After 3 Years, Silicone Implants Ruptured in 1979 & Left Me with Granulomas

I had silicone gel breast augmentation surgery in...

I had silicone gel breast augmentation surgery in 1976. After several manual procedures performed by the physician release contractures, my left implant ruptured in 1979 releasing silicone into the biceps and forearm tissue of my left arm. My physician told me this was impossible. Months later, he removed both gel implants, found both of them to be ruptured, and replaced them with saline implants that were uncomfortable, hard and ripply. He created a pocket on the left side that was so huge that the implant In 1989, a surgeon removed these implants as well and tried to extract the silicon in my biceps. He woke me during surgery to explain that the product has virtually "melted" into my muscle tissue and would be nearly impossible to remove without great risk to my nerves.

Granulomas surrounding the silicone have seemed to increase in size recently and my skin is taught, lumpy and very uncomfortable. I have numbing in the arm. My arm cannot be flattened beyond 15° above the horizon when I lie on my back. The circumference of my left arm is 12.75", while that of my unaffected right is 11". I cannot rotate my arm around my shoulder and I am functionally as well as visually disfigured.

Are there any advancements in removing extravasated silicon gel from surrounding tissues? I've read that Shur-Clean, a wound dressing, is effective in dissolving the substance under surgery. I have granulomas now. What is likely to be found? Do granulomas improve the ability of a surgeon to remove the engulfed gel. Will the granulomas ever digest the gel? Can the gel be induced to excrete through the skin?
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
Was this review helpful? 5 others found this helpful

Comments (3)

Mary, I happened onto the Real Self site and was surprised and quite distressed to learn of your problem. If the silicone gel has migrated to your arm, it is an extremely rare occurrence, (I am not personally aware of a case report in the medical literature) but I would be happy to see you, of course at no charge, if you would like me to help you or offer another opinion. It has been over 35 since your surgery. Silicone implants have significantly changed and are safer. They now have thicker, stronger shells and a more solid silicone gel making rupture an infrequent complication. If this was truly a complication of my surgical treatment, I sincerely would like to help. Harlan Pollock MD
  • Reply
THat is terrible and I am very sorry for your troubles. THank you for sharing your story and I wish you the best of luck with this.
  • Reply
Hi Mary -- Thanks for sharing your story. Another RealSelf member is dealing with silicone granulomas, I believe from silicone injections. Her question (and the doctors' answers) might help in your case as well: Non surgical treatment for silicone granulomas?
  • Reply