Sub-muscular plane for augmentation mammoplasty patients increases silicone gel implant rupture rate

Eran Hadad*, Doron Klein, Yaakov Seligman, Itay Wiser, Lior Heller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Breast augmentation is one of the most common aesthetic procedures performed worldwide. One of the worst associated complications is implant rupture, a topic that will be addressed in the present study. The risk of developing silicone gel breast implant rupture following breast augmentation is associated with multiple factors, including: older generation implant, increased implant age, implant type, specific manufacturer, severe capsular contracture (Baker grade III or IV), and the presence of local symptoms. We hypothesize that the plane of the implant placement may also play a role in the development of implant rupture due to differences in opposing forces upon the implant between submuscular and subglandular planes. Objectives: To assess the effect of potential risk factors on breast prosthesis rupture rate, focusing on implant pocket selection, capsular contracture and implant volume. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed on patients with silicone breast implants in either subglandular or submuscular plane, who underwent an elective breast implant exchange, with or without mastopexy, between January 2012 and June 2017. Data collected included patient's age, implant age, implant pocket, implant volume, capsular contracture grade, and implant status (ruptured or intact). Results: Data was collected on 362 women (700 breasts). A total of 284 women (542 breasts) met the inclusion criteria. The average age of the subjects was 43.4 ± 10.4 years. Average implant age during exchange was 10 ± 6.1. There was no difference between the characteristics of the submuscular group and the subglandular group, except from patient age. In a univariant analysis, patient's age (46.4 vs. 41.8, p < 0.001) and implant age (12.2 vs. 8.92 years, p < 0.001) were associated with significantly higher rupture rate. Among ruptured implants, the relative proportion of submuscular to subglandular implants was 64%, compared to 48% among non-ruptured implants (p < 0.0001). When controlling for potential confounders, submuscular pocket (OR = 0.1835, CI95% 1.25–2.69, p = 0.002) as well as implant size (OR = 1.004, CI95% 1.001–1.007, p = 0.005) were found to be a risk factor for implant rupture. Conclusion: A sub-muscular implant pocket was identified as a significant risk factor for implant rupture. The prevailing theory that larger size implant carries an increased risk of complications, is also reinforced in this study. Large prospective studies are needed to further clarify risk factors for implant rupture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-423
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Breast augmentation
  • Implant exchange
  • Rupture
  • Submuscular


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