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A recent study conducted by Christopher Pannucci, a plastic surgeon at the University of Utah, and his colleagues for the Journal of Forensic Sciences found that when a bullet passes through silicone breast implants there is a “…significantly decreased penetration distance into the gel than shots that did not pass-through an implant.” The ballistics experiments were conducted in response to a 2010 claim from a Los Angeles woman that silicone implants saved her life after being shot. “She’s just one lucky woman,” said Dr. Ashkan Ghavami…”I saw the CT scan,” he said. “The bullet fragments were millimeters from her heart and her vital organs. Had she not had the implant, she might not be alive today (Los Angeles Times).”

By proving that silicone breast implants can save lives, the report from the Journal of Forensic Sciences wanted to show unexpected ways a breast implant can help patients. “The benefits of breast augmentation and breast reconstruction are well documented— women who choose these procedures generally report improved esthetics and improved quality of life…While self-esteem and quality of life, among other factors, are improved by breast implants, implants are not generally considered to be life-saving—they are only life-improving.”

“The experiment was inspired by a case in which Pannuci treated a woman with breast implants who survived a close-range gunshot. The bullet entered through her nipple, passed through the implant, and exited near her armpit. “The entrance and exit wounds were not in a straight line, so we thought the implant must have caused the bullet to slow down and alter its trajectory,” he says…“You can think of them as tiny airbags”…Pannucci warns, however, not to intentionally put implants to the test (New Scientist).”

While Dr. Alexandre Charão isn’t advocating that patients get breast implants just to reduce their risk of getting shot, it’s definitely worth pointing out. The Journal of Forensic Sciences report only backs up just how safe modern breast implant procedures are. If you’re considering getting breast implants, don’t hesitate to schedule your initial consultation today!