A recent story broke claiming that breast implants helped stop a bullet that entered a woman’s chest. While the medical aspect of the bullet trajectory and whether or not the breast implant truly helped remains dubious, a study was even performed comparing a breast implant to ballistic gel when a bullet was fired into both.
Might breast implants actually slow down a bullet? Board certified plastic surgeons discuss on the latest episode of No Spin Live!
In this Case, Did the Implant Actually Save the Woman’s Life?
While the claim that implants may in fact help stop a bullets, the medical aspect of the case in question lends little to the argument.
“Well, there’s some fact and some fiction here,” explains board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ned Snyder IV of Austin. “The story that they highlighted, there’s a woman who testified in court that breast implants saved her life because she survived a gunshot wound. The bullet passed through her a right arm, through her right breast, through her left breast, and through her left arm. It never passed through her chest cavity. And whether she had breast implants or not, it never seemingly would have entered her chest cavity. I’m sure the bullet was slowed down by the fact that it did have to pass through breast implants, but the bullet still passed all the way through her. Had it been aimed in the other direction, I think it would have gone through her breast, implants, chest, and her heart, and would have killed her.”
Kevlar Vest or Breast Implant?
While there may be some shaky evidence that the breast implants played a role in the aforementioned case, the patient survived almost completely because the trajectory the bullet traveled, not because the implants stopped it before hitting vital organs. For the surgeons, it’s a bit premature to opt for an implant over Kevlar.
“I’d go with the Kevlar vest!” says Dr. Kevin Smith, a board certified plastic surgeon practicing in Charlotte. “The study – they got really smart about this – put an implant next to a piece of ballistic gel (which simulates a human body) and then shot it from two and a half yards away with a handgun. It said that the bullet went 20% shorter distance than without the breast implant. So, if the chest is say 6 inches deep, then the bullet only goes 5 inches into the chest. So seriously, this isn’t going to make a difference!”
Bullet Vs. Implant – There’s a Clear Winner
Dr. Jason Pozner, a board certified plastic surgeon from Boca Raton, Florida, owns a few firearms and wanted to give viewers a look at what’s being argued.
“Today is my day for looking at visual aids,” says Dr. Pozner, showing how a metal bullet will seemingly easily pass through a silicone or saline implant. “You think this [implant] is going to stop this bullet from getting into it? I don’t think so. Although, we’ve heard people getting into car accidents where the breast implant maybe took a little bit of the force of the airbag. I can see that, but this [bullet] is going right through this [implant], so I don’t think so.”
At the end of the day, perhaps in some very complex situation a breast implant might play a small role in helping to stop a bullet. That being said, a bullet vs. a breast implant? There is a clear winner: the piece of pointy metal traveling at 1400 feet a second.