this point, I do not know whether the implant has leaked outside of the capsule, or not - if not, I would feel more comfortable waiting, obviously. Not too long, though - as soon as my new grandbaby and family are settled in and don't need my help, I'd like to get this taken care of.

    My daughter, and her hubby and their four little lambs are scheduled to visit in the fall - so this Grandma wants to be able to enjoy all six of my grandchildren in one place at one time (a rarity to have them all together!). I want to pick them up and cuddle them and push them on swings and all of that without being in pain or having to be extra careful.

    We'll see!

  • icefishinglady
    icefishinglady Member Posts: 21
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    UPDATE: Today, a nurse called to "cancel" a mammogram that apparently someone had scheduled for me for tomorrow.. with bilateral mastectomy, of course, I do not need mammos any more. They confirmed the ultrasound appointment. My primary care doc talked to her plastic surgery colleague, who said I need MRI. I've left a message with the big-city plastic surgeon's office; waiting for a call back from them, so that I can ask a few questions.

    So I have an ultrasound scheduled for tomorrow and now I have to wait until someone calls back to tell me whether I should keep that appt. or get the MRI.

  • donnadio
    donnadio Member Posts: 674
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    Hi icefishingl!

    I would do the MRI as that is test that determines all for the implants as we need this and 2 years thereafter to assure all is ok especially now with your rupture!

    Keep us posted!

    Donn


  • katykids
    katykids Member Posts: 44
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    I just had an ultrasound to check for a ruptured silicone implant (cohesive gel.) The tech said MRI was the gold standard but the report said no rupture was detected. I fell and wiped out right on my right breast. Two frozen shoulders so I couldn't catch myself. I looked at the images myself and there were lots of interesting arrows but they seem satisfied. So, I hope these 5 month old foobs are fine.

  • donnadio
    donnadio Member Posts: 674
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    Hope so too Katy.. but MRI is for sure the test that detects!!! I wonder how mine ruptured as other than being clumsy.. I do a lot of workouts or did.. and wonder if I popped it somehow!!!! Glad you are ok !Old foobs and all!!!lol


  • katykids
    katykids Member Posts: 44
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    I will be following your "progress." Interested to see if they see the rupture on the u/s. And just hoping they quit giving you the runaround. The did compare my new u/s to my old u/s too. Which was ridiculous. But I had left that testing center to follow my surgeons at a completely different facility.

    You have good spirits about all of this and, personally, I think that is so important in all of this. :)

  • bikefam
    bikefam Member Posts: 98
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    Hello ladies, I guess I need to join this forum now, as I found out yesterday that my 5 month old silicone cohesive gel implant ruptured. Here's the long and short of it: A month ago, four months after my original exchange, a "blister" appeared in the middle of my incision. It popped with just a little pressure and yellow fluid (I think it's called body fluid) came pouring out. Called the PS at home. He said come in Monday. There, he looked at it and thought it was just an internal stitch that had not dissolved. Keep an eye on it and come back if it leaks again. No restrictions on activity. I've been working out and doing normal things. For a month, it has looked like small round hole that was scabbed over.

    This weekend, I was raking the yard and that evening, clear fluid starting coming from the "hole". Went to the PS on Monday. He said the hole had to be fixed immediately and that he thought he could just take a couple stitches in the office. Got prepped and numbed and when he started, he realized that the implant was exposed and that it had to be exchanged immediately. Over to the hospital. He gets in there and finds out the implant has ruptured. He cleans me out good and replaces it.

    He says that he has NEVER seen an implant rupture after 5 months and that it HAD to be some kind of major impact such as a car accident, kicked by a horse (?), fall, etc. We have searched our memory and nothing has happened in the last 5 months. I've been running, snowshoeing, biking, swimming and doing normal lifting and housework, but he says that wouldn't cause it. I know he blames me, but I personally think if it was a faulty implant. And I don't know if the rupture happened before or after the "hole" appeared.

    Glad to have found you ladies that have had similar problems but too bad we have all had to go through this. This makes seven surgeries for me in the last 14 months.

  • donnadio
    donnadio Member Posts: 674
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    Hello bikefam,

    I had not seen your reply and obivously is kind of a late reply!!! What has happened since your rupture . Only 5 mos is incredible!!! I would say a letter or have PS look into that by contacting the manufacturer of this implant as I have never heard of this. Mine are seven years old and have a rupture incapsulated.. and not a physical leak as you appear to of had. I hope it is resolved by now!!!! I feel for the number of surgeries done for you and cannot imagine how that this last rupture must of felt for you!!

    I never knew I had a rupture until I had routine CT done and such. I have a surgery set for Sept 19th for a bilateral replacement of implants and also to include a mesh like imcasement over the implants that can be beneficial in taking and also to connect with blood vessels. The proudct is called ALLoDerm and almost becomes part of you and behaves the same way as your own tissue. Wish I had known that for my original MX!

    By now, I do hope you are ok and all is takened care of!!Please let us know here!! All the best.

    Donna

  • bikefam
    bikefam Member Posts: 98
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    Hi Donna,

    I am now 4 months out from my second implant. We could never figure out what caused the rupture. Nothing I was doing should have done it. We went through every scenario that had happened and nothing should have caused it. (PS even asked if I was abused at home--LOL). The best idea he has is that the repetitive motion of swimming (2000 yards of freestyle a couple times a week) wore the back of the implant against the ribcage. I did have alloderm. There was a stitch that held the alloderm to the pectoral muscle that had given way. That is probably what the "blister" at 4 months was. It shouldn't have caused a rupture. Doctor has been very nice about it. Just leaving it as a mystery. I personally think is was a defective implant but no one, the PS or Mentor will admit it. However, Mentor implants have a warranty, where if an implant ruptures, they will pay up to $3500 of the patient's out of pocket expense. That covers my expenses and I am just waiting for payment.

