Doctors Say a Woman's Breast Implant Deflected a Bullet and Ultimately Saved Her Life

Doctors Say a Woman’s Breast Implant Deflected a Bullet and Ultimately Saved Her Life

A 30-year-old woman survived a gunshot wound to the chest, and it appears as if she may have her silicone breast implant to thank for saving her life.

A recent study published by the Plastic Surgery Case Studies journal states that the woman’s implant appears to have deflected the bullet from its original path — aimed at her heart — potentially saving her from more perilous injury.

Doctors Say a Woman's Breast Implant Deflected a Bullet and Ultimately Saved Her Life
MCEVENUE, ET AL (PLASTIC SURGERY CASE STUDIES)

Per People Magazine, the study says, “The patient reported walking down street and feeling heat and pain in her left chest, looking down and seeing blood, and taking herself into the local emergency department.” Neither the gun nor the shooter was ever recovered or identified, it adds.

“The patient was transferred to our trauma center in stable condition with no additional injuries,” the study continues. “Clinical examination revealed a comfortable patient in no distress with a single entry wound in the superior pole of the left breast.”

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Doctors Say a Woman's Breast Implant Deflected a Bullet and Ultimately Saved Her Life
MCEVENUE, ET AL (PLASTIC SURGERY CASE STUDIES)

Doctors say the bullet was recovered lodged in the patient’s lower right chest wall, which is not where they expected to find it, given its point-of-entry in the left breast and overall trajectory.

“Based on trajectory of bullet entry clinically and evaluation radiologically,” the study reads, “the only source of bullet deflection of the bullet is the left breast implant. This implant overlies the heart and intrathoracic cavity and therefore likely saved the women’s life.”

Doctors Say a Woman's Breast Implant Deflected a Bullet and Ultimately Saved Her Life
MCEVENUE, ET AL (PLASTIC SURGERY CASE STUDIES)

Doctors removed the woman’s implants while operating on her in order to remove the bullet, and what the found strongly backs up their hypothesis. “The CT scan views show the bullet tract that correlates clinically with the level of breast implant. Examination of the axial CT shows the transverse tract that can clearly be seen crossing the midline. Consequently, a deflection must have occurred. The only source of deflection is the patient’s silicone implant.”

In short, the patient’s left breast implant deflected the bullet from her heart and sent it towards her right implant, “which was found to be in a completely flipped position.” Then the bullet lodged in her right chest, beneath the breast.

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“This indicates that deflection occurred within the implant likely at the point of the bullet pressing in on and rupturing the implant membrane. Both clinical and radiologic evidence support this theory of bullet deflection,” the study says.

Doctors Say a Woman's Breast Implant Deflected a Bullet and Ultimately Saved Her Life
MCEVENUE, ET AL (PLASTIC SURGERY CASE STUDIES)

Plastic surgeon and lead author of the study Dr. Giancarlo McEvenue says it is not the first time a breast implant has proven to be potentially life-saving. He and his team were able to identify four similar cases where a breast implant potentially deflected a bullet, two of which were likely life-saving.

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