It’s a common fear of anyone with breast implants — having them rupture — and one woman claims a bad fall made that fear a reality.
A report from FoxNews.com states the former mayor of San Diego and his wife are suing the city over an incident that took place in 2015. Cynthia Hedgecock took a nasty fall due to a 2.5-inch concrete lip on a public sidewalk, which resulted in her suffering from “serious personal injuries.”
One of her health complications: Both of her silicone implants ruptured, which began “leaking into her bloodstream and required ‘grueling’ replacement surgery followed by weeks of recovery and pain medication,” according to FoxNews.com. The leakage wasn’t discovered until Hedgecock went to a health clinic after experiencing “persistent chest pain and breast deformities.” While the couple is not seeking specific damages, treatments for Hedgecock’s injuries have tallied over $25,000.
After reading this story, we couldn’t help but wonder: How often does a tumble lead to such damage?
“The rupture rate is extremely low — it’s less than one percent per year,” Daniel Y. Maman, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon at 740 Park Plastic Surgery in New York City, tells Yahoo Beauty. “When we do see implant ruptures, it’s usually due to serious trauma, like a car accident, where the seat belt goes across the chest. But to hear it happening from a fall is extremely unusual.”
In fact, the Harvard-trained physician believes this story sounds “a little suspect.”
“It must have been a very specific type of fall, like directly on the breast with high impact,” says Maman. “[The article stated] that the implant material was being absorbed into the bloodstream, and that is actually completely false. It has been shown scientifically that does not occur.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, after a silicone implant is placed in the body, fibrous tissue forms a capsule around the implant. “If the implant ruptures, it might go unnoticed because any free silicone tends to remain trapped in the surrounding tissue,” according to the Mayo Clinic. “This is known as a silent rupture.”
Maman further explains that while implants — whether saline, silicone, or cohesive gel “gummy bear” — are “highly durable,” the risk of spontaneous rupture slightly increases after 10 years.
“People always ask me if they have to change them after 10 years, and the answer is no,” continues Maman. “There are plenty of people walking around with breast implants that are 10, 15, 20 years old, and the implants used today are even far higher quality. When I see a patient in the office, I stab the implant about 20 times with a pen to show them how durable it is.”
Maman informs his patients that breast implants are similar to tires: “In theory, you can just be driving, and the tire can spontaneously rupture,” he explains. “But it’s very, very rare, and when they do rupture, you have to run over something really significant — not just going over rocks.”
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