Doctors believe a woman's silicone breast implants saved her life after she was shot in the chest at close range.
According to a case study that was just published in the SAGE medical journal, a silicone breast implant prevented a bullet from striking a 30-year-old woman's vital organs.
According to surgeon Giancarlo McEvenue, the incident, which happened in 2018 in Toronto, Canada, is the first documented instance of a silicone implant saving a patient's life and one of only a few cases where a breast implant helped save a patient's life that have been documented in medical literature.
The silicone implant, according to the medical professionals, is probably what altered the trajectory of the bullet, ultimately saving the woman's life.
There are two types of breast implants that can be purchased legally in the US. Although they both have a silicone outer shell, one is filled with saline and the other with silicone gel. They are typically implanted to increase breast size or to rebuild breast tissue, such as after a mastectomy or other breast damage. They can vary in size, shell thickness, surface texture, and shape.
Despite the lack of clear information regarding the shooting, surgeon McEvenue told CNN that the patient went to a nearby emergency room after being shot in the chest.
She was speaking, and according to one of the treating surgeons, McEvenue, "the trauma team was in disbelief at how well she was."
"The rib fracture was on the right side, but the bullet wound entry was on the left breast. According to him, the bullet first entered her skin on the left side before ricocheting across her sternum into her right breast and breaking one of her ribs.
"The implant caused the change in the trajectory of the bullet," he claimed.
The woman was shot in the arm, had broken ribs, and had her implants broken, but other than that, she was remarkably unharmed.
The heart and lungs are located on the left side; if the bullet had entered the chest, she would have suffered a much more serious injury, one that might have even been fatal.
In the woman's right lower anterior thoracic wall, just below the right breast, doctors discovered a hard, bullet-like object.
A fractured rib, air bubbles in the left breast, and the bullet in the right lateral thoracic wall were all visible on trauma radiographs, which allowed medical professionals to deduce that the bullet originated in the left breast and traveled to the right thoracic wall.
Doctors said the patient was later assessed and given the all-clear by the trauma service, but the report states that the gun was never found and the shooter is still at large.
Doctors treated the wound by removing the implants, irrigating the wound and prescribing a short course of antibiotics, they noted in the report.