Breast augmentation may be a cosmetic procedure, but for these five women, breast implants have done more than improve their appearance—they’ve saved their lives. Here are their stories: 1. When Jane Selma Soares got caught in the middle of a shootout between drug traffickers and the police in Rio de Janeiro, she ended up with a bullet in her chest. The doctors who treated her said that if it weren’t for her breast implants, the bullet would likely have reached her vital organs—the silicone slowed it down, keeping it from going far enough in to cause severe damage.
2. Dental receptionist Lydia Carranza’s breast implants seem to have done the same for her when her coworker’s husband opened fire with a semiautomatic assault rifle at their Simi Valley office. Her plastic surgeon says the CT scan he reviewed showed the bullet fragments as being mere millimeters from her heart; if not for her implants, he insists, “she might not be alive today.”
3. According to a police expert on the scene, Bulgarian Elena Marinova managed to survive a head-on car collision—and escape with only minor injuries—in 2006 due to her implants working “just like airbags.” The implants did explode due to the impact they absorbed in the crash, but not before protecting Marinova’s ribs and internal organs and shielding her from harm (the other driver involved in the crash sustained serious injuries).
4. Also in 2006, a 24-year-old Israeli woman was sprayed with shrapnel from a Hezbollah rocket attack and lived to tell the tale—primarily, she said, because of the implants she had gotten two years prior. Similar to the cases of Soares and Carranza, this young woman’s doctors found the shrapnel close to her heart . . . lodged in the silicone of her implants.
5. Most recently, a 40-year-old Russian woman avoided death when, in the middle of an argument, her husband picked up a knife and attempted to stab her in the heart—and couldn’t get the knife deep enough do so because of her large breast implants. Her plastic surgeon says that the stabbing didn’t even cause the silicone-filled implant to leak (but the woman later had it replaced anyway).