Should implants that have ruptured be removed?

I am 65 and have had my silicone implants for over 30 years - with no problems. However my last mammogram (a year ago) noted "stable appearance of lobulated contour appearing consistent with rupture". Does that mean they should be removed? If so, how urgently?

Doctor Answers 16

Should implants that have ruptured be removed?

Yes, ruptured implants should be removed and a determination made with your surgeon on how to proceed following the explantation. It is not urgent, but don't wait too long. This is not uncommon when implants have been in placed for many years.

Providence Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews


In my practice we recommend that implants that are ruptured be removed. If it  is a recent

rupture you can develop hard painful capsules. If the rupture has been there for a while and is stable there is still the chance that trauma can break the capsule around the implant and allow gel to get into local tissues, i.e. breast,  fat, muscle which makes removal imperative and much more difficult.

Barry M. Schwartz, MD
Weston Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Should implants that have ruptured be removed?

The answer is yes.  Old implants should be removed or replaced if ruptured.   It isn’t an emergency, but I would recommend not waiting too terribly long. This is a very common procedure in my practice with implants of this age.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Should 30-year-old ruptured implants be removed?

Hi and thank you for your question. Yes, you should have them removed. It isn’t an emergent situation, but I would recommend not waiting too terribly long. This is a very common procedure in my practice with implants of this age. The implants and the capsules surrounding them should be removed to get any of the liquid-like gel out of the pocket. Some women choose to not replace the implants, but most of my patients choose to replace them with modern, cohesive silicone implants. Please consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who is experienced with this type of surgery.

Ashley Gordon, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 34 reviews


I would suggest having your old silicone gel implants removed and possibly replaced. The old gel implants are leaking and may be ruptured. Over time, your breasts may slowly become harder. I would suggest meeting with a board certified plastic surgeon and discussing all your options.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Breast implant removal

It would be advised to remove the implants and also the capsule. It is not an emergency although it would be preferable to have surgery while the silicone is limited to the capsule. The silicone could leak out of the capsule if left and can spread to the lymph nodes. The longer you leave things the more traumatic the removal could be. 

Gary L. Ross, MBChB, FRCS
Manchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 154 reviews


It is important to have the ruptured silicone gel implants removed. Silicone over time will become extracapsular and spread through the breast tissue to the axillary lymph nodes. 

Stuart A. Linder, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Implants that are ruptured should be removed

Thanks for your question. I'm sorry that you are having issues. Implants of that vintage had much thinner shells with silicone that was not pure and "runny". Now days we have cohesive gels that are almost pure silicone and surrounded by a durable shell. Once the implant demonstrates rupture it should be removed along with the capsule. This is a commonly done procedure and you have the option of replacing the implants. Find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area that can help you go through your options. Best of Luck!

M. Scott Haydon, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Remove your ruptured silicone implants

Thank you for your question.  Ruptured silicone implants should be removed.  This is the manufacturer's recommendation as well.  Although not an emergency, you should plan for implant removal at your earliest convenience.  Good luck.

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Ruptured silicone breast implant

Ruptured silicone implant should be removed enblock with the capsule.

Free silicone can migrate and there fore it should be removed.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 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.