Paintball bursts British woman's breast implant


(CBS) An afternoon of paintball can leave participants black and blue. But one 26-year-old British woman got an unexpected injury when a 190-mph paintball ruptured her breast implant.

At first the unidentified woman thought she suffered a nasty bruise, but her doctor found otherwise.

"I have heard some odd stories over the years but this is one of the strangest," Dr. Douglas McGeorge, former president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, told The Sun. McGeorge, who was not involved in this case, said the woman must have been thin and "unlucky" for the paintball to pierce her skin to cause that damage.

After the incident, UK Paintball added a statement to its website: "We respectfully ask that any ladies with surgical breast implants notify our team at the time of booking. You will be given special information on the dangers of paintballing with enhanced boobs and asked to sign a disclaimer."

How easy is it to rupture a breast implant? What should women with implants do if they want to play paintball?

"Breast implants are made to withstand large forces, even up to 25 times the force of a mammography machine squeeze," Dr. Jennifer Walden, cosmetic plastic surgeon based in New York City, told CBS News in an email. "That said, missile-type forces such as a paintball at 190 mph could certainly have the speed behind it to damage not only implants, but bodily structures such as eyeballs, breasts without implants, cheekbones, etc."

She'd recommend women with implants consider wearing a protective chest shield - similar to a bulletproof vest - to protect their "assets."

Or find a new sport.

Said Walden, "I would recommend that patients with breast implants use common sense and pick hobbies that don't risk trauma to the body to ensure the integrity of the implant and the safety of their own self."