A breast implant in a woman with a history of breast cancer disappeared inside her body while she was doing stretching exercises, it has been reported.
The 59-year-old woman, who had a double mastectomy and placement of breast prostheses, revealed that her "body swallowed one of the implants" during a pilate stretching exercise, the New England Journal of Medicine reported Thursday.
The woman was doing the Valsalva maneuver, a breathing technique in which a person takes a deep breath and holds it for some time before exhaling. The buildup of pressure inside her chest pushed her right breast implant through the thin tissue between her ribs into the space between the lungs.
She had recently undergone a minimally invasive surgical mitral-valve repair for the treatment of severe mitral regurgitation, in which the point of entry was the pre-existing scar from the right mastectomy, said the journal in the report published on its Web site.
The journal said the patient did not complain of any chest pain or dyspnea. The woman was treated at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where surgeons retrieved the implant from within her chest and put it back where it belonged, MSNBC.com has reported.