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Preliminary Findings: Will Breast Implants Rupture if Body Armour is Struck?

D. J. CARR, C. MALBON, J. BREEZE, S. HEPPELL, E. A. LEWIS

Abstract


During a non-perforating ballistic impact on to body armour stress waves are generated and propagate through the armour and underlying tissues. Prophylactic mastectomy is a procedure in which breast tissue is excised to reduce the chance of malignant change in females who have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. This paper presents preliminary findings on whether breast implants might rupture if a female police officer with implants was wearing armour and suffered a non-perforating ballistic impact on the breast region of the armour. No previous work in this area has been identified. Post-failure examination of the implants revealed that five out of seven implants tested ruptured; typically at a location towards the outer edge of the implant where the maximum radial strain developed. This preliminary work has initiated a more comprehensive study.

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