    Last time I saw the PS was a 5 weeks post surgery. Since we don't know what caused the rupture, he wanted me to take it very easy. No swimming, running, moderate lifting. He did say I could bike since that wasn't so much upper body strength. So I've been biking all over the county. I see him next Wednesday. I am so ready to be lifted from restrictions. I want to mow the grass, shampoo my carpets and especially, get back to swimming.

    I have no idea if my current implant is still intact or if it has ruptured as well. We wouldn't have known if he didn't have to go in because that hole had contaminated the first implant. Everything feels just like the last one. I'm anxious to see him and really hope I keep this one, because I'm not sure I would try again.

    Thanks for asking. Will let you know how things go on Wednesday.

  • bikefam
    bikefam Member Posts: 98
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    Had my 4 month appointment after 2nd implant Wednesday. PS would rather me never do any activity again (he was just kidding) because he has never had a patient that has had a random rupture after 5 months. But he realizes that I can't live that way, and cleared me to go back to my normal activities, and said that if it ruptures again, we'll just deal with it. I'm sure that would be the end of implants and I would have to do something else, or go flat. So I went swimming for the first time in 4 months today. Hooray.

  • Bellz
    Bellz Member Posts: 10
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    I am hoping one of you is still following this thread. I saw my pcp today. I had been having random pain in the left side under my implant. I had 11 surgeries in 9 months back in 2009. I had my latissimus muscle cut in half brought up under the skin to cover my implants. I don't even know what type of implants I have but the doctor and I confirmed we felt the same things...little bubble like things on both sides of the left implant. I thought I had saline implants but can't remember anything anymore. I guess they must not be or I would be flat. She ordered an ultrasound for this Thursday. I guess I will be calling my plastic surgeon tomorrow or at least the place where I had all my surgeries done. It's a teaching place and is top of the line for breast cancer. But I don't know if the same plastic surgeon will be on staff. I honestly could have had more plastic done back in 09 to finish but I was sick of surgery. So if there is a rupture what happens next? Should I have both sides replaced? I am sure they have better implants now than back then. How will I know if there is a warranty? I was also told 10 years so I am not even to that point yet. It was the right side that had the cancer but because the genetic doctor suspected cowden syndrome I had bilateral mast. done. I later got positive confirmation from the Cleveland Clinic that yes I am genetically positive for cowden syndrome. Triple negative hormone receptors as well.

    It's beens so long since I have been on this site I am going to look for my old posts for clues as to what I have for implants.


  • bikefam
    bikefam Member Posts: 98
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    Bellz, I had an implant rupture but it was a little different experience. I had only had mine 5 months. If was a silicone gel implant. I had no idea it had ruptured (no pain, no change in shape), but my incision opened up and the implant was contaminated, so the PS had to replace it. Found out while he was in there that it was ruptured. Silicone implants NEVER rupture, according to him or the company who made it (Mentor). If you have Saline, that is probably different. I'm now about 5 months out from having the second one put in. So far so good. I did ask my PS what to look for in case it ruptured again, if we didn't have the incision split open again. He said I wouldn't know it immediately (unless I had a huge trauma like an accident) but it would start to get more firm. Also, Mentor, who made my implants, has a warranty for any silicone implant that ruptures. They paid me all of my out of pocket expenses, no questions asked. My PS didn't tell me about this, but I found it on the internet. So you need to find out what kind of implants you have and do some research.

    Silicone is not like it used to be when it caused problems, so you may want to consider switching to silicone. And remember, they NEVER rupture. (Never say Never). You'll have to talk to your dr whether you should do both sides or just one right now. One surgery on both sides would save another surgery later.

  • donnadio
    donnadio Member Posts: 674
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    Hi Bikefam,

    I am glad it is over for this part for you. It is replaced, the implant too? I think it will be ok on the other one, and in time, a CT can be done even if you say to Dr you need to be reassured!

    I did not do so well. Had my ruptured implant taken out Sept 19th and all went well with the new implants.. and soon in about a week or so, had incredible pain and what you would see as a RED BREAST. My right breast only. I ended up going on antbiotics but did not work and this past Friday had the infection and implant taken out. I cannot do recon for a minimum of 3 mos. I am not sure what happened but I am in process of healing. When I had my BC in 2009, i had immediate recon and never saw the trauma of the surgery as I am now.

    Trying to figure out what I can wear as I have no pec area or chest to sustain a bra and going to go through posts here for help. My left implant came out fine and with no issues so far. The journey we are on, always brings you to a new awareness you never thought more could occur, and it is one more thing, to be able to help another sister in and have deeper compassion on one more level! Hope you are continue in good healing and live life , it will never be understood... what causes a rupture. Weights I would think would be for very limited use. Swimming is wonderful!

    Keep in touch!

    Donna

  • donnadio
    donnadio Member Posts: 674
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    Beliz,

    Sounds like it is important to see if there is a rupture. Usually found by CT or MRI. The PS will direct what they think is best for you. Like you my original implants were in 2009. To date, they are actually more improved and yes there is usually a ten year mark of life for most implants. Read my post as what happened for me and am in healing process.

    Keep us posted, you do one, you might as well do the second one as the age is there.

    Hugs,

    Donna

  • Bellz
    Bellz Member Posts: 10
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    Yes there is a rupture in that left side. I had my MRI last Thursday. I found out yesterday and picked up my CD of photos and the report today. I have an appointment Nov 18th. They noticed a small area that has potential to be silicone outside of the area it should be confined to. I can't remember the fancy term for it. Now I am researching what I should expect.