Is It Possible to Be Allergic to Silicone?

I am scheduled to have breast augmentation next Friday, April 3rd. I opted for the silicone gel implants. However, I had a terrible reaction to a pair of contact lenses that contained silicone and I was told by a cornea specialist that I am allergic to silicone. Is this possible and will my body reject the implants? Please advise.

Doctor Answers (6)

Probably not...

+2

True allergic reactions to silicone would be very rare. In most cases when someone had their implants removed because of "rejection" or an "allergy," it was actually either an infection or capsular contracture. Your surgeon will take steps to reduce the likelihood of either of those happening too. I'm not sure what happened with your contacts, but an allergy to the actual lens would also be very rare and more likely that it was an infection or just an ill-fitting lens. Allergy testing would answer the question, but I don't think it's necessary. Good luck!


Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

No

+2

To AZ Chic,

Hi! I have been an implant investigator, and I can tell you that hundreds of studies show that silicone does not cause any allergic reactions or any diseases. In my personal practice, I have not seen any silicone reactions in many hundreds of cases over more than 20 years.

So I think you can feel reassured.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

No silicone allergy

+2

The silicone molecule is unable to stimulate the body to form antibodies. If your body does not attack the silicone with antibodies then you will not get an allergic reaction.

Your body does recognize the silicone as a foreign body and it does react to this foreign substance by placing a capsule around it. Your body will create a capsule around all foreign bodies such as pacemakers and injection ports.

The contact lenses on the surface of your corneas and silicone implants would have not resemblance to each other as to how they respond. I see no reason to fear using silicone breast implants. Best Wishes.

Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

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Anything is possible....

+2

An allergy to silicone would be extremely rare but anything is possible. You could certainly see an allergist and be tested for this. Otherwise you may have a problem with the shell of saline implants even if you switched to saline. If you have been told this by another physician you should check with your plastic surgeon and perhaps see an allergist for clearance.

Evan Sorokin, MD
Cherry Hill Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Silicone allergy

+1

I have never heard of a silicone allergy before. It is an inert substance.   If you really want to be sure than you can be tested by an allergist.

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

NO

+1

Hi there-

Silicone allergies simply do not exist- it is an inert material (meaning that the recognition of it as foreign by your body- a necessary component of an allergic reaction) simply does not happen.

I'm not sure what may have happened with your contact lenses, but more likely it had to do with contamination of the surface of the lens or some other irritant, as at this point silicone is one of the most studied materials known (when it comes to its use in implantable devices) and no reputable scientist or physician believes you might be allergic to it.

Modern gel implants are still not perfect- no implant is, however they are very safe and for many women represent the best option for the achievement of their aesthetic goals.

Rest easy on this point- and congratulations on your new breasts!

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 98 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.