Woman Loses Breast Implant During Pilates Maneuver

A 59 year-old breast cancer survivor was doing a Pilates maneuver which caused her body to “swallow” her breast implant – which forced her to have it surgically retrieved and reinserted.

Fox News is reporting that the woman was doing the Valsalva maneuver when her body “swallowed one of the implants,” according to an account published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The Valsalva maneuver is a breathing technique which involves taking a deep breath and then attempting to exhale it against a closed airway.

The woman, who received the implants after undergoing a double mastectomy, had been left with weak ribs after a heart operation.

“What likely happened in this instance is that the breast implant was placed under the chest muscle and on top of the ribs, an extremely common practice in breast reconstruction,” Dr. Anthony Youn, a cosmetic surgeon who did not treat the woman, told MSNBC.

“When the patient Valsalva’d, the pectoralis [chest] muscle likely contracted and pushed the implant through the space between her ribs. The weakened scar tissue was easily torn, and the strength of the pectoralis muscle pushed the implant deep into her chest.”

Surgeons at John Hopkins University hospital in Baltimore retrieved the implant and place it back into its proper place.

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