Does an Implant Always Have to Be Removed if There is Calcification?

Doctor Answers (9)

Best to Remove Implants with Calcification

+2


Heterotopic Calcification refers to calcium present at an abnormal site such as around your breast implant in the capsule. Calcification means calcium (an egg shell is mostly calcium for example) not bone in which calcium is but one ingredient. Heterotopic calcification is not an unusual finding in implants over 15 or more years. It can be found with saline or silicone implants thought in my experience more common with silicone implants that have ruptured or the older ones that have "silicone bleed" - that is the implant membrane is intact but there is still some sticky silicone on the outer shell. It is not related with any disease process and cannot harm you though can feel uncomfortable as part of a capsular contracture, makes your implant feel hard, and your breast can be  distorted by its presence. If the radiologist feels certain it does not look like a malignancy, that your implant has not ruptured  and its presence does not obscure reading mammograms then you theoretically can leave it alone. However my recommendation would be to remove it as it is an abnormal process that makes your breast feel hard and causes distortion


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Remove Calcification of the Capsule

+2

If there is implant capsule calcification, it should be removed so as not to interfere with interpretation of mammograms.

Capsule calcification is almost always a sign of silicone gel implant rupture, so removal of implants with capsulectomy should be performed.

You may choose to leave the implants out or to replace them.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Breast Implants and Calcification?

+1

Breast implants associated with calcification do not necessarily have to be removed.  Each patient's situation should be evaluated individually/specifically. For example, if a patient has a strong  family history of  breast cancer,  then removal of the breast implants/ calcifications may be indicated to avoid  radiographic confusion  and/or delay of diagnosis of breast cancer.

If patients with calcification choose to have the breast implants left in place however close radiologic  follow-up will be important.  For example, any change in the nature of the calcifications may require  further evaluation  and/or biopsy.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 682 reviews

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Removing breast implants

+1

As long as an MRI and mammogram shows no evidence of rupture or malignancy, then you'll probably be okay leaving in the implants.  Make sure you're cleared by an oncologic breast surgeon as well.

Jeffrey E. Schreiber, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Calcification in the capsule means implant leak

+1

When the silicone gel bleeds and leaks onto the capsule, irritation and inflammation causes the capsule to calcify, a sure sign that the implants is no longer intact and suffers an intracapsular leak. Both implants and capsules should be removed to prevent further capsular contracture.

Best of luck,

peterejohnsonmd

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Calcification and implants

+1

If your implants are okay and there is no suspicious radiologic findings with the calcifications and they are considered benign, then they probably do not have to come out.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Calcification of the breast tissue

+1

As has been mentioned, the location of the calcification is the more important consideration. If you have older implants and there is calcification around the capsule that is not concerning to the radiologist for malignancy, there is no rush to have surgery. If this is the case though it is often associated with firmness of the capsule making your breast(s) harder. It would be prudent to have these implant and associated capsules removed and replaced with new implants in the near future. If the calcifications are in the breast tissue you will need to discuss these results with your doctor who ordered the exam for you.

I hope this helps

Dr Edwards

Michael C. Edwards, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Calcification does NOT mean automatic Breast Implant Removal

+1

Calcifications are not seen with the breast implants but may be seen in advanced cases of severe scarring of the scar capsule normally found around breast implants. In some women, especially old silicone gel implants which have leaked, the body reacted in a very exaggerated fashion forming very thick dense scar tissue with calcifications which in some cases resemble oyster shells.

Calcification is NOT an automatic reason to remove the breast implants UNLESS the IDENTITY of the calcification cannot be established and they could be thereby hiding a malignancy. Modern MRI techniques can read a lot of breast which were hard to be inspected years ago but the test runs over 2,000 dollars. It is therefore up to you and your surgeon to decide what would be best.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Breast implant

+1

If The calcifications is in the breast tissue , then no you do not need to remove the implant unless the se calcifications interfere with biobsing the calcifications.

If you mean calcification of the capsule, then these are old implants and the capsule is calcified. This can interfer with mammogram , and if so then a total capsulectomy with or without exchange of implants can be done. This may make interpretation of the mammogram better, and the feel of the breast better.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

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.