Analysis of Risk Factors Associated with Rupture of Silicone Gel Breast Implants


By:Feng, LJ (Feng, LJ); Amini, SB (Amini, SB)


Volume: 104 Issue: 4 Pages: 955-963
DOI: 10.1097/00006534-199909040-00009
Published: SEP 1999


Despite many recent studies on breast implant rupture, there is no general consensus on causation or incidence. Existing studies have not reported a multivariate analysis of risk factors associated with breast implant rupture. Most studies lack adequate sample size to study the effect of implant type, manufacturer, and other patient-related factors that might affect rupture. This study addresses all of these shortcomings.
Patients undergoing implant removal by a single surgeon between 1990 and 1996 were examined for rupture and for 16 potential risk factors. The association between rupture and various factors was analyzed by univariate and multivariate analyses.

A total of 842 patients underwent removal of 1619 implants. Increasing age of implant [p < 0.0001; adjusted odds ratio (OR), 1.20; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.15 to 1.23], retroglandular location (p = 0.0002; OR, 1.93; CI, 1.37 to 2.71), Baker contracture grades III and IV (p = 0.005; OR, 1.52; CI, 1.14 to 2.03), and presence of local symptoms (p = 0.05; OR, 1.37; CI, 1.00 to 1.89) were associated with rupture. When different implant types were compared with smooth gel implants, after adjustment, double-lumen (p < 0.0001; OR, 0.33; CI, 0.22 to 0.50) and polyurethane-covered implants (p < 0.0002; OR, 0.33; CI, 0.20 to 0.57) had significantly lower rupture rates. When various manufacturers were compared with Dow Corning after adjusting for other factors, rupture rates were significantly lower for McGhan (p < 0.0001; OR, 0.41; CI, 0.26 to 0.65), whereas higher for Surgitek (p < 0.019; OR, 1.52; CI, 1.05 to 2.18).

Significant risk factors for breast implant rupture were identified: older implants, retroglandular implant location, implant contracture, local symptoms, certain implant type, and certain manufacturer. Although the results of this study are based on a nonrandomized explant population from a single surgeon's practice, knowledge of these risk factors will permit better interpretation of future data on rupture. The knowledge will enable the medical community to better advise their breast implant population regarding durability and appropriate time for removal or replacement.

Article by
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon