How Common is it for Silicon Implant to Rupture?

I've had my impants for 3 years, and about to book myself for an MRI. Some of the research I've done points to implant rupture being VERY common, but at the same time I've checked out quite a few forums, and got an impression there aren't that many women out there who have been reporting this problem. So I was wondering, how many revision breast augmentation surgeries due to silicome implat rupture do you perform, say, a year?

Doctor Answers 10

Breakage rates for Silicone Breast Implants for Breast Augmentation

Silicone breast implants placed in the past 10 years break at a rate of 1-2 percent per year. So at 10 years they have a 10-20% failure rate. I recommend examining your implants every day for softness and even displacement on compression. If there is ANY change in either, I recommend you call your board certified Plastic Surgeon and have your implant evaluated. I was just at the hearings in Washington with the FDA testifying on behalf of my patients and I can tell you the data does not support getting an MRI at 3 years after implantation because the implants are not breaking that early at a significant rate. Be sure you visit your surgeon every year in person or by email or phone so that you remain updated on your products. Also, remember that both companies have lifetime warranties on their products, so be sure you have your implant labels in a safe place. Call your company and verify they have your information so they can get in touch if there is a problem like a recall. I will be speaking this weekend at our annual meeting of the ASPS on Revision Augmentation so I have done many over the 22 years I have been in practice.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

Rupture of silicone implants

While any silicone implant can rupture or leak, the modern implants are strong and rupture is rare. In United Kingdom, many implants now come with a lifetime warranty - that gives you an idea about the degree of confidence the manufacturers have in their products.

Anindya Lahiri, FRCS (Plast)
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Breast implant failure.

All Implants silicone and saline will fail eventually. In saline implants the shell may crack over time.  This is called a fold flaw, like bending a credit card until it breaks. Sometimes the valve may leak or a pinhole defect may give way.  In Silicone implants the shell can gradually wear away over time which is why our newer generation of implants have a thicker and more connected (crosslinked) shell and a thicker or more cohesive silicone.

I have see 22 year old saline implants in good condition with no problems.  In saline implants my recommendation is to leave the implant alone if there are no problems and the patient is happy.  If it leaks it is just salt water which is what the body is made of.

In silicone the current recommendation is to have an MRI 3 years after surgery to evaluate the integrity of the implant and then every 2 years thereafter.  I don't love this plan because eventually I believe all patients will find a leak.  I would rather see one of my own patients choose a common sense time frame to change a silicone implant before it is likely to leak.  It is much easier to change a gel implant before it leaks and there is less risk of capsular contracture.

Currently I recommend that my patients consider changing a silicone gel implant at about 10 years.  As we learn more about the longevity of this new generation of implants I may change the recommendation because I suspect they will last longer. We are still studying the longevity numbers.

Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

How Common is it for Silicon Implants to Rupture?

Every single breast implant will eventually leak. The duration varies from a day after placement (theoretically but almost unheard of) to over 30 years after surgery but as a man-made device ALL breast implants eventually fail.

A breast implant is NOT a life time device and this should have been made clear to you by your surgeon when you had the breast augmentation consultation. All busy Breast Augmentation surgeons remove and exchange a fair number of implants every year.

Good Luck.

Peter A Aldea, MD

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

Breast Implants

The overall rupture rate is probably around 1% per year for all devices. Your MRI scan will be able to give you piece of mind


What symptoms do you have that make you worry about a rupture?  All implants given enough time will eventually rupture but the he silicone implants are quite robust and have a very low leak rate. The only implants that I have had to remove are from the 1980's 30 years ago or o.  Unless you notice a firm mass pain change of the implants I would not worry too much about leak. 

Eric Chang, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Silicone Gel Implant Rupture Rates?

Thank you for the question.

The breast implant company manufacturers report a silicone gel leakage rate of approximately 1% per year. There's also been a study that demonstrates a 4% leakage rate of silicone gel implants over the course of 7 years.

As of 2006, the FDA has approved the use of silicone gel implants manufactured by the Mentor Corporation and Allergan (formerly McGhan) for breast augmentation surgery for patients over the age of 22. It may be helpful to visit the FDA website as well.

I hope this helps.

Breast Implant rupture

The companies quote a rate of 1% per year on breast implant rupture. The usual cause is  a crack in the shell, and the usual cause of that is repetitive folding of the implant. Many believe that since textured implants do not rotate, that the rupture rate of the textured implants is higher, whether they are filled with silicone or saline.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

How Common is it for Silicon Implant to Rupture?

Your question is of a concern to me. I recommend you contact either of the two implant companies here in USA. Mentor , or Allergan. Or call them to discuss the rupture rates. Get it from the horses mouth in other words. 

Incidence of silicone breast implant rupture is very low

The incidence of silicone implant rupture is about 3-4% over the first ten years. An MRI is the only way to accurately diagnose a rupture. If you have a rupture, consult with a board certified plastic surgeon as to the issue of replacing the breast implant. There are no known health risks of ruptured breast implants.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 239 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.