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Featured Image Credit: Plastic Surgery Case Studies/McEvenue, et al
A woman survived being shot in the chest because of her breast implants, a study has revealed.
The 30-year-old had been walking down the street in Toronto when she felt pain and saw blood coming from her chest.
An examination at the hospital subsequently revealed that she had been shot, with a single bullet entry wound identified above her left nipple.
However, further examinations revealed the bullet had ended up in her lower right chest, having travelled through the left implant and been diverted over with such force that the right implant was flipped upside down.
The woman suffered nothing more than a broken rib in the end, though both implants had to be removed. But considering that the left implant absorbed the initial impact of the gun shot and was positioned over her heart and deeper chest cavity, doctors concluded that the woman's life was 'likely saved by deflection of the bullet by her silicone implants'.
The firearm and the shooter have not been identified though since the incident in 2018.
This may seem like a miraculous near-miss, but the doctors who treated the woman were actually surprised by just how rare it was.
In a case study published last week, surgeon Giancarlo McEvenue concluded: "Based on our review of the literature, there are surprisingly few cases of breast implants ruptured due to firearm injury published in the literature.
"Given the high number of women with implants and the relatively high numbers of gun violence in the United States, the authors believed there would be more than the four previously published cases found.
"Our report represents the fifth reported and the third, where the implant is believed to be responsible for saving the patient's life. Although rare, these observations lend support to the hypothesis that indeed breast implants can save lives."
It continues: "In conclusion, we report here the case of a 30-year-old woman whose life was likely saved by deflection of the bullet by her silicone implants. Our analysis of bullet trajectory to show the implant doing this is the first of its kind in the literature.
"Furthermore, after reviewing the literature, we recommend removal of the implants after firearm-related injury and management of the implant pocket as potentially contaminated."
McEvenue told Gizmodo the woman made a full recovery and was advised she could have the breast implants replaced after six months.