Learn how Silicone Breast Implants Saved a Woman from a Gunshot Wound

Posted April 27, 2020
How Silicone Breast Implants Saved a Gunshot Wound Victim

A 30-year-old woman in Canada is thankful to an unlikely source for keeping her alive after a gunshot wound – Her silicone breast implants! The Canadian woman, unnamed by medical experts and those investigating the shooting, was walking down a street when she reported that she started to feel some “heat and pain” in her left chest. She looked down to determine the cause of the discomfort and saw blood in the area of the pain and the heat. She went to the emergency room and was then transferred to the trauma center of the hospital by the emergency room doctors.  The doctors were able to determine that the woman had been shot in the chest at close range. They also determined that the bullet fired by the gun was more than likely prevented from striking her heart by the silicone breast implants in her body.

Doctors talk about how a silicone breast implant saved a gunshot victimDoctors Speak Out about Silicone Implants Saving the Gunshot Victim

In a case report that was published in Plastic Surgery Case Studies, the doctors that wrote the case study said the silicone implant “was likely responsible” for deflecting the trajectory of the bullet and saving the life of the woman. In addition, the doctors described the condition of the woman as “comfortable” and that she was not in any distress after the incident.

The woman suffered a single entry wound in her left breast. The doctors performed high resolution computer tomography (CT) scans on her and were able to determine that the bullet first entered the left breast of her body. They came to this conclusion thanks to the “debris and air” that were found in the examined area. Once the bullet entered the body of the woman, it was deflected by the silicone implant and then it entered the right breast where that silicone implant was discovered to be in a “completely Bullet inside the silicone breast implantflipped position”. An inspection of the breast area was performed to ensure the lack of additional damage in the area where the bullet entered the body before the doctors removed both breast implants.

In the case study, the doctors wrote “Based on trajectory of bullet entry clinically and evaluation radiologically, the only source of bullet deflection of the bullet is the left breast implant. This implant overlies the heart and intrathoracic cavity” and the doctors concluded that the implants likely saved the life of the patient.

Breast Implants Explained

Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures in the United States. As recently as 2018, there were 313,735 breast augmentation procedures performed in the United States (according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons). The placing of breast implants is performed to enhance the size and the shape of the breasts through the placement of breast implants under the chest muscle or behind the breast tissue. Breast implants that are placed in the body are filled with either silicone or saline which is sterile salt water. In general, breast augmentation is performed to give a patient a more contoured and larger appearance to the breasts by adding volume to the breasts. In addition, breast augmentation can give a more balanced appearance to breasts that are asymmetrical in nature.

In addition to the choice between silicone and saline implants, patients will have the decision between breast implants that are round or shaped as well as breast implants that are smooth or textured.

  • Shaped implants are shaped like a teardrop and many surgeons feel that this shape gives the breasts a more natural look once they are placed. On the other hand, round implants can give a patient a greater amount of fullness in the upper area of the breasts.
  • Gummy bear implants are silicone-gel breast implants that have a strong outside lining that prevents the gel from leaking out of the implant. The gel that is located in the breast implant sticks together if the implant ruptures or breaks. In general, gummy bear implants have a tapered appearance near the top and more projection at the bottom of the implant.
  • Another difference between round and shaped implants is the change in appearance they can cause if they move after being placed in the body of the patient. A round breast implant is able to turn or move with no changes to their appearance to the naked eye because they stay the same even if they move. A breast implant that is teardrop-shaped will need to be textured so it will not be able to rotate from side to side and cause a malposition of the implant. Patients need to be aware of the fact that textured implants are not able to move as freely as smooth implants do in the body of a person.

Finally, breast implants also have a range of sizes which is also known as profiles. Breast implants have profiles that range from moderate to moderate plus to a high profile. Breast implants with a high profile means they have more projection in their appearance.

Future Breast Implants for the Canadian Woman with a Gunshot Would

As the Canadian woman that was saved by her silicone breast implants after a gunshot wound recovers, doctors are advising her to not get new breast implants for another six months. They will allow her to get new silicone breast implants, or even switch to saline breast implants, but she needs to wait for six months so she is able to heal properly.

Law enforcement officials are still investigating the shooting of the woman. At the time of the publication of this article, the shooter is still at large and the gun that fired the bullet has not been recovered by the police.



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