When you are in a serious car accident with a severe impact, any part of your body can be damaged, even breast implants. Several things can cause breast implant injuries during a collision.
- Seatbelt tightening right over the implant
- Airbag inflation
- Force of impact causing your body to violently toss back and forth
- Direct trauma to the chest area
Different types of breast implant injuries caused by San Diego vehicle accidents
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Ruptured breast implant
Ruptured breast implants after a car accident is usually caused by direct trauma to the breast. Seatbelt tightening, or your body shaking loose from the seatbelt and hitting another part of the vehicle. Saline implants will usually just deflate and you will know right away, or several days after, as the saline is absorbed by your body.
Silicone filled breast implant rupture after a vehicle collision
Silicone filled breast implant ruptures are sometimes harder to detect. Sometimes the rupture is “silent.” This means you do not feel any symptoms. This usually means the silicone gel is contained within the collagen fiber capsule that formed around the breast implant.
If the silicone gel escapes the fiber capsule, symptoms may occur, including:
- lumps to form in the breast, chest wall, armpit, arm, or abdomen
- decreased breast size
- hard knots
- uneven appearance of the breasts
- pain or tenderness
- changes in sensation
To detect breast implant ruptures, doctors will usually perform a mammogram, CT scan, ultrasound, or MRI. Mammograms themselves can cause ruptures due to the pressure involved, and are the least accurate. Magnetic response imaging (MRI) is the most precise method to determine if a rupture occurred.
Another possible injury after a vehicle accident is implant displacement, where the breast pocket breaking through the fiber capsule that surrounds it, and shifting out of the pocket.
Different types of displacement:
- Lateral displacement. This occurs when the implants shift outwards towards the armpit.
- Bottoming out. This is where your implants shift far downward. A sign of this is the position of your nipple shifting, sitting to far up on the breast mound.
- High riding. The opposite of bottoming out.
- Symmastia. Also called kissing implants, this is where both of your breasts shifted inwards, towards each other.
Diagnosis and treatment. If you think your breast implants were damaged in an accident, go seek medical treatment immediately. Your doctor will perform the necessary tests and recommend the most appropriate treatment for the injury.
In addition to medical bills, you are entitled to pain, suffering, and inconvenience for these injuries if the accident was someone else’s fault. How much will depend on specific factors of your case.